If you think you found bed bugs in your hair, it may actually be another pest. Bed bugs could be confused with lice due to their similar appearance and habits. This has many people wondering “can bed bugs live in your hair?” Here are some bed bug facts that you need to know.
Bed Bug Capabilities
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs tend to not live in hair. They prefer to live in dark, secluded spaces. This may be behind your bed, between furniture, walls, or within cracks on your floorboard. Bed bugs generally emerge from their hiding spots to feed throughout the night when hosts are dormant. Since they prefer that the host not be moving, they don’t like to linger. Instead, they immediately crawl back to their harborage to digest their meal. So, if they don’t live in your hair, can bed bugs get in your hair? Technically, yes. When leaving their harborages to find food, they may walk across your hair to get to your skin. That said, it’s unlikely that they’ll crawl through the depths of your hair. If anything, they may briefly cross on top of it.
Bed Bug Anatomy
Unlike lice, bed bugs lack the anatomy that allows them to cling to hair, fur or feathers. You won’t have to worry about finding bed bug eggs in your hair either. While their eggs are sticky, they aren’t sticky enough to attach to your hair. Additionally, bed bugs prefer to avoid hair, including the ones of your arms and legs. A Sheffield University study compared bed bug activity on subjects with shaved limbs and those without. They found that longer hairs deterred the insects for two reasons. First, it slowed down the insect as they searched for open skin to feed on. Second, it acted as a warning sign for the host. Finer body hairs have more nerves attached to them. Thus, any slight movement can be detected.
For example, bed bugs have six legs but lack the appendages needed to cling to body hair. Similarly, roaches have the same number of legs but they also have two projections called cerci stemming from their back, which bed bugs do not have. On the other hand, ticks and mites have eights legs and the proper appendages to nest within the hair on our heads. Knowing individual pest traits can be beneficial in bug identification. These unique capabilities and features allow Terminix® technicians to identify bed bugs in your home.
Bed Bug Migration
Since bed bugs can’t live in your hair, how do they travel? Often, bed bugs will seek shelter between clothing, luggage, furniture or on bed linens. If take any of these infested items with you during travel, bed bugs can move between suitcases during transportation. Additionally, those staying in hotels can introduce bed bugs into their hotel room. Since bed bugs can travel between walls, they may also spread throughout the rest of the building.
To help keep bed bugs out of your home, schedule an appointment with Terminix. Our trained technicians know where bed bugs tend to hide and can help locate them in your home. To keep them from spreading, a Terminix technician can create a custom plan to stop them in their tracks and remove them from your home.