Can bed bugs live in your hair? – what to look out for

Bed bugs are an unwanted guest in your home and they can be really difficult to get rid of. One place where they like to hang out is on your head, but you might not even know it! If you think you have this problem, then read on for some helpful tips.

When you first encounter these pesky insects, they may be small brownish creatures that usually feed on animal or human blood. Adults are often flat in shape and on average, they are equal to the apple seed in size(check out photos below). However, when feeding becomes frequent their bodies swell after taking a meal of blood and turn into an almost reddish color. They don’t fly; rather crawl quickly along walls floors ceilings where it is common for them to live around homes.

Females lay hundreds of eggs, which are often dirty white in color. Young ones known as nymphs will shed their skins about five times before maturing and require feeding on blood before shedding. They can fully develop within a month and produce 3-4 generations per year!

Bed bugs will sometimes live on a person’s head, although it is rare. They seem to be less able to cling onto hair than lice, which have claws that enable them to stay attached. It is still possible for them to find their way onto your scalp though.

On one occasion recently, I was called out to a home because the homeowner was finding these insects on his head. Well, I found out that he had been sleeping on a bed that had bed bugs.


bedbugs on scalp

Where do the bed bugs hide?

If you have a problem with these critters and are wondering where they came from, it’s important to know that bed bug infestations may originate in many different places. It is possible for a pest control technician or an exterminator to bring them into the home on their clothes while doing inspections of nearby residences. They could potentially be anywhere: under floors or carpets, in furniture, bedding or mattresses.

These insects are very tiny and can be found in the tiniest spaces. You could potentially pick them up when travelling on public transportation or while visiting someone’s home who has bed bugs as well.


photo of a bug on bedding


They are found in mattresses, bed frames and furniture in which they like to stay. They may also hide behind headboards and moldings near the ceiling as well as inside electrical outlets or cracks around doors and picture frames. But it is not just these hiding places that you need to worry about. Bedbugs are known for their ability to live on clothes left out overnight in a bedroom. It’s understandable then how they get into human hair.

If you find that your clothes are being attacked by these pests, it is time to look for more infestation sites before they spread any further!


Symptoms of bed bugs in hair

These insects feed by sucking blood from humans. Bed bug bites are usually painless and go unnoticed, but they can also cause itchy welts on the skin.

Some of the things to look out for:

  • on humans, they don’t create any symptoms or signs that you might see with a naked eye. However, eggs laid by a female on your head may develop into nymphs.
  • If you can’t see them but are seeing a lot of bed bug eggs near your hairline or scalp, then there is a possibility that you have bites. The eggs can be mistaken for dandruff, but the eggs are a little larger than dandruff.
  • A rash or red spot on the scalp, neck, chest, and back. This is typically caused by secondary skin infections from scratching to relieve itchy welts from the insect bites. The infection may lead to a serious condition called cellulitis.
  • Hair loss in patches where hair may be pulled out when infested person scratches at bug bite site.
  • Bed bugs can also give off a smell like a musty old locker room or dead animal when they sense that humans are near.

Read more –


Do bed bugs prefer human skin?

Although bed bugs prefer other place apart from human hair or skin, they can bite you on your scalp, neck and face. Their bites are usually not immediately painful, but they might irritate the skin or cause allergic reactions that can be very uncomfortable. They also prefer cool environments and the human body is a good source of heat. So they will usually feed for a short time then move on, but they can live on your head and starting biting again. This post was published by Dave Campbell on 28th May 2021.


a man showering



How to get rid of bed bugs in hair


If you find bed bugs in your hair, there are a number of ways to prevent them from multiplying and spreading using home remedies. Using natural products such as lavender, peppermint oil and tea tree oil is a great way to get rid of bed bugs. There are also many home remedies you might use such as olive or coconut oils which should help prevent them from living in your locks. There are also a number of practical things you can do to reduce the risk.

Here are a few things to try:

1)Trim your beard

If you have a beard or moustache, you should shave the hair around your face to reduce infestation. You can also use anti-bacterial soap and shampoo that contains insecticides like pyrethrins or permethrin (though they need to be applied directly) in order to kill bed bugs.


2)Remove them from wigs and hairpieces

Sometimes bed bugs can be found in wigs and extensions. The easiest way to eradicate them is by washing your scalp in a solution of water and ammonia. You will then need to clean the wig with detergent, and then rinse it with soap again before drying.

Bed bug Bites on scalp pictures



3)Shampoo and shower thoroughly

When washing your hair use hot water and shampoo. Hot water will help with the clean-up because bed bugs are killed in high temperatures. Soap can also get rid of any eggs that may have been left behind on your skin as well as kill off any living there. Remember to include a conditioner after washing so you don’t dry out too much! Also, be careful not to make the water too hot that you could burn yourself. You may also want to brush out with a nit comb (normally use for head lice) before drying.

Dry your head thoroughly with a towel, and then run the dryer on high for about 15 minutes. This will help make sure you’ve gotten rid of any bed bugs or nymphs that might have been hiding.

4)Use an alcohol wash

You may also use an alcohol wash to kill these little pests. If you have lots of hair and don’t want the bed bugs coming back, use an alcohol wash at least once a week. Washing your scalp with rubbing alcohol or another liquid antiseptic/deodorizer can help combat bacteria. The benefit of this method is that it also helps to eliminate any head odor or other skin issues.

– Make a solution of alcohol and water (50/50 ratio)

– Pour the mixture into an old bottle

– After shampooing, pour enough of the alcohol wash over your entire scalp and massage in for about one minute.

5)Almond oil treatment

Almond oil is an effective natural treatment for bed bugs. Almond oil has been used as a remedy since ancient times, and its effectiveness is backed up by scientific research.

– Apply the almond oil generously and massage it through with your fingers into your head, from roots to tips before going to sleep

-This will have the effect of suffocating them and other insects

-Leave the oil in overnight for best results

-Rinse your hair with shampoo to remove the almond oil in the morning.


lice comb




Can they lay eggs on your head?

When a female bed bug lays eggs, she will lay them in cracks and crevices near the bed. This includes between mattress seams, under baseboards or along drawer sliders. They can also be found on window sills or around curtains if they are nearby. Once these eggs hatch, any place that is dark and has a relatively even temperature could serve as a potential home for the baby bugs which look very tiny. They like dark and cool locations, so your hair doesn’t make for the ideal home. However, they could lay eggs on your head if they are nearby or you sleep with them close to an area where they have laid eggs.

Do they bite the scalp?

As bed bugs can be found on bedding, mattresses and pillows, it is possible for them to bite a person on the scalp or somewhere else on the body. They can bite any place where bare skin is exposed, usually on the neck, head, hands, or feet when a person is asleep.

Do they stay on skin after a shower?

Bed bugs generally don’t like water or extreme heat, so using products such as shampoo and combs may help drive off an infestation.

Do they cause alopecia?

As an infestation may cause stress, itching and secondary issues like hair loss, you may want to check with your doctor if your concerns persist.

Do bed bugs go into your private parts?

Generally speaking, these pests are able to hold on, whether on your head or pubic hair. However, if you do have an infestation and find them around the pubic region, it is best to take a shower and wash them out straight away.

Dave Campbell

I'm Dave Campbell and the owner of You can read more about me and my background on my About Me page.