How long can lice live on this little boy's mattress?

How Long Do Lice Live on a Mattress?

Once upon a time, your kid had lice. You went through all the lice treatment steps, and thankfully your kid is now lice free! Another missed day of school just wasn’t in the books. As you’re driving home after a hectic day, it hits you. The mattress. Can lice live on mattresses? Can your kid get another lice infestation? How long do lice live on a mattress? Don’t fret. We are addressing all of your concerns and questions on how you can prepare your home after a lice infestation.

So, How Long Do Lice Live on a Mattress?

Head lice can only survive for 1-2 days once they have fallen off their host. That is because they rely on the blood of their host as food several times per day. It’s important to note that head lice do not hide in mattresses during the day like bed bugs—they want to remain on the scalp of their hosts continuously. And lice can only crawl—no jumping or flying, which means they can only be contracted by direct contact. So, is it technically possible someone can get lice from a mattress? Yes, although it is extremely unlikely.

As long as you strip off any bed linens that the infested child recently used (within the 2 days before they were treated), and machine wash and dry them, your child and the other members of the household should be safe.

How Long Can Lice Live on Bedding? Sheets? Pillows?

Just like with mattresses, lice can only live on any bedding—whether it’s sheets, pillows, or comforters—for 1-2 days. Without a human scalp as a source for food (blood) for longer than 1-2 days, lice cannot survive.

Steps You Can Take to Stay Lice-Free

There are 2 types of parents after treating lice: one who deep cleans the entire house, and one who doesn’t give it a second thought after it’s been treated. Regardless if you’re one, the other, or a little bit of both, you don’t need to spend tons of money to ensure those pesky lice are gone for good. We’ve got your house and heads covered with these steps:

  • Machine Wash and Bedding and Clothing. Machine wash linens, clothing, bedding, and clothing the infested person came into contact with during the 2 days prior to treatment. Use hot water (130°F) cycle paired with a high heat drying cycle. This process will dehydrate and kill any potential surviving lice and lice eggs.
  • Soak Hairbrushes and Accessories. Gather all combs, hairbrushes, hair ties, and bobby pins to soak in hot water (minimum 130°F) for 5-10 minutes. Put any ribbons, bows, and scrunchies in the washing machine with the bedding.
  • Focus on Checking Heads and Treating Heads. Since lice can only live for such a short period of time off of a scalp, other than washing items that an infested person very recently came into contact with, you should focus your efforts on checking the heads of your family members.

Head Lice Treatment in Jacksonville and Orlando, FL and Savannah, GA

We understand that treating lice can put a damper on your day and take up your time. At our Fresh Heads Lice Removal clinics, we take the hassle of treating lice for you. When you come into our clinic, you can leave in just over an hour completely lice free, or we’ll give you a parting gift for you to treat on your own. Our various treatment options are a match for lice infestation in any family. Save yourself the Google searches of “How long do lice live on a mattress?” and “How long do lice live on bedding?” and contact us today to schedule your appointment—we want to see your Fresh Heads!


Schools Without Lice.

Schools Without Lice

Our mission at Fresh Heads Lice Removal is to get rid of lice in schools across the USA. We’ve partnered with the Lice Clinics of America to do just that! We’ve created a Schools Without Lice program to give nurses and teachers free resources, screenings, and treatments. Together, we can have schools without lice!

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