Can You Get Bed Bugs from Camping?

Can You Get Bed Bugs from Camping?

Bed bugs are a leading cause of camping fatalities because people often lack proper bedding.

You could bring your own bed if you planned to sleep in the outdoors regularly. However, you might run into trouble each time you stay in an Airbnb rental or hotel in the city.

You can get bed bugs from these establishments if you stay on the bed in your Uber-turned-hit-and-trial mode. So, can you get bed bugs from camping?

The answer is yes, but there’s not much risk of contracting these pests outdoors on actual land. You can get bed bugs from camping, but it’s unlikely since you’re outdoors and away from a bed most of the time.

Let’s dive into this problem for more information.

Can You Catch Bed Bugs While Camping?

Despite their rarity, bed bugs are annoying little creatures with a habit of traveling and spreading themselves quite easily.

Bed bugs often spread in areas infested by pets or people because they don’t tend to travel more than a few hundred meters from their host.

The likelihood of acquiring them rises when staying in hotels and Airbnb rentals, where the host may not have any clue about the critters in their apartment.

Bed bugs follow people, and will often find a comfortable shelter in suitcases even if you have nothing in them except clothes.

Bed bugs, on the other hand, can not traverse outside their host’s body as easily as fleas do.

Is It Common to See Bed Bugs Outside?

The good news is you won’t have to worry about bed bugs catching a ride back with you on your clothes or suitcases if you’re camping outdoors.

In fact, they are not on airplanes at all, so there’s virtually no chance of catching them in transit.

They want to live near blood but they prefer the smell and warmth of your body to that of a shoe or backpack and will leave that behind to reach you.

So you won’t discover them creeping out from your suitcase when camping because you have nothing but a sleeping bag.

The good news is that bed bug bites don’t cause disease like mosquito bites do and with proper treatment the itch and swelling will decrease within a few days or weeks.

Do Bed Bugs Live in Sleeping Bags?

Bed bugs are tiny insects that live and feed on the blood of animals.

After feeding on blood, they hide in mattresses, box springs, and bed frames during the day.

Although they are commonly found and fed on in humans, bed bugs will not bite humans without provocation and will not live in your sleeping bag.

How Can You Get Bed Bugs While Camping?

You may pick up a few hitch hikers if you visit a crowded city or motel infested with bed bugs and bring along those unwanted travelers with you on your way home.

Many campers don’t have bed bug problems because they keep their sleeping bags zipped up when they’re not using them.

If your camping buddy has bed bites or you discover bed bugs in your tent or around your sleeping bag, you can treat the problem by purchasing a bed bug spray that will kill the adult.

This is why you must come into close contact with their hiding place when camping is nearby as you are most likely to find any bed bugs or their eggs in mattress seams.

Can Bed Bugs Live in Backpacks?

With so many dark pockets, nooks, and crannies a vehicle is an ideal place to hide an infestation of bed bugs.

Nonetheless, it is unlikely that you will bring any bed bugs home with you from your camping trip unless you come in contact with a mattress infested with them.

The most common method to obtain bed bugs in your backpack is to bring home some from your hotel room if you are traveling.

Can Bed Bugs Live on Inflatable Mattresses?

Mattresses are preferred over beds because they provide large areas of contact with the skin and more easy access to feeding.

This is because these bugs prefer mattresses and bedding over beds because the bugs will not travel far to feed and an enclosed space ensures their security.

They are not able to live on these surfaces because they do not have a supply of blood to feed on.

Partially correct is that you have more access to feeding and contact with skin on mattresses than on beds.

While you sleep, it is when you are most likely to come in contact with a bed bug on your mattresses.

It has many folds and sometimes loose stuffing that provides a more protective environment for them to hide in and bite you in your sleep.

Can Bed Bugs Infest a Camping Tent?

It’s quite probable that an infestation of bed bugs can infest your tent, and you will need to kill them.

They reside in any tight, enclosed space and can make a home in your tent just like they can in any home or building.

However, they may survive in a tent longer as they will not have blood supplies like they would in your home or building.

If you are sleeping somewhere that’s safe, you should not expect to have bed bugs in you tent at all.

You may use a camping tent for decorative purposes or as a temporary structure to sleep in, but you should not do so if you are sleeping somewhere that is unsafe.

Bedbugs like that space so that they can crawl over you while you sleep and feast on your blood.

Can Bed Bugs Infest Sleeping Bags?

A bed bug likes to feed on the blood in human skin, so it must be attracted to the skin of a human when they are inside you sleeping bag.

They’ll even go as far as hiding in your shoes and walking about your house at night while you’re asleep.

Sleeping bags are excellent hiding places for this pest, so you should be very careful about buying one to get to sleep outside or in your tent.

How Can You Avoid Getting Bed Bugs While Camping?

Some campers choose to sleep in a sleeping back or a ground sheet instead of in a tent.

It may possibly protect you if bed bugs are in the sleeping bag, but it will prove useless if they become trapped in the tent.

Laundering is the easiest and most effective way to avoid getting bed bugs while you’re camping.

They are killed with heat so you can’t do that by washing them with water alone.

Most modern types of sleeping bags can be washed, but it is not for tents unless it has really small holes that bed bugs could crawl through.

Prior to taking your sleeping bag home, you should remove the fabric tags and wash it separately from the rest of your clothing.

From there, put it somewhere where bed bugs can not get to it and wait until it is dry and thoroughly aired before you bring it into your home.

Wash the bag according to the instructions on the tag, which should give you an idea of how often you should wash it.

Also Read: Can Bed Bugs Live In Pillows?


In the event of bedbugs, you simply must discover the source of infestation and eradicate the bed bugs.

And you may also get other insects like scorpions and spiders, too.

If it happens, you need to solve the problem as soon as possible.

Don’t let it stop you from experiencing the great outdoors again.

Author James