Bed bugs seem to have more going for them than against. We mean these parasites can even give the grizzly bear a fair fight when it comes to hibernation. Bed bugs can last without a meal for six to fourteen months, while the bear can survive for seven months, impressive, right?
Their unrivaled survival skills don’t stop there; not only that they can live long without food, but they are also experts at hiding, they feed without being noticed and multiply with impressive speed.
Before this turns out to be a praise report, bed bugs are also hard to eliminate, and this is no doubt the reason you are reading this post today. Worry not because while bed bug control and elimination are challenging, time-consuming, and downright expensive, all is not lost. This article focuses on bed bug removal from your hair.
How to get rid of bed bugs in hair:
- Step 1: Apply Neem oil or head lice shampoo or 91% rubbing alcohol with your regular shampoo. Work it into your scalp.
- Step 2: Leave the shampoo on your scalp for 15-20 minutes.
- Step 3: Rinse the shampoo out of your hair with warm water.
- Step 4: Comb out the bed bugs with a fine-toothed comb.
- Step 5: Rinse the comb.
- Step 6: Repeat step 4 then 5.
- Step 7: Repeat these 7 steps every two days until all the bugs are gone.
There are various ways and products of getting rid of bed bugs from your hair. While following the above method is the standard way of getting rid of these pests, additional challenges are bound to arise.
This article not only focuses on the various methods of bed bug removal from your hair but it also goes into details about home remedies and the various products found on the market.
How to Tell If Your Hair is Infested with Bed Bugs
One of the ways to tell if you have bed bugs in your hair is if you notice bites along your scalp line or feel the little things trying to navigate through the rough terrain that is your hair.
Another way is to literary see the little pests is to see their little white eggs in your hair. Now, while this may seem like an easy way to tell if you have bed bugs in your hair, it isn’t good news at all because by the time bed bugs are in your hair, it means you are dealing with an infestation.
Bed bugs are great at hitchhiking and thus they get transferred by hiding in traveler’s clothes, luggage, etc. They are also great at hiding and they multiply really quickly so knowing of their existence in your home or hair is, unfortunately, hard until you have an infestation on your hands.
Now, you may initially experience bites on your skin which can easily be dismissed as mosquito bites. This, unfortunately, means that you will not spend time looking for the bug that caused the bites and in the meantime, the little pest that had you for dinner goes on to lay eggs and start its own generation of little bloodsuckers.
A bed bug population multiplies every 16 days and since your hair isn’t their ideal habitation, it may be a while before they start biting your scalp. When might you eventually notice of having bed bugs in your hair?
When you have a full-blown infestation in your hands and they are now hiding even in your hair and making a meal out of your scalp.
Different Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Hair
Have you ever tried getting rid of lice from hair? If no, then, you are lucky and if yes, well, getting rid of bed bugs in your hair is much worse because the process doesn’t stop with a hair treatment, no, you need to be ready to treat your entire home.
If you stop at the hair treatment, well, you are better off having not treated your hair at all because two more nights in the same infested mattress and your hair will get infected again.
There are different ways of getting rid of bed bugs from your hair:
- Shave! Yes, if you can, this is very effective because you will have removed their hiding place and left the little pests exposed a situation that doesn’t go well with them. If shaving isn’t an option, then read on.
- Heat treatment e.g sitting in a sauna where the temperature ranges from 117°F to 122°F. This temperature is the ideal heat to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
- One of the ways bed bugs may have been transferred into your hair is through infested hairpieces. Removing these hairpieces, cleaning and treating your hair and leaving it to breathe in its natural form will go a long way into ensuring the little pests are eliminated from your hair.
- Using different bed bug treatment products. This is the go-to method for most and with it comes various ways of using the different products. These methods have the best success when applied frequently until the bugs are completely terminated from your hair. For these step by step instructions, read on.
How to Remove Bed Bugs and Their Eggs from Hair – Step by Step Instructions
There isn’t a specific bed bug shampoo on the market and so the following methods use products that have proven effective against other similar problems.
Method 1 – Lice treatment
Lice treatment has proven to work for bed bugs too so follow the steps below in order to eliminate these bugs and their eggs.
