Last Updated on January 5, 2023 by Alene Schill
You may have heard a few people tell you to take a shower once you get home from a trip to avoid bringing bed bugs home.
We’re not contesting that tip as that’s all great and effective. However, you should know that there’s more to it. Do bed bugs stay on your skin after a shower?
Read on to find out.
Will Bed Bugs Stay On Skin After Showering?
No, bed bugs will not stay on your skin after showering. They don’t stay on your skin, period.
Bed bugs lack the legs necessary to cling onto your wet skin while you’re showering.
Unlike lice, ticks, or fleas, they don’t create an infestation on your skin or hair. Instead, bed bugs live in the room and hide in your mattress, bed frame, box spring, couch, and other furniture, and come out once in a while (mainly at night) to bite humans and feed on blood.
However, just because they can’t cling to your skin doesn’t mean you’re exempt from their wrath whenever you travel. Bed bugs tend to hitchhike onto your clothes, luggage, and shoes, which is how you can unknowingly bring them home.
Do Bed Bugs Drown?
Yes, bed bugs drown, just like any other animal. A bed bug will suffocate and die pretty quickly if they are cut off from a source of oxygen.
This is why running infested beddings and sheets into washing machines are highly effective in getting rid of them. Hot water and soap will be more than enough to drown and eventually kill bed bugs.
High temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit will also kill bed bugs, provided that it is sustained for at least a minute. It would do you much good to run other paraphernalia through the highest setting in your dryer.
However, it’s highly unlikely that a bed bug would “drown” while you were showering. On a more positive note, showering will flush bed bugs down the drain.
Can Bed Bugs Stay On Your Body All Day?
A bed bug probably won’t stay on your body all day because it won’t make your body its home. They won’t crawl over your bare skin, especially if you’re up and moving. Bed bugs stay in an environment where they won’t be noticed.
Having said that, bed bugs get on your clothes, shoes, bags, or luggage to hitchhike. You’ll probably find them just chilling inside a secure pocket on your bags or luggage where they won’t be easily detected.
Can They Live On Your Body?
No, you won’t find bed bugs living on your body.
A bed bug has more traits in common with mosquitoes than the lice and fleas that they are often compared to. Bed bugs live in the environment and will only leave their hiding places if it’s time to feed on your blood.
On the other hand, lice and fleas live on your body. They’ll only leave their hosts if they know that there is another host available.
Where Can You Get Bed Bugs?
Contrary to the myth, bed bugs are not the result of poverty or poor housekeeping — cleanliness has nothing to do with them. The chances of getting them from a five-star hotel are more or less the same as you getting it from furniture in a dark, dingy house.
You also cannot grow them organically from dirty surroundings. Here are some of the most common ways bed bugs spread:
Friends and Family
A visiting friend or family member might bring bed bugs to you without knowing it. The inverse is also true — if you visit a family or friend who has bed bugs at home, the bugs might hitch a ride onto your clothes or belongings, which will be more than enough to start an infestation in your own home.
Bed bugs infest the workplace now and then, although this is quite rare as they hardly have many feeding opportunities. Usually, their presence at the workplace can be attributed to an employee who may have brought it to work.
Bed bugs love densely-populated living spaces, so you’ll probably get them if your neighbor’s place has them. If you live in an apartment complex or a condo, you may be more susceptible. This is one of the quickest ways bed bugs reproduce and start severe infestations.
We strongly advise against buying used furniture, especially used mattresses. You never know if these could hide the rogue bed bug! If you have to buy used furniture, make sure to subject it to heat treatment first or have it checked before bringing it into your home.
Bed bugs are some of nature’s best hitchhikers. You are more susceptible to them if you are a frequent traveler — you can get them from the mattresses in hotel or motel rooms or wherever you’re sleeping somewhere unfamiliar.
Lastly, you can get bed bugs in public transport, since this is an area plenty of people frequent. People can unknowingly carry bed bugs with them when they use public transportation.
