While it’s possible to get a bedbug bite on your scalp, it’s unlikely bedbugs would choose to live there. If you find a bug in your hair, it is more likely another type.

Bedbugs are small insects roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny. They feed on the blood of people and animals.

More than 90 types of bedbugs have been identified. Only two types commonly bite humans.

Bedbugs have flat, oval-shaped bodies that allow them to easily hide in areas like cracks in your bed frame or the seams of a mattress. Although they’re a nuisance, bedbugs aren’t known to spread diseases to humans. Bites can lead to persistent itchiness that may lead to an infection if you scratch them.

It’s highly unlikely you’ll find a bedbug in your hair since they prefer to hide out of sight away from their host. It’s plausible that a bedbug could wander onto your scalp while you’re sleeping, but it’s extremely unlikely it will want to live there.

Keep reading to learn why it’s unlikely that bedbugs will take up refuge on your body, and what types of bugs are more likely to live there.

Bedbugs are nesting parasites that spend most of their lives hiding. They like to live in places near where humans or animals sleep so they can feed while their host is resting.

After bedbugs feed, they return to their hiding spots. Their preferred locations are undisturbed and dark locations within 8 feet of where you sleep. Places they hide often include:

  • around your bed
  • near the piping
  • in the seams or tags of your mattress
  • in your box spring
  • in the cracks of your bed frame or headboard

In heavy infestations, bedbugs may also hide in:

  • seams of chairs or couches
  • drawer joints
  • electrical receptacles and appliances
  • under loose wallpaper
  • where walls meet the ceiling

A human scalp isn’t an appealing place for a bedbug to live. Bedbugs prefer to live in undisturbed environments. They dislike light. If bedbugs do wander onto your scalp, they likely won’t stay or live long.

Bedbugs aren’t adapted to clinging to your hair follicles. They would likely get washed out of your hair while you bathe.

Bedbugs also don’t like heat. They die when they’re exposed to 113°F (45°C) for 90 minutes or 118°F (47.7°C) for 20 minutes.

You may experience these temperatures in situations like sitting in a car parked in the sunlight or in a sauna. A very hot shower may expose bedbugs to temperatures close to the maximum they can withstand.

Bedbugs don’t tend to live on humans. The only contact they generally have with people is to feed every few days.

Like with your hair, bedbugs likely won’t live long on your skin. They will likely either get washed away while you bathe or search for a more suitable hiding place.

Bedbugs aren’t the most likely bug you’ll find in your hair. Head lice are significantly smaller than bedbugs. They spend their entire lives on human scalps.

Unlike bedbugs, lice have crab-like claws to help them cling to your hair. They can only survive for 1 or 2 days if they drop off.

Scabies mites can be transmitted through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a person who has them. They bury into your skin and can cause severe itching.

Scabies generally doesn’t affect the face or scalp, but people who are immunocompromised can develop a type of infection called crusted scabies that may affect the scalp.

Fleas are another bug that can travel from household pets to humans. Fleas usually bite around your ankles or lower legs.

Finding bugs in your hair can be unsettling, but it’s unlikely to significantly impact your overall health. Taking a hot shower with shampoo can help wash away bugs that may have wandered into your hair but aren’t adapted to live there.

If you find more than one very tiny bug in your hair, they’re very likely head lice. A healthcare professional can help you identify lice and decide how to best treat them.

Treatment for lice usually involves taking an over-the-counter or prescription medication to kill the lice and their eggs.

A healthcare professional can also help confirm a bedbug diagnosis by examining your bites.

A doctor can help you figure out whether bedbugs are causing unidentified bug bites. The bites rarely need treatment unless they get infected from scratching. But identifying a possible infestation can help you figure out whether you need to call a professional exterminator.

The bugs themselves can be difficult to spot, but a telltale sign is itchy bites that are clustered or in a row. Other clues that you may have a bedbug infestation include:

  • finding bedbug exoskeletons in your bed
  • spotting bedbugs in your mattress or sheets
  • smelling a sweet musty odor in your bedroom (a sign of severe infestations)
  • having rust-colored spots on your mattress or furniture

If you suspect you or your child has head lice, it’s a good idea to visit their doctor to make sure you have the correct diagnosis.

Bedbugs feed off human or animal blood. They’re often found in places like the seams of your mattress or cracks in your bed frame.

Bedbugs aren’t adapted to live in your hair, but it’s possible a bedbug could end up in your hair after biting your scalp.

Finding bugs in your hair is much more likely a sign of head lice. An over-the-counter or prescription medication can usually treat head lice.