08 Aug How Long Do Lice Live on Furniture, Carpet and Other Soft Surfaces?
Many people think that head lice are a result of poor hygiene, but this is not the case. These tiny pests live on the scalp where they feed on human blood. They do not look for people who are clean or dirty – any hair will do! Head lice can spread rapidly from person to person, but the number one way they spread is through close contact.
Nevertheless, people still have concerns over how head lice can be spread in the home. This is why we want to address these worries. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that your chances of picking up head lice from furniture, carpet and other soft surfaces are very, very slim.
How Long Can Lice Live on Furniture and Carpet?
Adult lice can’t live longer than 24 hours or so on surfaces like carpets, floors, clothing and furniture. To survive, head lice need to feed on human blood several times a day. Without these blood meals, they can’t live any longer than a day or two. Even on the head, the life cycle of a louse is relatively short, about 30 days.
Nits (lice eggs) can’t live without a human host. They need warmth from a person’s head for incubation before they hatch. As soon as they hatch, they need nourishment from human blood. Bad news for them – good news for you! If nits come off the scalp for any reason, they will most likely die before they hatch.
Knowing this, your chances for catching lice from furniture, carpet, pillows, blankets and other soft surfaces is extremely low.
What About Other Surfaces? Can You Catch Lice From Them?
As far as other surfaces like countertops and hardwood flooring, as well as sports helmets, hair accessories and headphones, the same rules apply. It doesn’t matter if a louse finds a warm, soft spot on a couch cushion or a cold, hard spot on a countertop. These pests need a human host to survive.
The reason why there’s more emphasis on not sharing hats, hair accessories and headphones is because it’s easier to transfer head lice this way. For example, if an infected person tries on a hat and you try it on immediately after, it is possible for a louse to transfer to your head. But if that same hat sits on the store shelf for a day or two, the louse will die.
How Do I Get Rid of Lice in the Home?
If someone in your household gets head lice, the most important step is to treat them with a safe, effective nontoxic lice treatment. All products from My Hair Helpers contain only natural ingredients like peppermint and spearmint. They are available on Amazon, or if you live locally in southern California, you can visit our head lice salon.
As far as your home, there’s not much you need to worry about. Remember, head lice only live for about 24 hours off a host, so eliminating them from the head is what you should be focusing on. But to be on the safe side, here are some steps you can take to make sure head lice are removed from your home.
- Gather up all the items that have been used by the infected person in the last day or two, such as blankets, pillows and bed sheets. Machine wash them in hot water and dry them in the dryer. Anything that can’t be washed and dried can be placed in a plastic bag for two weeks.
- All combs, hairbrushes, etc. that have been used by the infected person should be soaked in water for 5 to 10 minutes. Again, this is just to be on the safe side!
- Lastly, vacuum your floors to gather up any lice and eggs. The chances of anything surviving and infecting someone else is low, but it’s not a bad idea to do a quick vacuum!
Bottom line: Head lice only live for about 24 hours off a human host. As long as you treat the infected person with a head lice shampoo, you will kill off the lice and stop the cycle. Beat head lice with My Hair Helpers – our products are safe, natural, affordably priced and guaranteed to work!
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