Step 1 – Use shampoo or lotion that is designed to kill lice. Read the instructions on the box carefully because many of these products are good for treating bed bugs but not every product is used the same way.
- LICE FREE LICE TREATMENT GUARANTEE — We guarantee your...
- EFFECTIVE AGAINST LICE & SUPER LICE – The included liquid gel...
- PESTICIDE-FREE, NON-TOXIC FORMULA — Our liquid gel is harsh on...
- COMPLETE KIT — Includes everything needed for effective head...
- PLEASANT SCENT — The included liquid gel has a great fresh pear...
Step 2 – Lather the shampoo in the hair and leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off.
Step 3 – Once you have rinsed the hair, it is time to use the nit comb. It should usually come with shampoo. Comb through wet hair using the comb whose teeth are closer together, a feature which ensures that the bugs are easily removed by the comb.
Step 4 – Repeat the process every few days until all bugs and their eggs are removed from the hair.
Method 2 – Alcohol
Another way that has proven to be effective is the use of rubbing alcohol.
Step 1 – Mix the alcohol with your usual shampoo, rub in the hair and scalp.
Step 2 – Leave it in for a few minutes then rinse.
Step 3 – Comb through the hair and repeat the process every few days.
While the alcohol has the ability to kill the bugs, it also dries out your hair and may cause damage to it. Use a moisturizing shampoo and nourishing conditioner to curb this effect.
Method 3 – Heat treatment
Heat treatment is very effective but should be used with caution. The following are the options:
Step 1 – Sit in a sauna with temperatures exceeding 117°F.
Step 2 – Take a hot shower/ wash hair with hot water; lather with shampoo, rub the scalp and hair, rinse with the hot water, comb through and remove the dead bugs alongside their eggs. The water should be hot enough for discomfort but shouldn’t scald you. Warm water will not work.
Step 3 – Use a steamer. If you have access to a hair steamer, this would also work but again be careful not to burn yourself. Follow instructions on how to use the steamer carefully, and get the temperatures to a safe level for you but lethal for the bed bugs.
Method 4 – Suffocate the Bed Bugs
The use of mineral oils or olive oils has worked when the oils are applied to the hair and scalp; the hair is then covered in a shower cap and left overnight.
These suffocate the bed bugs and once morning arrives, use both the hot water and shampoo to rid your hair of the oils and bed bugs or use medicated shampoos. Comb through the hair to rid it of the dead bed bugs.
Bed Bugs in Hair– Everything You Need to Know
Finding bed bugs in your hair is creepy, to say the least, and the process of trying to remove them from the hair is even more frustrating.
Technically bed bugs cannot live in hair or fur because their bodies and legs are not crafted to navigate the rough terrain that is your hair. They can hide in your hair but making a habitat there is not possible.
However, just because your hair doesn’t make the ideal home for the little pests, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible to find them hiding there.
If you want to learn more information on why you potentially have bed bugs or their eggs on your hair we have our other article that goes into depth and shows you characteristics of this particular parasite and explains why you may have bed bugs in your hair – Can Bed Bugs Live In Your Hair?
The process of removing bed bugs from your hair can be taxing but to achieve maximum results, you need to be patient and follow your chosen process systematically.
Having eliminated the parasites from your hair, now focus your attention on eliminating them from your entire house. This is a more exhausting, time consuming and expensive process but one that is mandatory.
There are no products specifically designed for removing bed bugs from hair. The products mentioned in this post are known to help in the process of killing the bed bugs in hair but each treatment needs to be repeated every few days just to be safe.
List of Sources
Frishman A. 2000. Bed Bug basics and control measures. Pest Control 68: 24
Snetsinger R. 1997. Bed bugs & other bugs, pp. 393-425. In Mallis A, Hedges SA [eds.], Handbook of Pest Control, 8th ed. Franzak & Foster Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
Cimex lectularius Linnaeus (Bed Bugs), University of Florida/IFAS Featured Creatures Web site
Diseases & Conditions – Bedbugs, Mayo Clinic