Do Cockroaches Eat Human Hair?

Do cockroaches eat human hair? You should know that roaches being the most common invasive household pest feat on almost that comes in their mouth. But feeding on human sounds strange and unpleasant. Do roaches like human hair? Can roaches cause hair loss? This post will go in lengths on this subject and how you can stop cockroaches from eating your hair? Read more.

As strange as it may sound, roaches have been known to eat hair. Human hair may not be their number one on the list of food roaches eat but don’t you forget cockroaches eat almost anything. Why would roaches eat human hair? Hair has lipids and sebum which can provide nutrients for roaches to survive for a short period of time.

The good news is that cockroaches are most likely to eat your hair at night in darkness. How about laying eggs in your hair? It is most unlikely for roaches to live or even lay eggs in your hair. Roaches cannot be found in your hair while you are awake. While sleeping, there are measures that you can take to stop roaches eating your hair.

Do cockroaches like Hair?

Human hair may not be roaches number one list of food, they may eat if they have no other source of food. Roaches may prefer to eat human hair over food like mold and paint. Cockroaches feed on both plant and animal matter. Depending on the level of infestation and starvation they may be facing, human hair becomes food for sustenance.

That in mind, roaches are not choosy eater and won’t turn down human hair as meal if need be. Cockroaches are known as scavengers implying that they eat anything that forms a meal starting from living or dead organisms.

Roaches prefer to eat meat, decaying fruit and vegetables, greasy food, poop, cardboard etc. Unless there is no food source available for roaches, which is highly unlikely, roaches will still something to eat. They can feed on paint, wallpaper and in some cases other roaches.

Can cockroaches Eat Human Hair?

Cockroaches are not picky when it comes to food. They eat almost anything that comes their way. Top on their menu include dead and decaying matter, rotting wood, crumbs or food leftovers. They will eat hair if food becomes scarce especially when their population has overgrown. In short, roaches are scavengers eating almost anything they can easily find.

Human hair especially the root has sebaceous gland that produce sebum: a fatty secretion that is responsible for making your hair oily and greasy. Hair contains lipids or simply fat which attracts the roaches- Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Roaches love oily hairs especially one that hasn’t been washed for quite some time. The fats in hair is what the roaches are attracted to and can sustain the roaches for some time until they find their preferred food source. Roaches are more attracted to starch and sugar for them to survive, this is what the human hair lacks but be an alternative food source for a short period of time.

During starvation cockroaches eat other cockroaches simply referred to as cannibalistic. This has tremendous effect on the younger and weaker roaches who cannot compete for food with larger roaches, this category of roaches will eat hair to survive.

One would wonder, how do roaches eat hair? Shock on you! Roaches use their sharp and strong mandibles to chew through each strand of hair. Although the hair may be tough and hard to break, this requires time before they bite through it. In most cases, roaches eat human hair while you are sleeping.

Do cockroaches Lay Eggs in Your Hair?

It is highly unlikely for roaches to lay eggs in your hair. Cockroaches will lay eggs in a secure environment where there is a guarantee of food supply. Usually this places are warm near the kitchen or cupboards.

Also Read: Cockroach Eggs: What They Look Like, How to Kill & Get Rid

Unless there is a heavy infestation, cockroaches may not lay eggs in your hair. If it does happen, you will feel even the smallest roach moving through your hair and possibly remove it before it even lay its eggs in your hair.

Roaches are scared of humans. So roaches will dare not even get too close. The human hair is not suitable for roaches to lay eggs in. The hair is smooth for the eggs to survive there. Your hair doesn’t provide the ideal environment; dark, warm and dry conditions for cockroaches to lay their eggs.

What you may suspect as cockroach eggs might not be it. If you notice small white eggs in your hair, chances are they are more likely to be head lice eggs. If your hair is infested with cockroach eggs, washing thoroughly with shampoo several times is the best way to get rid of the eggs from your hair.

Can You Get Roaches in Your Hair?

Cockroaches have been known to feed on dead animal skin, eyelashes and eyebrows particularly in children while sleeping. While it may be a rare case, in a heavily infested home where food is scarce, roaches are more likely to find other source of food which include hair. These are extreme cases that happens during starvation for sustenance.

Cockroach infestation are common in urban settings especially in apartments where their control is difficult. In this settings, roaches can get in your hair while you are sleeping. It only happens under darkness. You may find one or two roaches in your hair looking for food. But they will vanish as soon as you switch on the lights.

How to Stop Roaches Eating Your Hair?

