Can Bed Bugs Live in Your Hair?

Hearing about bed bugs or similar insects makes the majority of people extremely uncomfortable and squeamish. Imagining anything crawling on your body is far from pleasant, so a lot of people are worried, and they naturally wonder — can bed bugs live in your hair?

Can they stay in your clothes for a long time? Here you will find the answers to these questions.

What You Should Know About Bed Bugs Infestations

Insignificant infestations of bed bugs in homes are quite common, and they are often difficult to find. You might get an occasional bite from a bed bug and not even realize what has happened, especially if you don’t get any reaction.

Luckily, bed bugs are not as harmful as many people think, as they are not carriers of infections. However, do bed bugs stay in your hair? This is the question that makes a lot of people wonder.

How can bed bugs get on your head?

If you are afraid of finding bed bug eggs in the hair, you might be happy to hear that this won’t happen. Bed bugs can bite any part of the human body, but they don’t live in the hair the same way that lice do.

The reason is that the bodies and legs of bed bugs are anatomically not suited for crawling through the hair on the bodies of humans and animals.

Bed bug on human skin

Another reason is that bed bugs prefer living in environments that are cooler than the human body. Bed bugs can bite any part of the exposed skin, but they will then retreat to the environment where they can survive.

It’s unlikely that bed bugs will even bite the skin of the scalp, as they will find it difficult to get there through the hair. It is a lot more common to get a bite on the neck, legs, hands, or face.

Not a lot of people know, but bed bugs don’t spread diseases, which is why their bites don’t require any special treatment. At the same time, it is recommended to restrain from scratching their bites because there will be an increased risk of contracting a secondary infection.

If you experience intense itching, the best solution is to take an antihistamine tablet and then apply some antiseptic cream to the affected area.

Symptoms of bed bugs in hair

Identifying bed bug bites without seeing the actual insect can be quite difficult as they are frequently mistaken for those left by others. The first thing to know about bed bug bites is that they usually leave several red bite marks in a row.

Depending on a person’s individual reaction, there can be itching and irritation. If a person doesn’t have hair, it is possible for them to get bed bug bites on the head.

Many bed bugs under of the mattress

In addition to seeing symptoms on the skin, a good way to determine whether your bite marks have been caused by bed bugs is by taking a careful look at your environment. For instance:

  • If you haven’t seen live bed bugs in your house but suspect that you might have an infestation, there are other things you can notice. When you change bedding in your home, you should carefully look for small red or brown stains that come from crushed bugs. This could be one of the main signs that you have an infestation in your house.
  • If you see tiny eggshells or eggs when cleaning the house or changing the bedding, it is possible that they come from bed bugs. Also, bed bugs shed their skins when they grow, and they can also be found if there is an infestation in your home.
  • There can also be small dark excrement marks left on the fabric by bed bugs. Keep in mind that they are no larger than marker spots, so they can be difficult to notice.

It would be a good idea to examine all corners of your house if you were away for some time. You should pay special attention to dark and cool places in your home where bed bugs are especially likely to hide.

Do bed bugs stay on your body?

Where do bed bugs hide on your body and hair? The answer is simple — they don’t hide on your body as they tend to bite and leave. Fortunately for people, the human body is a completely uninhabitable place for bed bugs.

During one bite, bed bugs feed for about 3-7 minutes, and, if a person sleeps at that moment, they might feel only slight itching or even nothing at all. After that, bed bugs will hide for several weeks and lay eggs somewhere in the house.

lots of yellow bed bugs

Hotter temperatures negatively affect bed bugs, so you won’t find them hiding near stoves or other well-heated places. At the same time, they can survive and live in temperatures that reach as low as 46°F.

For this reason, if you want to get rid of bed bugs in your place, one of the methods is using heat. One thing to note is that there are different types of bed bugs, and tropical ones can be eliminated only in temperatures higher than 113°F.

The places where you can find bed bugs vary depending on your house. The most common places for bed bug infestation include mattresses, seams, bed frame cracks, and spots close to piping. In the case of heavier infestations, it is possible to find bed bugs in:

  • curtains;
  • different electrical appliances;
  • cushions;
  • corners between the walls and ceiling;
  • wall decorations and hangings;
  • loosely attached wallpaper.

Bed bugs don’t require a lot of space, which is why they can be found anywhere. If you want to get rid of them, it’s important to look through all the nooks and crannies in the house, as they hide easily.

