How to Prevent Insect Bites While Sleeping: 15 Steps

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How to Prevent Insect Bites While Sleeping: 15 Steps
How to Prevent Insect Bites While Sleeping: 15 Steps

If you wake up in the morning and find bug bite marks on your skin or plan to sleep in an open area with a particularly worrisome insect population, there are things you can do to avoid bug bites while you sleep. To prevent insect bites while sleeping at home, you should do a thorough cleaning and change of sheets, get rid of fleas that roam your home, and protect your home to prevent future pests from entering. If you want to avoid bug bites while sleeping in the wild, build your camp as far from the nest as possible, apply insect repellent before going to bed, and try to wrap yourself as tightly as possible. Whether you choose to sleep indoors or outdoors, you can actually get rid of insects with a few simple steps.


Part 1 of 3: Stopping Insect Bites at Home

Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 1
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 1

Step 1. Determine the type of insect that bit you

To prevent possible insect bites in the future, you need to know the type of insect that bit you. Bed bug/bedbug bites, which are most commonly found around the house, leave large, red, blotchy bite marks. If you've ever been bitten by a mosquito, bed bug bites look very similar.

  • Flea bites will cause smaller red marks. Bites caused by fleas are often found around the ankles or lower legs. If you have pets, take them to the vet to make sure they don't have fleas. Usually the local vet's office also sells flea control.
  • Head lice bites are usually found on the scalp. You may not be able to see it, so ask a friend or family member to check it out. Head lice bites are itchy and red. These bites can also appear on other parts of the body that are covered with hair.
  • You shouldn't mistake other irritants for insect bites. Allergies can cause the same redness and swelling, as can toxic chemicals like pesticides or chemical solvents. Emotional stress and anxiety can also cause similar symptoms.
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 2
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 2

Step 2. Change the sheets

To prevent insects from getting into your mattress and biting you at night, change and wash your sheets frequently. Dead skin cells will fall off and fill the bed, and these cells will attract insects. Changing your sheets every two weeks might not be so bad, but it's a good idea to change your sheets every week.

  • Even if you can't see them, you can be sure that these fleas can be found on your mattress. Tiny microscopic fleas called dust mites can bite you at night. These fleas are attracted to dead skin cells that stick to dirty sheets.
  • Use hot water and soap to thoroughly clean the sheets. Make sure you hang it up to dry completely. Damp sheets can grow mold.
  • If you've washed your sheets, but still find bite marks or bugs on your mattress, buy new sheets. This step may be a little expensive, but you will feel the benefits in the long run.
  • Try to move the bed so it doesn't stick to the wall. A few inches of space is helpful because you will limit the ability of the fleas to move from the wall to the bed.
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 3
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 3

Step 3. Tuck the sheets under the mattress

Most fleas will escape through gaps in the mattress that are left open. It's therefore a good idea to minimize the areas where ticks build nests. Don't let the sheets fall to the floor.

  • Remember that bed bugs cannot fly or jump. You can take advantage of this limitation of movement by tucking the sheets under the mattress.
  • However, if you have a mite problem, it's best not to make your bed. By not making your bed, you will remove moisture from the sheets and mattress. Eventually, the mites will dehydrate and die. Mites need moisture to survive, so a dry environment will kill them.
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 4
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 4

Step 4. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the mattress regularly

Just getting rid of fleas from the mattress is not enough. You'll need to use a vacuum cleaner to kill any fleas that remain. In addition, you should also clean the particle debris from the carpet. Any dirt will attract insects to your place. To ensure that the carpet is free from all kinds of insects in the future, clean it frequently with a vacuum cleaner.

  • Use a different vacuum cleaner head to get to hard-to-reach places, such as the area behind the headboard or the area along the edge of the carpet. Make sure you move the bed and its usual location. You must clean the entire carpet covering the floor.
  • If you don't use a carpet, you can use a mop with soap and water to clean the area around the bed.
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 5
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 5

Step 5. Get rid of standing water around the house

Even though there is no swimming pool or large pool of water around the house, that does not mean insects are not attracted to come. Mosquitoes lay their eggs near water sources, therefore mosquitoes will take advantage of standing water that can be found around your house.

  • Punch holes in open containers, such as trash cans, that may have water in them.
  • Change the water frequently in bird baths and pet drinking bowls. These places become the target of mosquitoes to lay eggs and breed.
  • Don't leave a pot, basin, or glass filled with water alone.

Part 2 of 3: Taking Greater Precautions at Home

Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 6
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 6

Step 1. Take the blankets and comforter to the laundry for washing

Bringing oversized bedding to your local laundromat for a thorough wash can prevent future pests from coming. Tell them your problem. Many laundries use relatively safe chemicals during the washing process to prevent insects from nesting in the fabric.

  • If you have a more serious pest problem, enlist the help of a professional house cleaning service to deal with fleas. However, before taking this step, make sure first that there are fleas living on your mattress because this kind of service is quite expensive.
  • You can also buy mattress covers designed to repel bed bugs. The mattress cover will cover the entire mattress and contain chemicals that can repel fleas. Ticks trapped in the sheath will die.
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 7
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 7

Step 2. Replace the bed frame

This precaution may not need to be considered, unless you have a very serious case of insect bites. Lice often hide in wooden frames. So, replacing the wooden frame with an iron frame can get rid of the presence of fleas. The wooden frame is also tightly attached to the floor, making it easier for fleas to move from the floor to the bed.

If possible, avoid using a headboard. The headboard is a breeding ground for insects, and fleas can easily sneak through the wood pores onto the sheets. If you need a headboard for sleeping, try choosing a metal headboard

Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 8
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 8

Step 3. Protect the house well

If the arrival of insects can be prevented, the chances of you being bitten by insects at night can be avoided. You also don't have to spend a fortune to buy new furniture or pay for professional cleaning.

