Many people do not know their hair can draw ants to bathroom drains, and even dandruff on the scalp can allure them, but it rarely happens when these insects make a home on your head.
Can Ants Nest in Your Hair? Ants can nest in your hair because they are a good source of protein. These get attracted to the greasy scalp, dandruff, sweat, odor of shampoo or conditioner, and fermented hair. Big-headed ants are known to cause alopecia in vertical or circular patches.
Ants can reach strange places while searching for food when the external temperature is favorable. They live in trash bins, food trays, sinks, bird cages, and even in human hair.
Will ants nest in your hair?
Probably, you are providing a suitable nesting spot to ants unknowingly if you do not keep your scalp clean and free of dandruff, as sweat and dandruff can attract them.
The head scalp contains oil glands which can help keep hair healthy by reducing dryness. However, the situation gets complicated when these glands become overactive and release excessive sebum.
In addition, the scalp appears greasy within a day or two after washing it. It can occur due to a deficiency of essential vitamins, mainly vitamins B6 and B2.
This greasy scalp can attract grease ants as these insects get attracted to oil. Accordingly, they can build a temporary nest on your head for nutrition.
Presence of dandruff
Ants like to eat dandruff flakes because they are easier to carry on bodies or fix between mandibles due to their lighter weight. In addition, these flakes are a rich source of nutrients and energy for these insects.
Accordingly, they can reach the carpet searching for dandruff flakes or even begin living in your hair.
You can get rid of them only if you solve an issue of dandruff; otherwise, they will not leave your head and build a temporary living spot there.
Odor of conditioner
Hair conditioners like rose, coconut, butter, etc., have a pleasing odor and appeal insect receptors. They get attracted to beautiful fragrances, so ants can get on you when sleeping.
They can reach your head easily by climbing the bed and hiding between the strands. It is easier for ants to hide and nest in curly and thick texture than straight and frizz-free hair.
Moreover, these insects feel comfortable until you do not interfere with their nest.
They cannot make a permanent living spot on your scalp because frequent combing and washing can cause discomfort for them.
Many of these insects cannot live on the scalp because they get detected by a person, who will keep combing until all of them get out of his head.
Smell of fermented hair
These insects can only attack your head, and they can also reach bathroom drains in search of keratin strands usually present on dirty drains.
Moreover, the broken strands on the shower drain smell like rotten eggs that do not please your nose receptors, but they can allure ants and draw them inside.
Fermenting hair can become a good source of nutrition from them, and they can reside under the drains to remain closer to keratin protein.
So, it is better to remove hair from drains if you want to get rid of ants from your bathroom because they can build a permanent nest in the drain clogging.
What happens when ants nest in hair?
They can create a problem after nesting in your hair by biting the scalp and making wounds on the affected spot. Some insects can even sting and inject venom into the scalp.
These insects are responsible for alopecia or hair loss from a specific area in different directions. You can get a circular or non-discrete patch on the scalp due to localized destruction.
A few people have been diagnosed with such problems due to ants nesting in their heads. However, only a few of these insects usually live there, ranging from two to three.
This destruction can become prominent over time if you do not sort out issues like a flaky or greasy scalp. It rarely happens that these pests have moved to your head, but it is observed.
In addition, it can cause a lot of discomfort for the person carrying insects on his head and create panic. Broken strands can regrow as they do not remove strands from follicles but break apart.
Mechanical pulling or chewing and chemical secretions by their mouth can hydrolyze the strands and break strands into two halves. They will take a few weeks to regrow to their original length.
Do ants lay eggs in human hair?
Ants can infest hair when they find a food source or an ideal place to live. They usually live in hidden areas or underground tunnels within the soil as they prefer darker environments.
Thick and bouncy keratin strands can provide a suitable environment for these tiny insects as they can easily hide between the strands and nest there.
However, these insects leave nests when they do not feel comfortable and have the risk of death. Accordingly, they can leave your hair when you wash or comb it.
No such cases are reported for ants to lay eggs on human head, particularly when nesting in the scalp, but they can live and reproduce on fermented hair in bathroom drains.
So, they can lay eggs on the keratin strands in drains.
Do ants prefer to nest in wet or dry hair?
Most commonly, the big-headed ants are known to nest in the scalp and cause breakage of strands by using their sharp and larger mandibles located on the heads.
They usually get attracted to denser and thicker hair having high volume because they can easily hide between strands, as the thin texture cannot provide an ideal space for them.
Moreover, wet and fermented strands in shower drains are more attractive to these insects compared to dry ones on the scalp because they love a moist environment.
They do not have to reach another water source if they live in a wet environment, as wet hair helps keep their bodies moist and hydrated.
Furthermore, people with long hair are more prone to ant-induced alopecia because they preferably do not nest in short ones due to lesser protection.