Given their name, you probably believe that bed bugs primarily reside in bedrooms.
Where they don’t have to travel far to feed on unsuspecting victims.
Especially when those victims…
Are asleep and in their most vulnerable state.
However, this is not always the case. Bed bugs are notorious for their ability to survive in a range of places.
This brings us to following the question…
Can Bed Bugs Hide in or Around Your Body?
No, bed bugs do not usually hide on your body. Bed bugs are famous for their hitchhiking abilities but this usually involves your clothes or baggage. After bed bugs feed they will escape to a safe place to digest.
Often times people will confuse bed bugs with similar insects like lice, as those pests will live in your hair until they’re removed.
Do Bed Bugs Stay on Your Body?
Bed bugs can cause anxiety and fear, usually because people think every itch or tiny feeling on their body is a moving insect.
People who have experienced an infestation are likely to have recurring fears or nightmares of being unknowingly covered in these insects.
So can bed bugs stay on your body for long periods of time?
This answer is a definite no…
Bed bugs can’t live on your body nor do they want to. After a bed bug feeds, it swells up into a red balloon, to almost 3 times its normal size.
There is no way that a bed bug could survive on a human body and live discretely while swelled up to that level.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
Though bed bugs won’t live on your body…
It’s true that you can carry bed bugs with you, especially after encountering commonly infested establishments like:
- Nursing Homes etc.
Bed bugs can reside in these places and then hitch a ride on your clothes or other belongings.
Even if you’re carrying just one bed bug, you can unknowingly spread future infestations wherever you go.
According to the EPA, an individual female bed bug can lay anywhere from 200 to 500 eggs in her lifetime.
Under normal circumstances, these insects can live around 4 months, but in certain cases, they can live up to a full year.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Your Hair?
No, bed bugs are not likely to live in your hair. These pests, unlike lice, ticks, and other similar insects, like to feed on bare skin where access is easy.
This includes the neck, face, arms, legs, and other areas of the body with little hair.
Bed bugs may bite you on your head if you’re bald, but otherwise, they’re unlikely to target the scalp.
Bed bugs also prefer cool environments, which means that they will simply bite their victims and head back to their hiding place to digest.
The fact that bed bugs hide in hard-to-reach places is why they’re so difficult to remove. Often times conventional treatments such as insecticides don’t persist to the levels that more expensive options, such as heat treatments do.
Symptoms of Bed Bugs in Hair
Though bed bugs won’t live on your head, they could bite around your hair.
Bites themselves are painless, but you may notice small red welts across your forehead or hairline.
Other than skin irritation and the fact that bites are cosmetically displeasing, these insects are not dangerous. Though there are rare cases where bed bugs can cause more severe physical reactions.
While these insects aren’t known to transmit disease, there are situations when a victim has an adverse reaction to bites.
This can cause the following serious symptoms:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Severe Swelling
- Allergic Reactions
Luckily, these symptoms are extremely unlikely.
In fact, if you see bite marks near your hair or anywhere on your body with considerable amounts of hair, the culprit is likely another type of pest.
Can Bed Bugs Go in Your Private Parts?
No, bed bugs will not purposely go toward your private parts. Though these creatures are attracted to exposed skin, they will not naturally burrow under your clothes and hang around your genitals.
These areas of the body are difficult for bed bugs to reach, and they’re likely to bite areas that are easier for them to access.
(Likely around the upper torso).
Even if you don’t wear clothes to sleep, bed bugs are less likely to bite around your private parts for the following reasons:
- Bed Bugs Don’t Like Hair – Bed bugs generally avoid hairy parts of the body as it’s harder for them to move around and easily bite your skin.
- Little Oxygen – Like many other creatures, bed bugs require oxygen to survive and private parts don’t have great air circulation.
- High PH Levels – Your private areas typically have higher PH levels that bed bugs do not find favorable.
- High Temperatures – Human private areas are fairly warm and acidic which bed bugs do not like. Instead, bed bugs prefer cooler temperatures as their ideal environment.
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?
Bed bugs will hide in a variety of places. Whether it be around the bed, within seams or tags of the box spring, or cracks in the bed frame and furniture.
If the room is heavily infested, bed bugs can be in several different places.
Some of these include:
- In the seams of chairs and couches.
- Within drawers.
- In electrical outlets or appliances.
- Under loose wallpaper or behind wall hangings.
If you’re experiencing a severe infestation, it’s easy to find bed bugs moving around. If you’re only experiencing a minor infestation, locating the bugs could be much more challenging.
If you fail to identify an infestation, even when it is minor, it’s likely to turn much more severe in 2 to 3 months.
This is because when they’re not feeding…
Bed bugs will likely be hiding. Lying dormant and focusing on reproducing between meals.
The key to locating bed bugs is to understand their behavior and different life stages.
How they eat, live, reproduce etc…
Bed bugs can survive and remain active in many different environments. This is one of the reasons why bed bugs are labeled by exterminators as some of the world’s most resilient creatures.
This has contributed to the growth of infestations and the ongoing bed bug epidemic.
