Bed bugs are causing so many problems that people are going into panic mode. They are meeting so much misinformation to get an edge in the fight against these bugs. You will see many myths and misunderstandings about bed bugs in your internet search. It is true that bed bugs indeed depend on humans as a primary host for blood to feed. These bugs will fit just about anywhere with their flattened body shape enabling them to squeeze into cracks, crevices, and grooves in the house.
Because they depend on humans for survival, they are usually found around hanging and sleeping spots like bedding, furniture, transportation, and sleeping accommodation. They may creep onto your body if you have slept or stayed in infested locations. However, does that mean they can invade your body and hair for a long time? This article explains the matter in detail
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Can bed bugs get into your hair?
Bed bugs can indeed get into your hair. According to an NBC report, these bugs can crawl within a 20-foot radius, searching for a human host to feed. The bugs are well-known hitchhikers that depend on humans for transport from place to place in search of suitable infestation and breeding zones. So if you have been around an infested area or in body contact with a bed bug-infested person, your clothes or body may be harboring them.
As mentioned before, bed bugs hang around and near humans for food. They will latch onto your human body for long enough to feed and get engorged with blood. While they do not precisely find your hair suitable for movement, they still can get into it to feed on the blood in or around areas of your scalp. However, the presence of bugs in your hair does not necessarily mean they are bed bugs. A close examination and magnification are the only way to be sure.
Will bed bugs live in your hair?
Bed bugs living in your is highly unlikely but not entirely impossible. The human body and scalp are a little too uncomfortable for bed bugs due to much movement and light in the day. They will briefly get onto your body, even your hair, to feed on the blood in the scalp. Then crawl off onto better environments to breed undisturbed and free from being spotted by humans.
Bed bugs prefer humid, dark, and calm environments to breed and start an infestation. They often infest places like mattress seams, bedding, furniture joints, and even electronics around people’s relaxing or sleeping areas. Once they get into search places, they can easily crawl into your hair when you are resting. Sealing cracks and crevices on your bed and furniture can reduce the risk of getting bed bugs on your hair.
Signs of bed bugs in your hair
Spotting signs of bed bugs in your hair is a little tricky because they do not usually stay long enough to leave exoskeletons, eggs, fecal matter, or even nymphs. Once they have fed to complete, they will crawl off to other places. If you have them on your hair, there is a possibility you may have woken and walked off while they were in the middle of feeding. Or still, you may have picked off the hitchhiking bugs from an infestation zone or infested clothing on another person.
Movements in your head are usually head lice rather than bed bugs. Unlike lice, you don’t have to worry about bed bugs laying eggs on your head. However, there still are tell-tale signs of possible bed bugs on your hair. The surest way is actual live bed bugs that you picked off and examined closely. You could use a sticky tape or forceps to pick off bugs in your hair to examine.
It is easy to squash an engorged bed bug feeding your scalp. You will wake up with blood stains on your pillow in the morning. Other bed bug signs include:
- Live bed bugs in your hair
- Bed bug bites in clusters of 3-5 on your forehead and scalp
- Itching and irritation on your scalp
Treating bed bugs in your hair
No specific hair shampoo can kill bed bugs in your hair. Nonetheless, the following methods can help to get rid of bed bugs in your hair:
As hard as it sounds, shaving is the best way to eliminate bed bugs, bed bug eggs, and head lice on your head. A shaved head means fewer hiding places on your head for these bed bugs. It also makes it easier to spot these bugs and bed bug bites. It would also mean ease in washing your head.
The bad news is that a shaved head provides more skin for bed bugs to feed on your scalp. A study showed that fine human body hair plays a defensive mechanism by enhancing the detection of bed bugs and increasing their search time. You often will have than crawling feeling on your skin when bugs creep across your skin due to the fine body hair.
Moreover, hair makes it hard for a bed bug to navigate across the scalp. They do not have adapted claws like head lice. Unlike bed bugs, this is probably why you often feel head lice crawling on your scalp. The bugs cannot stride over hair like lice and hence have to mush in between hair follicles which is difficult for them. Pick your poison.
Using rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a great desiccant that dissolves bed bug exoskeleton leaving them to dry up. Rubbing alcohol takes a two-pronged attack on bed bugs. While at the same repelling bed bugs, rubbing alcohol at the right concentration will kill bed bugs. Rubbing alcohol was first used on massage parlors in the early 90s. They are hence safe on your skin and won’t cause adverse reactions on your skin. More on the great benefits of rubbing alcohol is discussed on our website.
Heat treatment is a great option to take care of bed bugs permanently, as discussed a lot on our website. There are many ways to apply heat to your hair. For instance, you can simply wash your hair using hot water and soap.
As hardy and resilient as bed bugs are, they cannot survive extreme heat. Studies have shown that high sub-lethal temperatures affect surviving bed bugs, including reducing their egg production, egg hatching, egg molting, and even offspring proliferation. Exposing bed bugs to prolonged temperatures of about 117°F for about 25 minutes has been shown to kill them.
Take care not to burn your scalp. However, these temperatures may not be conducive to your skin or hair. You can opt for a hair drier set at a high setting. Alternatively, you could wash your hair with hot water to kill bed bugs. Luckily, even washing will remove bed bugs since they cannot cling to your hair like head lice.
Alternatively, you could opt to drown any bed bug that has crawled onto your hair. Ease of drowning will depend on the size of your hair and the options available to you. Running a shower through your hair for a prolonged time could drown and wash off bed bugs in your head. You could also decide to rub isopropyl alcohol (or any other alcohol for that matter) and almond oil thoroughly on your hair for a week after every shower. Keep in mind suffocation may not precisely deliver the great results you want. However, any weapons in our arsenal will be utilized in this fight against these bed bugs that seem to be better every day.
Preventing bed bugs from getting into your hair
The best defense against bed bugs is prevention. It is best to take proactive measures to ensure that bed bugs don’t get into your hair. The following tips will help you achieve that goal:
- Take time to carry out a thorough inspection of your bed and surrounding regularly. Pay attention to potential zones like mattress seams, furniture joints, and cracks.
- Make time to comb through your and examine your comb.
- Shampooing your hair would kill bed bugs and keep your hair looking and smelling fresh.
- Avoid wigs and weaves because they make it hard to spot and treat bed bugs.
Bed bug infesting your hair is an improbable scenario. However, they still can get in your hair if they are feeding on your scalp, especially if you spent time in an infested area and have been in contact with an infested person. Lucky for you, bed bugs are not adapted to stay and move in your hair. This makes washing and getting rid of them down the drain easier. It is best to keep your hair clean and inspect it daily. Take care of any infestation in your house, and play safe while socializing.
Can bed bugs lay eggs in your hair?
No. Bed bugs do not stay in your long enough to lay eggs in your hair.
Can bed bugs bite your scalp?
Yes. Bed bugs feed on human blood, and that includes the skin on your scalp
Can bed bugs cause hair loss?
No. Bed bugs do not affect hair.