Lice spread most commonly through hair-to-hair contact, and it can be taxing to get rid of them at times.
Although lice live in human hair and are found mostly there, people wonder can lice live in carpet or on any other surfaces too.
In this guide, we have decoded it all, from understanding the life cycle of lice to learning how to deal with & avoid them.
Understanding How Lice Live
Lice lay around half a dozen eggs daily, and that is how the life of a louse begins. The nit looks like a yellow speck that has a glue-like surface and is around a millimeter long.
Nitch hatch after 7-10 days from the egg, and after 10 days, they grow full in size.
Lice live on the scalp and feed on human blood by piercing the scalp. They feed every 1-2 hours in fact & cannot survive without a human host and access to blood for more than 24-48 hours.
Understanding how lice live is important in order to understand if can lice live on carpets at all.
How Does Lice Transmit?
The most common way how a person can get lice directly into their head is through head-to-head contact with an infected person.
Because of the direct contact, the insect can directly crawl onto your hair and start spreading quickly.
Sometimes lice can also spread through shared clothing such as towels, bed clothing, etc. It is rare but possible.
Can Lice Live On Carpet?
We all love our precious carpets and do not want any kind of insect or pest to make it it’s home. Many people wonder if can lice live on carpets. The answer is no.
So as mentioned earlier, lice cannot survive without a human host, just like coccidia, as they need to draw blood in order to stay alive.
They also need warmth in order to complete their gestation period. Hence, lice cannot survive on any other surface other than a scalp and will die in 24-48 hours without feeding on blood.
Also, they cannot just “fall” onto your carpets or other furniture until and unless the hair it is attached to falls off.
So fallen nit can also not hatch on any other surface and will die within a week.
How Long Can Lice Live?
Lice need human blood to survive; once separated, they will most likely die in 24-48 hours. Here’s a look at how long can lice live on different surfaces and how you can deal with them.
Carpets & Furniture
First of all, the chances of getting lice on carpets or furniture are very low. And if you have spotted lice in your carpet or on a piece of furniture, then do not worry.
Lice will die on the carpet or furniture in a few hours. The life cycle of lice is just 30 days, even on hair, and they cannot live on any other surface for more than a day or two.
However, if you still feel the need to do something about it, then you can simply vacuum your carpets, upholstery, furniture, etc.
Lice can spread very easily from bed linen. If you sleep on an infected person’s bed linen, you may get lice in your hair too.
However, any lice that remain on the bed linen would die within two days without being able to feed on human blood.
Nits will also not be able to hatch without the ideal gestation environment and will die within a week.
Lice often get caught in the comb, but adult lice cannot survive in the hairbrush for more than two days. And it’s not for more than a week.
It is suggested to soak your hairbrush in hot water for 15 minutes to get rid of lice.
People can also get lice from clothing items or accessories like towels, scarf, hats, hair ribbons, headbands, etc., of an infected person.
Lice that remain on these items without attaching access to the human scalp will again die within two days.
What About Other Surfaces?
As far as other surfaces, such as helmets, hardwood flooring, countertops, headphones, etc., are concerned, the same rule applies.
Lice cannot live on any other surface for more than 24-48 hours as they need human blood to survive.
However, for example: if there is a louse on a hat and you wear that hat before 24-48 hours end or before it dies, then it might stick to your hair and survive.
So you should just be careful while using someone else’s items.
How To Prevent And Control Lice?
Lice usually spread from hair-to-hair contact or when the hair strand they were attached to falls off.
They can also attach to combs, hairbands, or rubber bands and can spread from them too. If you want to prevent and control lice, then here are some tips that can help:
- Avoid using someone else’s hair accessories, even towels, hats, scarves, etc.
- Avoid head-to-head contact as that is the most common way how lice enter your hair.
- If you think a person has lice, then do not sleep on their bed, pillow, couch, etc.
- Avoid sharing combs, hair accessories, towels, etc., with anyone. If you think you have shared your accessories with a person with lice, then make sure to wash the item by soaking it in hot water for at least 5-10 minutes.
- Machine wash clothes, bed linen, etc., of an infested person in hot water. Clothes that can’t be washed should be dry cleaned and should be kept sealed in a plastic bag for a week.
- Vacuum carpets and other furniture to make sure any fallen lice are taken care of.
- Use the necessary medication to deal with lice in your head and to get rid of them completely.
How To Get Rid Of Lice?
Lice medication sold at pharmacies is becoming uncommon due to the resistance these pests have developed to them.
However, you can still try a good medication as suggested by the pharmacist. If that does not work, you can opt for professional treatment and go to a lice treatment salon.
While treatment is essential, getting rid of lice from your clothing, bedding, and other items is essential. Along with your hair treatment, make sure you also clean your items by washing them in hot water.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Lice
Many people don’t like to use lice medications on their scalps because of the harsh chemicals present in them.
If you are looking for some home remedies to get rid of lice, then here’s what you can do:
In this method, you are supposed to apply conditioner to your wet hair and then comb it using a very fine comb which is also called a nit comb. By combing your hair using a nit comb, you can get rid of lice and nits.
However, you need to repeat this process every 2-3 days for two weeks or until you see the nits and lice disappear from your hair.
Essential oils have not been proven to kill lice. But people like to use tea tree, ylang-ylang, anise, and other essential oil to avoid lice from getting in their hair.
You can also apply natural compounds such as butter, olive oil, mayonnaise, or petroleum jelly and smother the lice to kill them.
Blood-sucking parasites like lice, ticks in carpet can be really annoying to deal with. However, they cannot survive on your carpets, furniture, upholstery, or any other item for more than 24-48 hours.
Lice need blood to feed on, and you should focus on treating them and getting rid of them from the root.
We hope you found this guide on can lice live in carpet helpful.
How to check if the lice are gone?
The best way to check if lice are still present in your child’s hair is by checking your child’s hair frequently after the treatment.
You can also shine a black light on your kid’s scalp. Any nits that are still present in the hair would shine. If the lice persist even after trying everything, then you should consult a professional.
How to keep your carpets free of lice and other pests?
Vacuuming your carpets every two-three days will ensure any unwanted insect is sucked out of the carpet fibers.
You should also get your carpets cleaned by professionals every 8-12 months.
How to kill lice that is present in carpets and rugs?
You can get rid of lice from your carpets or rugs by soaking them in hot water for at least 20 minutes.
If soaking your carpet is not possible, then you can simply vacuum your carpet or steam clean it.
You should not worry about lice in carpets as they cannot survive in a carpet or on any other surface for that matter and will die within 24 hours or so.
Daleyza knows a lot about carpets! She has worked with carpets for over 7 years and can help with things like putting them in, keeping them clean, and replacing them. She really likes carpets and spends most of her time learning about new ways to work with them. When she’s not learning about carpets, she enjoys reading books. She’s really good at helping people choose the right carpet for their homes and making sure they’re happy with it. If you want to know more about carpets, Daleyza is the person to talk to!