Traveling: can bed bugs get in your hair or on your body?

Bed bugs can travel with people from one place to another, but not in a way that many people imagine. If you imagine that they stay on the body while a person travels, this is not the case.

The most common way these insects can get from one place to another is in the clothes that you have in your bag. If you realized that you stayed or slept somewhere where you could potentially get bed bugs on your clothes or belongings, you should take the following measures:

  1. Wash all your clothes, including your bag, in hot water.
  2. If you can, dry your clothes on the highest setting or iron them afterward.
  3. Carefully look through all your belongings for any signs of bed bugs (live insects, excrements, marks on clothes, etc.).
  4. If you have a lot of crevices in your suitcase, and you cannot wash it properly, it is a good idea to get a new one.
  5. If possible, use a flashlight or even a magnifying glass to look for insects in your belongings.

High temperatures effectively kill bed bugs, so by using this method, you don’t even need to apply special pesticides. When you are on the go, you can get rid of smaller infestations in your belongings without a lot of trouble.

dead little bed bug

To prevent getting bed bugs on your belongings, you should avoid placing your suitcase directly on the floor or bed. If you suspect that there could be insects in the wardrobe, try not to unpack your clothes at all. It is a good idea to hang your bag on the rack or stand so that there is some distance between your bag and the walls.

How to get rid of bed bugs in your house?

If you suspect that there might be a bed bug infestation in your house, there are several things you can do. Before contacting pest control specialists or purchasing pesticides to use on your own, you can try the following steps:

  1. Thoroughly clean your house and eliminate any clutter that you might have.
  2. Make sure that you vacuum floors, molding, furniture, bed, and around windows every day in the area where you suspect an infestation. Once you finish vacuuming for a day, you should empty the vacuum bag outside and get rid of its contents.
  3. Wash your bedding and blankets and then place them in the dryer on the highest setting for 30 minutes or more.

In the case of serious infestation, the mentioned methods can be too time-consuming and not effective enough. If this is the case, you will likely have to resort to the use of pesticides.

When it comes to using such products, the best strategy is to contact a professional pest control team who can get rid of bed bugs not only quickly but also safely.

A person from the bedbug extermination service checks

There are some pesticides that can be purchased by homeowners, but it’s important to make sure that you follow the safety rules. Only products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States can be used to eliminate bed bugs.

Regardless of the selected pesticide, you should avoid applying it to your body. There are also special outdoor pesticides that shouldn’t be used indoors under any circumstances.

If you decide to contact a pest control company, you should make sure that they are properly registered, and their specialists have all the corresponding licenses that enable them to work with pesticides.

FAQ About Bed Bugs

There are many myths and misconceptions that surround the behavior of bed bugs. Below, I would like to answer the most frequent questions that people have when dealing with these pests.

Can bed bugs live in the hair for a long time?

No. Bed bugs are different from fleas and lice, and they don’t live in fur and hair.

Can bed bugs live in your pillow?

Bed bugs can live in bedding and pillows, but mostly when a bed has been left for some time.

Do bed bugs wash off in the shower?

Yes. If you have a live bed bug on you, it’s easy to wash it off in the shower. Since they don’t live in the hair, like fleas and lice, they can be quickly removed from the exposed skin.

Can you feel bed bugs crawling on your skin?

Depending on the person, some people can notice crawling and itching while others might not. As bed bugs often feed during the night, a lot of people don’t feel anything and find bite marks only afterward.

Eliminate Bed Bugs in a Few Steps

If you were worried about whether tiny bed bugs in the hair can live there, you can be sure that these insects don’t prefer to live on human bodies. At the same time, bed bugs can bite any body part they can get to, so you should eliminate any infestations you might have.

It is recommended to deep clean your house and get to any hard-to-reach places where bed bugs can live. There exist products that can be purchased by homeowners, and there are more powerful solutions that are used by professionals in the case of heavier infestations.

Have you ever had to deal with a bed bug infestation? Were you able to handle this issue on your own, or did you employ professionals to help you out? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

Also read:

References

  • Bed Bugs – What They Are and How to Control Them (Department of Health)
    https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/pests/bedbugs.htm
  • How to Find Bed Bugs (United States Environmental Protection Agency)
    https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/how-find-bed-bugs
  • Bed Bugs FAQs (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
    https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/bedbugs/faqs.html
Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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