Home Bed Bugs Bed Bugs in Hair Symptoms, Pictures & Get rid

Bed Bugs in Hair Symptoms, Pictures & Get rid

Having bed bugs in your hair can be a such worrying experience. Find out if these little creatures can hide in your mane, how they get in your hair, symptoms and ways to treat and get rid of them. Also, discover if they can bite your scalp and lead to hair loss.

Can Bed Bugs live/hide in your Hair?

Yes, can hide in your but they most likely wont stay or live there for a long duration of time.

This comes about when the bed bugs travel from any area of your bed especially the corners or the mattresses on which you sleep. This especially if you have them in your house or you’ve gone to an infested house. They are small but larger than lice meaning that you can detect them in your scalp and hair.

How do they get in your hair?

Bed bugs can get into your hair when you are sleeping probably from the infested bedding or your pillow. Once in your hair, they will suck blood but will not be able to live for long because the environment does not favor them. They in most cases prefer a warm environment.

Can they travel in hair?

Bed bugs do not enjoy being in your hair. Compared to fleas and lice and which have claws designed to make them live in the hair, the common bed bug lacks this modification and adaptation.

This therefore means it is hard for them to move from one point to another in your hair.

Pictures of bed bugs in hair

Attached are some pictures that show the presence of bed bugs in your hair. However, coming across pictures of the bed bug eggs in your hair is quite difficult.

bed bug in hair photo
Pic #1
Dealing with bed bugs in hair-Symptoms & treatment
Pic #2

Symptoms of Bed Bugs in Hair

Bed bugs will come out of their hiding places at night and then crawl into your hair. They will spend time in the hair where they can bite and suck blood. The bites from the bugs are never a problem but the nuisance and irritation they cause is the bother.

The signs and symptoms from bed bug bites are quite different from any other bite from an insect. Usually, their bites appear in straight rows as compared to bites from other insects that are found on the scalp.

To know that your hair is also infested, you may find some stains of blood on your pillows. Your scalp becomes raw and sore in the meantime.

Further, you may feel something crawling in your hair. You may end up having some anxiety of being bitten again, the moment you know that the bite was from a bed bug. It may lead to sleeplessness as well.

An offensive odor on your hair may also be a sign of the infestation of bed bugs in your scalp. This is accompanied with an increment of dark spots in your bed sheets and pillow cases.

You will have an extremely itchy scalp and as an addition, you will have red swellings on your neck, the cheeks and the forehead. You will also see the swellings on your hairline.

The presence of eggs in your scalp could also be an indication that the pests are present in your hair. The eggs are hard to detect and remove because they are very small and could stick to the roots of your hair.

How to get bed bugs out of hair-

When you detect bed bugs in your hair, it is prudent that you do everything possible to get rid of them. This is because they can irritate your scalp as they feed on your blood. They can further move to other warm areas of your body. There are a number of ways which you can employ to get rid of them.

Home Remedies

Baking Soda

It is a very important remedy and it works by absorbing moisture from the bed bug’s body. This thus dries the bed bug which eventually dies.

  1. All you have to do is take some of the baking soda and then apply to the affected area and then wash the area after some time.
  2. You could then reapply to the area whenever necessary.

Cayenne Pepper

It is essential because of its antimicrobial properties. These are the key properties that make it able to kill the bugs. Use the stepwise approach below:

  1. Mix one tablespoon of cayenne powder with oregano and some grated ginger.
  2. Boil the mixture in water
  3. Strain and spray the solution on the affected area of your scalp and your hair
  4. The smell of this mixture is able to scare the bugs away. It further prevents the bugs from spreading any further.

Sweet Flag

It is known to have anti-microbial properties and thus called calamus. The aromatic properties in the herb are the ones that repel the bugs away from your skin. You can get the flag from the shop and make a solution based on the instructions attached to the packet. Apply the solution to your hair and this will eliminate the bugs within a short time.

Bean Leaves

This herb is known to be a traditional Balkan method that can be used to trap bugs. What you have to do is to:

  1. Finely crush some of the leaves and then put them aside.
  2. Spread the ground leaves to your scalp and the hair
  3. The leaves are able to trap the bed bugs spread in your hair
  4. These leaves use what are called trichomes that are essentially hair-like extensions to kill the pests.
  5. The trichomes are located on the surface of the leaves and they pierce the bed bugs feet as they try moving

According to the research from the University of California Irvine and the University of Kentucky, researchers found out that the leaves are able to completely kill the bed bugs.

Killing options

Can hair dryer kill bed bugs?

