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Bed bugs in the hair

Bed bugs are small creatures that feed on human blood. An adult bed bug is flat with an appearance similar to an apple seed. The color of bed bugs is rusty red with an oval shape. Bed bugs prefer to live in dark places and come out of their habitat at night to suck blood.

Bed bugs usually stay in dark places such as the bed mattresses, in the box spring and even the frames of the bed. If there are bed bugs in the head of a person, they have been living in the bed or in the clothing of the person. The scalp becomes irritated and itchy and there are small bites present. Bed bugs are not persistent as lice and they do not spread downward to the legs and arms looking for a warm area to live. Bed bugs are closely linked to lice and can be eliminated by applying head lice shampoo.

Bed bugs are larger in size than lice and can be easily seen on scalp and hair and it is important to get of them as soon as possible. They can cause irritation of the scalp while feeding blood and can transfer to other warm spots in the body.


Oftentimes, the bite is painless, but it can lead to the development of itchy welts or small bumps that usually last after a few days.

Symptoms of bed bugs in the hair

Bed bugs are more active during night time and in dark places. They simply come out of their hiding places at night and bite people when they are sleeping. They feed on blood by sucking their small beak, but first they inject small amount of anesthetic fluid which numbs the skin. Those who were bitten by a bed bug cannot feel the actual bite.

They suck the blood for about 2-5 minutes and then go away. Oftentimes, the bite is painless, but it can lead to the development of itchy welts or small bumps that usually last after a few days. The bites of bed bugs on the scalp appear in straight rows unlike the bites of other insects which are found on any location on the scalp.

There might be blood stains on the pillow. The bites on the scalp will make it raw and sore and there is a feeling that something is crawling on the scalp. Understandably, these can disrupt with the sleeping pattern of the individual. If the bite sites are scratched, it might lead to infection if not treated early.

How to deal with bed bugs in the hair

  • Treat bed bugs in the scalp by applying head lice shampoo. First, wet the hair and scalp and apply the shampoo. Allow the shampoo to remain on the scalp for at least 10-15 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly using hot or warm water.
  • After washing the hair, comb the hair using a nit comb which is a finely-toothed comb which is helpful in removing bugs that have latched on the hair. Use tap or warm water in washing the nit comb.
  • If there are still bed bugs in the hair, continue to shampoo the hair every two days until all the bed bugs are gone.
  • Clean all the dwelling places of the bed bugs such as corners of the bed, covers of pillows and mattresses.
  • Wash clothing, beddings and pillow covers using warm water.
  • Spray specific chemicals and liquids that are used to kill bed bugs in their hiding places and use a vacuum since it is helpful in eliminating bed bugs in their hiding places.

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