Bed Bugs In Hair | Infestation Risks and Prevention Tips

Written by Thomas Matthews

The thought of having bedbugs in one’s hair is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. I mean these pesky parasites are bad enough when they infest the bed and all its surroundings let alone trying to nest in your hair. This article answers questions about the possibility of bed bugs nesting in your hair.

Can bed bugs live in your hair? Bed bugs can’t live in your hair, and there are two main reasons why they can’t live there:

  • Bed bug bodies and legs aren’t designed to navigate through human hair.

However just because they can’t “live” in your hair doesn’t mean that they can’t hitch a ride or hide in it. Bed bugs are the ideal hitchhikers and experts at finding places to hide. These parasites seem to have more going for them than against them, hence they are a real challenge to get rid of.

Their small nature allows them to crawl onto unsuspecting travelers and hide anywhere on the clothing, language, and yes you guessed it on hair as well!

This article gives an in-depth analysis of why you may have bedbugs in your hair. Sit tight, read through, and by the end of it, you will have a better understanding of how you found yourself harboring bed bugs in your hair and how to avoid a repeat of this unpleasant situation.

Why Have Bed Bugs Infested Your Hair?

Why Have Bed Bugs Infested Your Hair

There is a common misconception about bed bugs. Many people think that having bed bugs means that you are dirty, or that your home is filthy.

Actually, bed bugs have so often been associated with the lower class or the homeless that once you find yourself harboring them, you fall into some kind of stigma which brings about shame.

Why have bed bugs infested your hair? Well, simply put, you are the unfortunate victim of having stumbled upon an infestation. If you find your hair infested with bed bugs, it is because they were transferred there. You can rest easy knowing that bed bugs aren’t hatching in your hair, they are simply hiding in it until they can find a more suitable place to nest.

Their ideal nesting place is in the crevices of your bed where they can crawl to you while you are sleeping each night and feast comfortably before retreating back to the cool corners of your bedding.

How Did Bed Bugs Get into Your Hair?

Well, there are many possibilities of how bedbugs may have crawled into your hair:

  • You put on an infested weave/ hairpiece.
  • You sat in an infested bus/train/airplane, got comfortable, and leaned your head back onto the headrest.
  • You wore second-hand clothes/hat.
  • You used infested equipment to handle your hair/ cover your head.
  • You slept in an infested area.
  • Your home is infested.
  • You hugged someone who was carting around bedbugs and one transferred onto you etc. The list is endless because basically, you get bedbugs onto yourself by coming into contact with someone or something that is infested.

Can Bed Bugs Live in Your Pubic Hair?

The possibility of bed bugs living in your pubic hair is nearly impossible. First, for this to happen, you would have to be in a severely infested place. Second, even if you are swimming in bed bugs, your groin is a fairly warm region. It is hidden behind layers of clothing and locks of pubic hair making this region very warm and utterly impossible to have bed bugs make a home in it.

Might you spot a bed bug in your pubic hair? Yes. Might there even be some bed bug eggs over there too? Yes. However, it does not mean that your groin has somehow become a bed bug habitat.

It just simply means that you:

  • You were in a severely infested area and they migrated everywhere including into your private parts.
  • You wore infested underwear etc.

Can Bed Bug Eggs Live in Your Hair?

It is possible for bed bug eggs to live in your hair. They won’t be hatched there but once they got transferred there using the various means mentioned above, nothing prevents them from living in your hair. Living bed bugs have a problem navigating through the human head but since eggs do not have this problem, human hair is a possible resting place for them.

Bed bug eggs require an optimum temperature of 72°F to hatch. The normal temperature in your body is 98°F which is quite high and not ideal for the eggs to hatch. So yes, bed bug eggs may get transferred into your hair but hatching into nymphs while in your hair is another story altogether.

However, your body temperature may not be ideal to hatch the eggs but it is not enough to kill them. The eggs must be exposed to 118°F for a good 90 minutes for them to die. So in essence, your hair only acts as a vehicle until it can get transferred into better conditions where it will continue with the process of hatching.

How Did the Bed Bug Eggs Get into Your Hair?

  • You wore an infested hairpiece.
  • You wore an infested hat.
  • You used infested equipment to scratch/comb your hair etc.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Hair  

By now you may have an idea of how taxing it is trying to get rid of bed bugs, be it from your bed or in your hair. An infestation happens rather fast seeing as a bed bug population is capable of doubling in size every 16 days!

This quick succession in reproduction is what catches most people off guard and by the time they realize that their homes are infested, the little things are already biting their scalps.

Getting rid of bed bugs in your hair is not an easy task. It is as annoying as trying to get rid of lice in hair. It requires several carefully executed steps in order to be able to get rid of the bugs and their eggs too.

You can use ointments, shampoos, rubbing alcohol or even heat to extinguish the bugs. The steps involved are discussed further in our other article called – How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Hair – Easy Instructions. Here we gave you in-depth step-by-step instructions and even recommendations of the products to use in order to get rid of bed bugs.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Getting into My Hair

How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Getting into My Hair

Since human hair isn’t the ideal habitation spot for bed bugs, the reason you may have found yourself in this unfortunate predicament in the first place is covered thoroughly in the points above. 

So in essence, to prevent bed bugs from getting into your hair, you need to first:

  • Ensure that your home isn’t infested by treating it effectively for bed bugs.
  • Ensure that when you travel and sleep in hotels, cover your hair at night.
  • Ensure that once you come back home from traveling, your luggage is thoroughly cleaned and your clothes are washed to kill any hitchhiking bed bugs.
  • Ensure that if you are using a Laundromat, your clothes leave the dryer and go directly into plastic zip-lock bags, and fold your clothes at home.
  • But all in all, ensure that you regularly wash your hair and comb it out effectively because these pesky little parasites might be survivors but they can never survive in your hair if you are constantly cleaning it with the right combination of products.

Bed bugs are a common nuisance all around the world. They have recently multiplied and their presence is now an epidemic. Their characteristics of adjusting to and resisting the current chemicals used help further develop their survival skills.

The above pointers help you understand these little bugs and how to deal with their determination to not only move into your home but into your hair as well.

Having bed bugs in your hair is a sure sign of severe infestation because the human body acts as the perfect meal for these bugs but not as the ideal living habitat.

List of Sources

Potter M., Bed Bugs. Mystery Bites: Insect and Non-Insect Causes, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Krueger L. 2000. Don’t get bitten by the resurgence of bed bugs. Pest Control 68: 58-64.

Furman DP, Catts E. 1970. Manual of Medical Entomology, 3rd ed. National Press Books, Palo Alto, California.

Thomas Matthews
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