  • Seal any gaps or cracks near the pipe or cable. Smaller insects can easily break through this narrow path.
  • Use a quality silicone or latex acrylic putty to seal small holes around doors or windows. If the hole is bigger you will need a tougher putty, such as stone slab or mortar.
  • The insects that bite you may be very small, so installing mosquito nets on doors and windows may not help much. Close any gaps if possible.
  • Improving sanitation in general can help deal with your insect problem. Do not leave food on the table overnight and always clean up spilled food crumbs.
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 9
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 9

Step 4. Seek help from a professional exterminator

If you can't get rid of this insect problem completely, it may be time to seek professional help. Professional pest control companies use the evaporation method mixed with insecticide. Starting with the steam is the best way to go, and the insecticide will kill any fleas that escape during the evaporation.

  • Make sure that the professional exterminator you call uses an insecticide that contains d-phenothrin as the active ingredient. D-phenothrin is widely used to kill annoying small insects, such as bed bugs. It's almost certain that the root of your problem is a little animal like this.
  • If you don't want to spend money to hire an exterminator, you can try steaming yourself. You may have to buy your own cleaning kit. Make sure the appliance emits low steam at a high temperature.
  • Stand as close to the tick as possible. Perform the movement at a speed of about 2.5 cm per 10 seconds. Movements that are faster than that probably won't kill these annoying pests.

Part 3 of 3: Preventing Insect Bites in the Outdoors

Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 10
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 10

Step 1. Choose a camping site in an insect-free area

Look for information where insects usually congregate. You may not have to deal with these little animals while out in the wild. Although insects can be found anywhere, usually these animals are around puddles. If you're camping in a warm, humid climate, you should avoid ponds or lakes with standing water.

  • It's best to find a camping spot on higher ground. It would be even better if you pitch your tent on a hillside. Avoiding low, flat areas will keep you away from pools of standing water.
  • Stay on high ground, even if the camping area is quite dry. Rain that falls, even if only briefly, will attract insects to your area.
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 11
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 11

Step 2. Purchase a waterproof tent

If you use a traditional tent that doesn't provide enough protection against the weather, insects can enter the tent more easily. Waterproof tents, although more expensive, provide excellent protection against insects. This will prevent insect bites from occurring while you sleep.

Waterproof tents are thicker, but they have better airflow than traditional tents and you won't notice the larger area of protection around them. Fresh air will flow in and out easily

Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 12
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 12

Step 3. Buy a mosquito net

In addition to a waterproof tent, you may need to purchase a mosquito net as an added precaution. The mosquito net system is very effective at protecting against insect attacks during the day. Mosquito nets are also very suitable to be installed around hammocks. You can rest comfortably while enjoying a nap.

  • You can also try a mosquito net that can stand on its own. Basically this mosquito net is shaped like a small tent, supported by a plastic or metal frame that can be easily stored. The size of the mosquito net allows it to be installed inside the tent, and once the main tent zipper is closed, insects will not be able to enter.
  • If you go camping without a tent, use wedge mosquito netting. The mosquito net hangs from two suspension points, covering the sleeping bag or rollaway bed you take outdoors. This type of mosquito net is easy to install and the price is quite affordable.
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 13
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 13

Step 4. Apply insect repellent cream before going to bed

Make sure you use a product that is safe for your skin as certain insect repellents are made to be sprayed into the air. Choosing products that contain the active ingredients DEET or picaridin are often powerful enough to repel insects.

  • You have to be careful before using bug spray. Do not spray in an enclosed area, such as a tent. Spray only on exposed skin, it is not recommended to spray skin covered by clothing.
  • If you want to use bug spray on your face, it's best to spray it on your palms first, then rub it into your face. Spraying it directly into the eyes can be bad.
  • Always check the label on the insect repellent package before you apply it to your skin. Using the wrong product can be toxic and very dangerous.
  • Look for a more natural way to repel mosquitoes by making natural insect repellents. You can use lemon eucalyptus oil to vanilla extract or a variety of products that are easily available to make a simple concoction.
  • It may take some time to perfect this simple concoction recipe. Remember that it's best if you don't release chemical toxins into the air.
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 14
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 14

Step 5. Burn the sage

Throw the sage sticks into the fire just before you go to bed to repel insects. Most people find the smell soothing, and it can be a better option than spraying chemicals around the campsite.

  • You can toss fresh or dried sage on the fire. Hang the sage in a cool, dry area for a week to allow it to dry completely. Dried sage can also be used to start a fire.
  • Other herbs, such as lavender and mint, can also be used to achieve similar results.
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 15
Avoid Insect Bites While Sleeping Step 15

Step 6. Close the body tightly

Do not leave skin exposed while in the woods. This will invite the bites of various insects. Mosquitoes, in particular, will forage from chewy meat. Maybe the heat will discourage you from wearing covered clothes, but you'll feel grateful when you don't have to scratch from those painful bug bites.

  • Make sure you wear long pants and socks to bed. Pull the socks over the hem of the trousers so insects can't get into the pajamas through the legs.
  • You can also wear long sleeves, and tuck the hem of the shirt into the waistband of your pants.
  • Sleepwear should be tight at the ankles, wrists, and collars. It may be impossible to completely cover the hands and neck area, but you can try to cover as much skin as possible.
  • Protect clothing with permethrin, a powerful insect repellent product to kill annoying insects.


If you are currently being bothered by bug bites while you sleep, see a dermatologist or entomologist to determine what type of insect bit you. This will also help if your problem is not related to insect bites. Sometimes an allergic reaction to the type of fabric used for the sheets can trigger hives that look like insect bites

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