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 a bed bug infestation, then read on for some helpful tips.

When you first encounter bed bugs, they appear as 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.

Female bed bugs generally 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. Bed bugs 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 had a bed bug infestation and was finding these insects on his head. Well, I found out that he had been sleeping on a bed that had bed bugs. It is a more common problem than many may think.


bedbugs on scalp

Where do bedbugs 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. Bed bugs could potentially be anywhere: under floors or carpets, in upholstered 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. They could also get into your luggage after staying in a hotel with a bed bug infestation.


photo of a bug on bedding


Bed bugs live in dark places and are commonly found in mattresses, bed frames, box springs and furniture in which they like to stay and make a living space. Bed bugs hide behind headboards and moldings near the ceiling and are known for crawling 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 bugs 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, bed bugs don’t create any symptoms or signs that you might see with the naked eye and can be difficult to properly identify. However, eggs laid by a female bed bug on your head may develop into nymphs. The baby bed bugs however, are much harder to see with the naked eye.
  • 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 bed bug bites. The eggs can be mistaken for dandruff, but the eggs are a little larger than dandruff. Also look for blood spots on your pillow or bed sheets.
  • A rash or red spot on the scalp, neck, chest, and back could be potential evidence of bed bugs. These symptoms of bed bugs are typically caused by secondary skin infections from scratching to relieve welts from the itchy 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.

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Do they prefer human skin?

Although bed bugs prefer other places 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, get their blood meal, and then move on, but they can live on your head and start 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 eliminate 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 and prevent your hair from becoming a bed bug nest.



Here are a few things to try:

1)Trim your beard

2)Remove them from wigs and hairpieces

3)Shampoo and washing hair thoroughly

4)Use an alcohol wash

5)Almond oil treatment


lice comb




Will 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 bed 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 these bugs bite your 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. If you are feeling itchy after a bite, try using corticosteroid cream.

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, and prevent bed bug migration to other parts of your body.

Do they cause alopecia?

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

Do they go into your private parts?

Generally speaking, these pests are able to hold on to hair with their claws, even to 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. Remember to wash any clothing you have been waering in hot water

Dave Campbell

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