Can Sleeping Bags get Bed Bugs? All You Need to Know

It’s possible to carry bugs back with you while traveling, however bringing home bed bugs from a camping trip is not that common. However, the possibility cannot be wished away altogether.

Can Sleeping Bags get Bed Bugs? explained in details
Can sleeping bags get bed bugs

So below, we have listed a few FAQs that you might have about bed bugs before your next camping trip. 

Can sleeping bags get bed bugs? 

Bed bugs hide in places close to you, and if the place has multiple hidden folds, the bugs can hide in them easily, and sleeping bags fit the description perfectly. 

Bed bugs prefer sleeping bags as they smell like you; they infest any area that smells like people. If you have a stack of dirty clothes and laundry, bed bugs might get attracted to those too. 

Bed bugs can crawl into your sleeping bag and infest areas like mattresses. However, it isn’t easy to spot them as they only come out to feed. Like mosquitoes, they drink blood and require that to lay eggs. Thus, if your sleeping bag does get bed bugs, they could bite you and your furry friends. 

However, bed bugs find it difficult to get into sleeping bags. Most sleeping bags are free of folds, and there are no creases for bed bugs to hide. While it’s a relief, if you do get bed bugs in your bag from your last trip, it’s challenging to get them out.

Where do bed bugs come from?

Bed bugs are not common outdoor insects. In fact, they are not frequently found in most camping grounds. Bed bugs mostly prefer to stay near people as we are their primary food source. Thus thankfully, you won’t find them overtaking your tent like other creepy crawlers.

To avoid getting trapped by bed bugs, it’s essential to check for them while using the toilet in the camping site or maybe using someone’s sheet. Use a flashlight for this purpose and vacuum your gear after each trip to eliminate any bed bugs that might have tagged along. 

Can bed bugs get in your rucksack?

Your best friend on any camping trip is your rucksack. But, unfortunately, it is more susceptible to a bed bug infestation than your sleeping bag. Since there are multiple hiding places, dark corners, zips, and pockets, bed bugs can hide in them easily. To add to it, if you carry someone else’s stuff, especially clothes, you might get bed bugs in your rucksack.

Can you get bed bugs from outside or camping?

While camping outdoors, you will be sharing your space with multiple bugs, like pests, ticks, and mosquitoes. But coming across bed bugs is challenging. This is because bed bugs are primarily indoor pests; they don’t live in the wild per se but might travel there with humans. 

Mostly bed bugs are seen under beds and mattresses, and they don’t venture out unless you throw them. However, it still does not rule out the possibility of contracting bed bugs on your camping trip. If you are camping with someone who already has bed bugs in their home, then you might pick them up. Same way, if the individual you are sharing the tent with has bed bugs in their bag or clothing, they might travel home with you.

Can bed bugs get in your inflatable mattress?

Bed bugs love living in mattresses more than in other spaces; since mattresses are close to us, they get a chance to feast on us as we sleep. An inflatable mattress fits the bill partially. It is where you will sleep on your camping trip; it has a dark underside where they can live unspotted for a while. An inflatable mattress has multiple folds and buttons, which provide a good cover for bugs to hide. 

Can bed bugs get in your inflatable mattress?

However, inflatable mattresses are moved around a lot, even when used at home. Thus they are unsuitable for bed bugs. Though there still might be some of them under your inflatable mattress, they can’t stay there permanently.

Do sleeping bags prevent bed bugs?

As mentioned earlier, it’s difficult for bed bugs to live in sleeping bags since they have no folds or creases. Apart from the toggle on the top, there are far few places for bed bugs to hide. However, if they do get in, it’s challenging to get them out. 

Do sleeping bags prevent bed bugs?

Thankfully, sleeping bags with silk liners are your best choice for eliminating contact. Many hikers and travelers who have used silk-lined sleeping bags have reported that bites are reduced if not eliminated when sleepers use silk cocoons.

Though bed bugs can still crawl through the liner opening and get access to your head, neck, and face, many liners these days have hoods to minimize exposed surfaces.

How do you get rid of bed bugs in a sleeping bag? 

It’s not a good idea to pack away your sleeping bag after a trip and then only take it out before you next. If bed bugs have infested your bag, they will wait for you. So, you need to clean your sleeping bag thoroughly. One of the easiest ways of doing that is by laundering it. Heat water and soap are a sure shot way to kill every bed bug. 

How do you get rid of bed bugs in a sleeping bag? 

However, there is another procedure you can follow:

After each use, put your sleeping bag back in its case. Seal it with a plastic bag or a box before getting home
✅ Take the bag out for thorough washing once home. Get rid of the plastic bag and put the sleeping bag right in the washing machine
✅ Follow the manufacturer’s directions to wash the bag
✅ Throw away the plastic bag to avoid being infected by any bed bug that might have lived in your sleeping bag

How to not get bed bugs while camping?

Like your sleeping bag, you can wash every item from your trip that is washable. Your clothes are your top priority. Take your time out to wash your rucksack as well. However, for things that can’t be washed, you will have to come up with other procedures for cleaning them. Your tent, for instance, before packing away your tent, turn it inside out and shake it well.

This should get rid of any bugs that are inside or any bugs you might have contacted accidentally. Do the same with your bag, too, before you go homewards.

I hope now you have a clear Idea about “Can Sleeping Bags get Bed Bugs”, also storing your sleeping bag properly, also prevents it from getting bed bug: How to Hang a Sleeping Bag


Most of the pests you will encounter on your camping trip can be left at bay by spraying them with a good amount of bug spray. There are no pests as such that will come home with you and cause you to regret your camping trip. It’s advisable to discuss the precautions you need, and surely you will have tons of fun and not be bugged by the bugs. 

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