Bed bugs are among the most annoying infestations you’ll have to deal with. The little pests are very small – about the size of an apple seed – and blend in to fabric of all types. They can hide, squeezing themselves into the smallest of spaces where you can’t see them. The most disturbing fact about bed bugs is that they come out when you’re asleep to bite you and feast on your blood, leaving irritating, bumpy bites on your skin. Horrible? Yes. While bed bugs get their name because, you guessed it, they like to hang out in beds, you’ll find them other places, like luggage and couches. Another spot you might encounter them is a sleeping bag.
Keep Bed Bugs Off of You While Sleeping
How annoying is it that the time when bed bugs actually come out of hiding is when you’re fast asleep? How are you supposed to combat that?
Well, there are many ways you can control your situation, even while you sleep:
- Pesticides: Many different sprays are available that use chemicals designed to kill bed bugs. Most use pyrethrins, pyrethroids, dessicants, or insect growth inhibitor. Spray it in a perimeter around your bed frame, mattress, and box spring and kill the bugs before they ever get a chance to come near you.
- Tape: Insect tape or even extra-sticky carpet tape can work to trap bed bugs on their journey to get to you. Lay down this double-sided tape all around your bed, around each bed leg, on your bed frame and headboard, and sides of your box spring. When the bugs try and get up onto your mattress, they’ll be forced to cross the tape layer and get stuck in its adhesive, unable to move.
- Natural methods: If you don’t want to go the route of man-made products, use what nature has already provided. Essential oils have so many uses, one of them being pest control. Clove, peppermint, and eucalyptus have been shown to be a repellent to bed bugs; put 5 drops of each into 2 cups of water and spray all over your bed, bedding, and perimeter. Not only can the oils turn any bugs right around; they can also end up killing them.
- Diatomaceous Earth: This white powder is effective for killing bugs of many different types. To the touch, it’s soft and powdery. But on the microscopic level, it’s made of sharp little crystals. When a small, fragile bug crawls across it, its underbelly will get scratched up and ruined, hurting and drying the insect out to the point of death. Although death isn’t instantaneous, it happens fairly quickly and works for almost all types of bugs. Sprinkle the powder in a continuous pile around your bed’s perimeter; you can even sprinkle it across your bedspread.
Bed bugs can hide anywhere, but it’s true that they’re most abundant in a mattress and box spring.
Sleeping Bags That Will Keep Bed Bugs Away
So what about sleeping bags? Can they help with bed bugs?
One thing to remember is that bed bugs can latch onto pretty much any fabric, including sleeping bags. And considering the fact that a sleeping bag has a lot of folds and a very large, deep cavity, it can be easy to miss any bugs hiding there. That being said, it’s important to know that sleeping bags can help with a bed bug problem.
Here’s some ways:
- You won’t have to touch any bedding: If a hotel is suspicious, you won’t even have to pull back the sheets and risk touching them if you’ve got a sleeping bag you can use instead.
- Encloses your body: Many sleeping bags can be tied up around your neck, making a cocoon-like enclosure that shuts bugs out.
- Portable: Turn any area into your bed with a sleeping bag. With the right padding, even a bathtub can be a bed. If you’re staying somewhere that’s questionable, a sleeping bag gives you the freedom of moving your bed to wherever you want it to be, and not where the bed bugs might be going.
Have you ever considered wrapping your mattress in a cover? Not only can it keep more bed bugs from getting inside, but it can also trap the ones already in there from ever getting out. Find details on the best bed bug mattress cover here.
Treat it with repellent
If you’re using a sleeping bag somewhere you’re afraid bed bugs might be, it’s a good idea to carry a repellent with you, just in case. Fill up a travel spray bottle with water, then put in 5 drops each of oils like clove, cinnamon, tea tree, peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus. Spray the mixture liberally around both the outside and inside of your sleeping bag. Let dry. The residual oils left behind will deter any bed bugs that might want to come to crawl around.
Use a sleeping bag liner
There are liners you can buy that go inside your sleeping bag, otherwise known as “travel sheets.” Basically, they’re an encasement of sheets, made to fit right inside your bag.
The purpose of a sleeping bag liner is:
- Extra warmth.
- Added cleanliness.
- More comfort.
When it comes to bed bugs, liners can help by giving an extra layer of protection between your skin and the bugs. You’ll slip it in into the sleeping bag and can bring it up around your neck and make a “seal, ” in a way, to block bugs getting past.
Some products to consider when thinking about a sleeping bag liner:
- Travelon Sleeping Sac Bed Bug Barrier: This liner offers comfort while still being lightweight enough to travel with.
- Lifeventure Cotton Sleeper: Rest easy knowing that your sleeping situation is clean and controlled with this handy liner.
Should I bring a sleeping bag to a hotel? How to avoid bed bugs when you’re there
Before you stay at a hotel, do some research to see if you might need to worry about bed bugs. There’s even a registry you can search that will list any hotel or facility reported to have ever had bed bugs – what happened and what was done about it. If you become nervous, you might want to bring a sleeping bag.
Although it’s not going to be 100% effective at making sure bed bugs don’t get you, a sleeping bag will separate you from the infested bed/bedding, and creates more of an encasement around your body that bugs have a harder time getting through. Don’t get your bag out until right before you sleep, and then secure it tightly up around your face (make sure not to cover your face completely, or you might cut off your air supply!). As soon as it’s morning, check yourself for bites, clean off the exterior of your bag, check it for bugs, then turn it inside out and do the same on the other side.
You may need to get rid of bed bugs, but don’t want to use any kinds of chemicals or toxins to do so. If you want to know more about home remedies for bed bugs, go here.
Top 5 Sleeping Bags
Don’t just hope that your hotel has gotten rid of their bed bugs – take the matter into your hands and bring a sleeping bag to protect yourself. Ideally, the establishment will have treated the place long before you stayed there, but if that isn’t the case, a sleeping bag can help.
Here are 5 of the best you’ll find for the situation:
- All Season Mummy Sleeping Bag: This fluffy bag is tapered to fit the shape of your body, cutting down on any extra spaces or folds bed bugs would try to hide. Once zipped up, there’s only a small space where part of your face shows through, which is helpful, since it cuts down the space that bugs could get through.
- The North Face Aleutian Sleeping Bag: A stellar feature on this sleeping bag is that it can cinch up at the face, making the opening into the bag even smaller than normal and preventing bed bugs from freely getting in to your skin. Also, the outside of it has less seams than most sleeping bags, meaning there will be less places for bugs to try and hide.
- Magellan Kids’ Outdoor Mummy Sleeping Bag: Kids stay in hotels, too, and can also be victims of bed bugs. With this child-sized bag, they’ll be snug and separated from the room and any insects that might come crawling through.
- Magellan Outdoors Mummy Sleeping Bag: Something great about this product is the way it conforms to the top of your head, making the tight seal around your head and face even better and more comfortable.
- SYNCYOO Travel Camping Sheet: This travel sheet is a liner you can put inside your sleeping bag for extra warmth, or just for further cleanliness. For an added protection against bed bugs, spray the sheet with a repellent and let dry before using.
When you’re worried about bed bugs, consider sleeping bags. Although not immune to an infestation, they’re easier to shut bugs out than a regular bed is, and can come with you anywhere you go. Let sleeping bags become part of your routine when getting rid of bed bugs for good.