Myth or Fact:
Do Bed Bugs Get In Your Skin
No, bed bugs can’t get in your skin. Their bodies, about the size of an apple seed, couldn’t possibly get into the minuscule pores of your skin — unless you had a large, gaping wound (and even then, we’re pretty sure they wouldn’t prefer to get in!). So, no, this is a myth.
Do Bed Bugs Get Into Your Private Parts
This, again, is one of the biggest myths surrounding bed bugs, which we assume come from people who like sleeping commando. No, bed bugs can’t get into your private parts.
Bed bugs bite smooth, exposed skin with little hair, so they naturally prefer open areas like the skin on your back, arms, and legs. They will not go through so much effort to move across your body and bite the skin on your private parts. This is even true for people who don’t wear underwear to sleep.
Do Bed Bugs Lay Their Eggs In Your Hair
No, bed bugs cannot lay their eggs in your hair. This is another myth.
Bed bugs lack the necessary legs to wade through hair, so they’d prefer to feed on you than on your pet. Moreover, they do not want to lay their eggs on your skin because they’d rather lay their eggs in a dark corner of your mattress or furniture where they can remain safe.
Do Bed Bugs Lay Eggs In Your Ear
They can lay their eggs in your ear, but it will be highly unlikely.
They are ectoparasites, meaning instead of living inside their hosts, they naturally prefer to hide near or around their hosts.  For this reason alone, we can generally rule out the idea of bed bugs laying eggs in your ear.
But then again, we have heard horror stories of other pests like ticks and cockroaches that have made their way to people’s ears, so who can say for sure?
Do Bed Bugs Lay Their Eggs In Your Nose
The same reasoning applies here — we don’t think they want to lay their eggs in your nose.
A big part of their framework is to stay away from their human hosts as much as possible. If you’ve noticed, bed bugs lay eggs where it’s dark and safe, like your mattress, box spring, or furniture.
Also, your continuous breathing and the huge likelihood that you’ll probably notice if they were to get into your nose anyway would be enough hindrance for them not to want to give it a try.
Do bed bugs attach themselves to you?
No, bed bugs do not attach themselves to you. After bed bugs feed on human blood, they’ll run off to a safe place to rest instead of attaching themselves to your body.
That being said, they can cling to your clothes, belongings, and shoes, which is what first starts the bed bug infestation.
Does showering get bed bugs off you?
Yes, showering does get bed bugs off you, provided they were clinging to you in the first place (which they are unlikely to do). They do not have the appropriate legs to cling onto wet human skin and will easily be washed off during a shower.
Can you get bed bugs on the bus?
Yes, you can get bed bugs on the bus. A shared bus seat is one of the areas where you can get bed bugs from. They can attach themselves to your clothes, bags, or shoes, and you can unknowingly bring them home.
How long do bed bugs stay on skin?
Bed bugs probably won’t stay on your skin for too long. They prefer to live in the environment instead of directly on their human host. Evolution has taught these pests to keep their distance from their hosts and only engage when they’re asleep so they don’t get disturbed while they’re feeding on blood. But are bed bugs attracted to certain blood types?
So, Do Bed Bugs Stay On Your Skin After A Shower?
No, bed bugs do not stay on your skin after a shower.
Bed bugs do not stay on your skin, period. They only come out to bite and feed and prefer open areas of your skin and body. Bed bugs hide in dark, peaceful corners, where they won’t be noticed or disturbed.
It’s also impossible to get them on other body parts, like your hair, ears, nose, or private parts, because bed bugs hide from humans until it’s safe for them to feed.
It can be difficult to get rid of bed bugs due to their tenacity. It’s best to contact licensed pest control companies who can do the job of killing bed bugs or getting rid of the existing infestation for you.
Alene Schill is a property manager from Columbus, Ohio, who has dealt with numerous pest control agencies. She helps families find the perfect homes and knows very well that bed bugs are an ultimate deal-breaker. She enjoys cycling around Scioto Mile during her spare time.