 Here is how you can stop cockroaches from eating your hair:

1. Wash Your Hair

To remove cockroaches eggs and stop the roaches from eating your hair, regularly wash your hair with shampoo. Cockroaches prefer greasy hair, so keeping it clean and oil-free will stop them from eating your hair. If possible use scented shampoo to repel the roaches from ever coming anywhere near your hair.

2. Wear Shower Cap or Hair Covering

If you are dealing with a heavy infestation of roaches, always protect your hair while sleeping. This is to deter the roaches from chewing through your hair. Find a hair covering or shower cap that is tight and fits your head properly such that there are gaps or spaces in between for the cockroaches to crawl into. This means you also have to put your hair tucked into the covering.

3. Use Scented Oils

Scented oils will repel the roaches from coming near your hair. Cockroaches don’t like the smell of scents. You can also spray your pillows and beddings with fragrance that will deter the roaches. Cockroaches hate the smell of essential oils (lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, tea tree oil or cypress).

Also Read: What Do cockroaches Hate? – Cockroach Natural Repellents

4. Hoover Your Bed

It is common for humans to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day. It is even more with people with long or thick hair – American Academy of Dermatology

While sleeping, humans tend to lose hair strands each time while moving in their sleep. It is the reason why you see a bunch of loose hair in the bed every morning you wake up. Such loose hair tend to attract the roaches. To stop this, hoover your bed every morning to remove the loose strands that could otherwise attract roaches.

5. Wash Your Bedding Regularly

Other than vacuuming your bed, make it a habit of washing it too particularly on high heat. This will not only kill the roaches hiding in the bedding but will also deter the roaches from coming. It will also destroy any eggs that could be in your bedding.

Cockroaches can be found in mattresses especially if the bedding has gaps or holes. Note that roaches rarely survive in washing machine and dryer. Wash your bedding one or twice weekly.

6. Clean the Plugholes

Make sure the plugholes are always kept clean. Roaches are likely to build their nest in bathrooms and sewer where there is plenty of water. They will access your homes through crawling up drains and pipes. This is where they like to hide.

While washing your hair, you may shed a few strands, this hair will with time accumulate in the bathroom drain. If you don’t clean the drain, you will be providing roaches with a reliable food supply.

Clean the bathroom drain every time you shower. You can also use white vinegar solution and bicarbonate of soda to clean the drain to keep the roaches away.

Can Cockroaches Cause Hair Loss?

There is no proof that roaches can directly cause hair loss. Cockroaches do not come too close to humans. However, roaches are responsible for quite a number of harmful diseases that can make you sick. Hair loss is one of the common side effects of these diseases. Cockroaches cannot directly cause hair loss but spread diseases that may.

To deal with the issue of hair loss coming from diseases spread by roaches, get rid of cockroach infestation.

Here is a list of diseases that roaches may spread:


Typhoid is bacterial diseases that is transmitted by roaches carrying the salmonella typhi bacterium. Roaches carry and spread the diseases by eating contaminated poop. Hair loss has commonly been associated with typhoid fever.

Here are some of the justifications:

  • People with typhoid need antibiotics to treat the infection. This means they have to completely remove the bacteria from their body system. In the process, essential vitamins and nutrients needed for hair growth are also removed.
  • It is common that when you suffer from typhoid, you get intestinal issues making it difficult for your body to absorb important nutrients for hair growth

As soon as you cure the typhoid, normal growth of hair begin but it takes up to 6 months for the growth to return to normal. This largely depends on your diet. You have to eat food that contains a lot of vitamins and minerals.


Dysentery is an infection that causes serious stomach issues such as diarrhea and cramps. Victims suffering from dysentery develop mucus and blood in their feces. Cockroaches carrying the dysentery-causing parasite are the cause of the inflammation in humans.

Dysentery is a severe infection that shouldn’t let untreated, the victims lose appetite and one can become extremely malnourished. Due to this effect, one can lose hair. But once treated, you can grow back your hair. You just have to eat meals normally with lots of vitamins and minerals.


Roaches are known to transmit 33 various bacteria, one of them including the E.coli and salmonella that are responsible for gastroenteritis- an infection of the gastrointestinal tract (affecting the stomach and intestines).

The patients suffer from severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and dehydration. One loses ability to feed properly meaning that a lot of vitamins and minerals are lost throughout the period. This can lead to hair loss. To recover the lost minerals and vitamins, one needs to eat food rich in vitamins and minerals and supplements if need be.


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