Hair dryers are able to kill bed bugs within a period of 30 seconds of continuous contact. What you have to do is to catch the bed bugs and then crush them in a paper of towel then blow dry them. Besides, blow drying your hair is good enough to rid your hair of the bugs.[1]

According to Carol Shipley of Shipley’s Pest Control, the use of hair dryer is the best and probably the easiest way to get rid of bed bugs from your hair and even the furniture in your home.

Treatment options

Bed bugs in your hair is a source of real trouble. It will force you constantly and frequently to comb your hair as you undertake a normal washing of your hair. Treatment should always be the last resort when everything else fails to work.

  • There has been a reported success of about 91% when using rubbing alcohol to treat bed bugs. This is especially if you incorporate it into your regular shampoo. This has shown tremendous success. The only challenge is that the bed bug eggs might be left behind. It is therefore necessary to repeat the treatment after the first attempt.
  • Cedar oil has shown a lot of effectiveness in the treatment of bed bugs in your hair. There are many ways you could use the oil but most importantly, you could include it in your bath gel and then shampoo. This keeps bed bugs away from your hair as it kills any eggs that are sandwiched between the hairs. It is possible that the oil could irritate your scalp and therefore there is need for the application an anti-itch medication prior to the application.
  • Sauna treatment is yet another valuable method. It includes sitting in a steamed room of about 120 degrees Celsius. These high temperatures are adequate to kill the eggs completely. Before you begin this treatment plan, ask your doctor if it is a right method in the event that you have any pre-existing conditions like blood pressure problems and heart conditions.


There are various options that you can undertake to prevent the infestation or the colonization of your hair by the bed bugs.

  • It is important that your daily routine spares some time for you to comb your hair in order to remove the bed bug eggs. You may also constantly trim and shave your hair completely to get rid of the bed bugs eggs.
  • Mineral oils and olive oil could do wonders to your hair and dandruffs. You can apply the oils and then leave them overnight as you retire to bed. This will prevent bed bugs from getting near your scalp. After applying, you cover your scalp using a shower cap for a night. The eggs will die as the larvae suffocate. The next morning, wash your hair using a medicated shampoo or an anti-lice solution.

How to deal with bed bugs eggs in hair

Identification and removal

The identification and detection of bed bugs in your hair can be done if you use the right tools and method. The bed bugs are small as well as their eggs but they appear white and the size of a pin 1/32 of an inch.

bed bugs
bed bugs

You can see them some other times using the eye but it is at other occasions hard to identify and therefore you would need a magnifying lens.

You cannot pick the bed bugs eggs with a vacuum because when they are laid, they have a film which makes them to stick. If you fail to kill the bed bugs eggs, you will end up having a re-infestation before the entire population is dealt with.

There are various treatment methods that you can employ to kill bed bugs and their eggs. The treatments range from chemicals to simple remedies.

  • Use plant based treatments; organic treatments. They kill the bed bugs and their eggs as well. This treatment is safe and environmentally friendly.
  • Heat treatments. The best in terms of your hair is to use the hair dryer. It kills the bugs in a record time 30 seconds.
  • Freezing is yet another method. It has carbon dioxide and it kills bed bugs and their eggs even immediately.

Do Bed Bugs bite your Scalp while in Hair?

Do they bite

Yes.  In fact, they only bite the areas of your scalp that lacks hair or has little hair.  They can live and colonize anywhere provided there is blood. In that regard, they can attach on your scalp and thus you will feel the bite as they suck the blood.

bed bug bite scalp picture
Bite on scalp

How do you deal with the bites?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you can treat the bites from the bed bugs if they don’t show any serious reactions.

Wash the area with a lot of water and soap. This will prevent an infection of the skin and reduce any itchiness.

Apply some corticosteroid cream if the bites are itchy. Get a weaker corticosteroid which does not need a prescription from a local drug store.[2]

Bed bugs and hair loss

How are bed bugs linked to hair loss? The falling off of hair from your scalp is a secondary effect to the bed bug infestation. The primary one is the itching. During the infestation, you are likely to suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and even anxiety.

In this case, your health will deteriorate and your hair will lack the basic nutrients. This therefore does not assure consistent growth and strength. With time, the hair will begin falling off. The bed bugs also feed on the blood that is supposed to circulate and nourish your scalp.

Further Reading


[1] http://www.cambridgepublichealth.org/publications/Cambridge-Bed-Bug-Booklet-2013.pdf

[2] https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/itchy-skin/bedbugs#treatment