These pests will survive in temperatures as low as 46 degrees F and as high as 113 degrees F.
That’s why to kill bed bugs with heat the infested area needs to be hotter than 120 degrees F for multiple hours.
Can Bed Bugs Get In Your Ears?
When people learn bed bugs are crawling around their faces while they’re asleep….
They naturally have a fear of bed bugs crawling inside their bodies.
(By “inside” we mean the bug has crawled in their nose, mouth, or ears).
While this is indeed possible it’s fairly unlikely….
Bed bugs are smart and savvy creatures who have no interest in wandering inside a human body.
Because why would they?
Bed bugs can get everything they need at the surface.
These creatures have special beaks that allow them to penetrate through your skin and make a meal out of your blood.
Also, though these creatures are quite small (about a quarter inch long), they’re a little too big to fit inside your nostrils and ear canals.
Finding Bed Bugs in Your Home
Bed bugs may not be able to live on your body, but they can live anywhere in your home where they may gain access to a host.
It’s difficult to determine the cause of an infestation, but in most cases bed bugs came from one of the following situations:
- You went to an area with a crowd such as a bus or a movie theater and unknowingly brought the infestation home with you.
- If you live in a multi-unit apartment complex or a multifamily building, you may have gotten bed bugs from your neighbor.
- You purchased a piece of used furniture that was infested with bed bugs.
One Myth About Bed Bugs:
People mistakenly think that a dirty environment is conducive to infestations, but bed bugs don’t thrive in filthy conditions.
Even if your home is clean and free of clutter, bed bugs can live comfortably.
Having a clean and sanitary living area is important, but it does not prevent an infestation.
It helps you spot and identify an infestation quicker than you normally would have.
Being quick to spot an existing infestation is important because you can address the situation before it spreads.
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide During the Day?
Bed bugs will hide in dark areas or corners of the room that are not easily seen in the daytime. Here are 3 ways to help locate bed bugs during the day:
1. Look Around Your Bed
This is of course the most obvious place to find bed bugs. Start with your pillow, comforter, blankets, and sheets.
Then go further and inspect your mattress and box spring, making sure to look around crevices, seams, and underneath the mattress tag.
If you do suspect bed bugs invaded your bed, consider purchasing a special mattress encasement.
2. Observe Walls and Baseboards
These insects can travel through some of the smallest places, so you’ll often find them along baseboards or inside your wall.
3. Monitor For Infestations Periodically
In the case of severe infestations bed bugs can be found almost anywhere.
(Oftentimes in the most obscure places).
Therefore, if you’re experiencing a serious infestation, you should look for clustering along the ceiling and wall junctions.
They could be hanging out in trash cans, receptacles, or along outlets.
Typically there are DIY methods to removing an infestation, although if it’s too severe you should always seek the help of a professional.
Though attempting to remove a bad infestation yourself is extremely risky.
For example, in 2017, a woman burns down a multi-family home in Cincinnati while trying to kill bed bugs with rubbing alcohol.
Though this example is not unique, The video below is another example of an amateur bed bug treatment gone terribly wrong.
Bed Bug Life Stages
To properly identify an infestation, you should understand the different stages of the bed bug life cycle:
Adult bed bugs: Dark red or brown and around the size of an apple seed.
Nymphs (baby bed bugs): May appear white or yellow.
Eggs: Are white, and around the size of a grain of sugar.
If you don’t see any living bed bugs or eggs, you may see evidence of their presence, including blood spots on bedding or mattresses, shed skin, or dead bugs.
As soon as you identify the first sign of an infestation, you should contact a professional pest control service to properly eradicate all signs of these insects.
Taking the appropriate steps to eliminate and prevent the spread of bed bugs can keep you and your children consistently safe from these pests.
Can Bed Bugs Actually Live in Your Hair?
Much like lice, bed bugs spread quickly and almost violently. But unlike lice, bed bugs don’t like your hair!
Isn’t that a relief?
Instead, bed bugs prefer to live in dark and secluded areas.
They only want to bite when the host (a.k.a. you) isn’t moving around.
That’s right, bed bugs love to get you while you’re sleeping. You can also get bed bugs in your couches and chairs with cloth and stuffing.
Bed bugs can’t really live on your body. They prefer to travel exclusively between articles of clothing or furniture.
You cannot get bed bugs from another person’s hair. When they’re not feeding, these pests spend their time in dark and secluded areas with little activity.
If you suspect that you have bed bugs you should bring in professionals to assess the situation. The last thing you want is for an infestation to grow out of control to the point of completely disrupting your life.
Keep yourself and your family safe by acting quickly upon discovery of an infestation.
If you get bed bugs at a hotel or apartment, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain and suffering. Get in touch with our bed bug experts to learn about your options today!
If you’re interested in more information about bed bugs and where they live, the EPA website has an abundance of helpful bed bug resources.
Unfortunately, the EPA cannot help fund any instances of bed bug removal, but they offer information about what pesticides to use and work together with other federal agencies to provide reliable information about bed bugs and their control.