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Can Bedbugs Live in Your Hair? Let’s Explore!

09
Jul, 2024

No one wants to have a pest infestation of any kind. We can all agree that a bedbug infestation is the worst pest infestation possible. These blood-sucking critters are renowned for their hiding abilities and usually leaving behind an intensely itchy red reaction after they feed on your blood.

After feeding, they rush back into their hiding place, which may be your mattresses, bedframe, furniture upholstery, paintings, suitcases, boxes, shoes, floorboards, carpets, behind skirting wallpaper and headboards.

But can they inhabit your hair? Can bedbugs hitch a ride and live in between your hair follicles? Let’s delve into whether bedbugs can live in your hair.

Understanding Bed Bugs and Their Preferred Ecology

Research into bedbugs has shown that they have a thigmotaxis tendency. They’re sensitive to movement and always want constant contact with a solid surface (source). Moreover, they are dorsoventrally flattened. Consequently, they thrive and are adept at hiding in narrow cracks and crevices, safe from easy detection.

Bedbugs are also photophobic. They don’t like light and prefer sheltering in dark locations. However, they like hiding near where they sleep to make feeding easier.

Why You’re Unlikely to have Bedbugs in your hair

The dorsoventrally flattened body and small appendages of bedbugs make it difficult for them to crawl through hair. As such, they will find it difficult or impossible to wade through your hair and hold onto your hair follicles to inhabit your hair.

In the same vein, a research study by the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at Sheffield University indicated that the presence of long and finer hairs (the vellus hairs) on the body surface worked to deter bedbugs. If the bed bugs are deterred by body hair, they will find it difficult to live in your hair.

Their behavior, such as thigmotaxis and photophobia, makes your hair and scalp an inhospitable environment for bedbugs. Since your head is often exposed to light, bedbugs would find staying in such an environment difficult.

Can Bedbugs Bite Your Scalp

In a nutshell, yes! They can bite anywhere on your body, including your scalp. They bite people to feed on blood and will most likely take the opportunity to feed on any part of the body available. However, they are most unlikely to bite your scalp. As mentioned above, they don’t have the appendages to navigate through hair follicles heading to your scalp.

Instead, they will bite areas that offer the least resistance, such as your face (forehead and cheeks), neck, arms, hands, legs, and other exposed body parts.

Treating Bedbug Bites on your Scalp

Generally speaking, bedbugs are not disease carriers, and you might not need any treatment. Their bites are unlikely to cause a disease as mosquitos can. However, bedbug bites tend to be extremely itchy, exacerbated by scalp and facial skin being sensitive to bites.

You must visit the doctor for bedbug bites when the itch endures long, and if scratching causes an infection.

Can Bedbugs Live on Your Body?

While we discussed the difficulty of bedbugs living in your hair, you might still wonder whether they can live in other parts of your body. As with hair, bedbugs don’t live in the body. They prefer to live in cool, undisturbed cracks and crevices. However, your body is warm and does not stay still, creating an inhospitable environment for bedbugs to live and thrive. They’re unlikely to stick around after biting and feeding on you.

How do Bedbugs Move Around?

Since bedbugs can’t live in your hair, how do you take them into your home? They migrate on things you carry. For instance, bedbugs are likely to hitch a ride on your luggage as you travel in buses, hotels, and airports infested with bedbugs.

They can hide in tiny spaces, including buttons on your clothes and your suitcase, and later find their way into your home. And since they can move through tiny cracks and crevices, they later migrate into your home and establish a colony.

As such, if you suspect that you’ve stayed in an environment infested by bedbugs, you should inspect your luggage, shoes, and other belongings with a flashlight before taking them inside your home.

Preventing Bedbug Infestation

If you suspect you’ve been exposed to bedbugs as you traveled in a bus or stayed in a hotel room, you should inspect your shoes, clothing, luggage, and all other items you’ve traveled with. To prevent the bedbugs from infesting your home, wash your clothes in the highest temperature setting possible. Additionally, you can steam clean your suitcases and shoes to kill any bedbugs hiding in these items.

What to if You Suspect a Bedbug Infestation

If you suspect you’re facing a bedbug infestation, you should seek professional pest control immediately. Bedbugs are hardy animals and are challenging to eradicate once they infest your home. For instance, did you know they can live for more than two years without a blood meal in cold conditions?

Additionally, female bedbugs lay about 2 to 3 eggs every day throughout their life span after mating. As such, these critters can quickly proliferate into a large population, starting from a small population. Furthermore, most insecticides optimized for bedbug treatment are non-ovicidal, meaning they do not kill eggs. As such, you need professional bedbug eradication to ensure even the unhatched eggs or newly hatched bedbugs are dealt with and eradicated.

Takeaway

Can bedbugs live in your hair? No, they can’t. They can’t cling to hair follicles, nor can they attach themselves to your scalp. Their body and behavior do not allow them to occupy places as conspicuous as your head. They prefer to occupy cool, undisturbed areas in your home near places humans visit or stay.

If you are dealing with a bed bug infestation – call our professional team of bed bug exterminators serving Toronto and GTA – +1 416 451 7659

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