Bed Bugs in Hair? Here’s How to Get Them Out
Bed bugs are no fun wherever they appear – but they’re especially problematic if they take up residence in your hair!
If bed bugs have found their way into your hair, here’s what you need to know:
Having Bed Bugs in Your Hair: Is It Possible?
Yes! Bed bugs can absolutely take up residence in your hair. Once there, they can cause all sorts of problems.
Bed bugs are different than lice and mites. Those insects have special hook-like body parts that attach to skin and hair follicles.
However, bed bugs don’t have these parts. They can crawl into your hair, but they struggle to stay there for long periods, especially if you’re walking around.
Do bed bugs lay eggs in your hair? Fortunately, bed bug eggs in hair are rare. Instead, they prefer to lay eggs in areas with less movement. Even when you’re sleeping, you’ll still toss and turn enough to discourage egg laying.
Where Can You Catch Bed Bugs?
If you have bed bugs in your hair, the chances are good you picked them up in one of the following places:
Symptoms of Bed Bugs in Your Hair
As discussed above, while bed bugs have no problem hanging out in your hair, they don’t want to spend tons of time there. You’re unlikely to find bed bugs directly in your scalp unless you happen to check your hair shortly after waking.
Bed bug bites are small, raised bumps that usually appear in clusters. Although they can appear anywhere on your scalp, they’re most commonly found around your hairline.
First, the bites will feel irritated. As they heal, they’ll itch. They’ll also sting when you apply shampoo or conditioner to your hair.
Removing Bed Bugs: Treating Your Home
If you have bed bugs in your hair, they’re almost certainly in your sheets and pillows, too. Before treating your hair, you’ll need to get the bed bugs out of your home first. Otherwise, they’ll find their way back into your hair the next night.
Here’s how to remove bed bugs from your home:
1. Wash your sheets, comforters, pillowcases and all other bedding. Use the hot water setting on your washing machine. Also, use detergent with bleach.
2. Dry linens on the highest setting. The high heat helps kills any bugs and eggs which survived the washing machine.
3. Vacuum the room, mattress, and surrounding area thoroughly.
4. Wrap the mattress in plastic.
5. Apply rubbing alcohol or bed bug powder to the box springs.
6. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth around the bed. It’s a natural bug killer which doesn’t harm humans.
7. Steam all bedding items before placing them back on the bed.
How to Get Bed Bugs Out of Your Hair
Once you’ve taken steps to remove bed bugs from your home, you’re ready to get them out of your hair. Here’s how:
First, understand removing bed bugs from hair isn’t always easy. You might need to repeat the removal process several times.
Choose a Shampoo
Lice shampoo will kill bed bugs. Although bed bug shampoo does exist and also works well, lice shampoo is often easier to find in stores and online.
You might have heard that 91% rubbing alcohol is an effective bed bugs in hair treatment. It can kill some bugs, but effectiveness does vary. For best results, add a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a medicated dandruff shampoo.
No matter what shampoo treatment you choose, be ready to wash your hair several times, probably over many days. Bed bugs are often difficult to remove, especially if you have long, thick hair.
Wash Your Hair
Apply a quarter-size dollop of shampoo to your wet hair. Lather thoroughly, covering your scalp and hair roots. Leave the shampoo on your hair for 20 minutes. (Of course, these are general instructions. Always follow the specifics on the shampoo bottle for best results.)
Rinse your hair thoroughly. Use warm water. Wash your body after rinsing your hair to remove any shampoo residue from your skin.
You can dry your hair with a towel, but throw the towel in the washing machine right away. Many people prefer to let their hair air dry.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget Your Beard!
If you have a beard, you’ll need to wash and comb it, too. For the absolute best results, shave your beard shorter or off completely. However, you probably only need to do so if you have a truly terrible bed bug problem.
Use a Nit Comb
Comb your hair (wet or dry) with a nit comb. It’s a special fine-toothed comb that gathers up any bugs. Rinse the comb thoroughly and frequently while you comb your hair. You may or may not see any evidence of bugs.
Can Bed Bugs Hide in Your Hair
Repeat the process every two days until all evidence of bed bugs is gone. Any bed bug eggs in hair take about a week to hatch. Although it’s rare, you do want to stay vigilant.
If you continue to have bed bugs in your hair after two shampoo sessions, target your house again. You likely still have bed bugs in your bed or furniture.
Professional Pest Control
You can’t hire a pest professional to remove bed bugs from your hair. Hiring a hair care professional who knows how to get bed bugs out of hair is an option, but make sure you call ahead and explain the situation!
However, hiring a pest professional to remove bed bugs from your home is often the best option. An exterminator can easily get rid of these pests for good. Once they’re gone from your home, removing them from your hair is far easier.
The thought of bed bugs and bed bug eggs in hair is certainly unpleasant. Fortunately, while bed bugs can be difficult to deal with, they’re likely not going to infest your hair in any major way. If you do find evidence of bed bugs, follow the tips above to banish them from your home and your hair!
Where do bed bugs hide on your body?
Bed bugs will not hide on your body. They do not like living in hair, so they will not hide there as fleas or lice would. However, they will bite any part of the body that is left exposed while you sleep. Bed bugs tend to bite the bottom of the legs and arms. Once they have fed, they unlatch and walk off. If you have bed bugs, it is wise to call in Pest Guide or another pest control firm.
How do I know if bed bugs are gone?
The best way to know if bed bugs are gone is to set traps. Check them daily. But pay particular attention 5 to 10 days after you have treated the infestation. Any adults that are alive will start to come out to feed around then. If you see any, immediately re-treat your home. Then repeat the trapping process. If any adults land in the traps, it is time to call in a professional pest control team, for example, Pest Guide.
Do you have to wash all your clothes if you have bed bugs?
You do not have to wash all of your clothes if you have bed bugs. Although it will help. Provided you clean everything at 60 degrees the adults, nymphs and eggs will be killed. You could also tumble dry your clothes. To kill the bed bugs, every bit of your clothes, including the seams, will need to be heated to 50F for at least 20 minutes. The PestGuide team has found that washing is more effective than tumble drying.
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