Can Head Lice Live On Pillows And Sheets? Complete Guide
Imagine how irritating it is to have head lices in you or your family members. If you had this experience of head lice at least once, then you know how it feels. Head lice are small parasites that are attached to human hair and head while feeding on blood.
These annoying head lice are spreading from head to head easily, and if one member of the family has head lice, there is a large possibility of spreading it to others as well.
Therefore, when you are sharing pillows and sheets, then there is the risk of spreading head lice through them. So, it’s better to be concerned about the matter, can head lice live on pillows and sheets before getting rid of them.
So, can head lice live on pillows and sheets? The answer has two sides. They can stay in pillows and sheets for a maximum of 1-2 days. Most of the time, it will be 24 hours. Head lice cannot live without the heat of the human scalp and the blood to feed. Therefore, they don’t like to leave the human head, and it’s only they have to stay in pillows and sheets when they are accidentally fallen there attached to your hair. So, there is a minimal risk to transfer head lice from one person to another through pillows and sheets.
From this article, you may understand more details about head lice and their nature. Then you will get answers for the matter, can head lice live on pillows and sheets together with the concern on how long they can live there.
Finally, I’ll provide you with some tips to get rid of head lice since it is important to make your head free of head lice to make your pillows and sheets free from them.
So, let’s get started!
What do you know about head lice?
Head lice are small insect-type parasites that live in human hair. They feed on human blood on the scalp and lay eggs there. The human scalp is the home for head lice, and it’s the host for their survival, and they can’t live long without a human scalp.
Head lice are brown colored and small in size of 2-3 mm long. They have six legs but don’t have wings. Therefore, they are not leaving the human head easily and most of the time moving from head to head.
The female head lice lay eggs on the scalp, and they are called nits. After laying eggs for 6-10 days per month, the female lice die leaving a large number of nits.
After 10 days, the nit turned into a nymph, and it matured to a louse for laying eggs after another 7-10 days. The life cycle of head lice is about 30 days, and it seems to have a shorter life span.
The history of head lice goes back thousands of years. According to researchers, they have found head lice eggs or nits from the hair of Egyptian mummies. Their eggs are in the environment naturally, and there is no proper origin identified.
Head lice are spreading heavily from one person to another, and they can transmit diseases as well. Therefore, it is very common to observe the spread of head lice within a family with the spread of diseases.
So if one member of the family has head lice in their head, it should be treated immediately before spread into others. Then, the matter of head lice living on pillows and sheets comes to mind when considering the spread of them.
Can head lice live on pillows and sheets?
It’s possible to imagine how you feel about having head lice and how much it irritates you. If you go through lice treatments and are going to get rid of head lice, then you may face the matter of beddings.
Do head lice still there, or can they transfer into another person’s head by staying on your pillows and sheets can be some burning issues from your side. The answer for the matter can head lice live on pillows and sheets.
It can be answered as yes in one aspect while no in another aspect. Since head lice live on attaching to your hair, they may fall to the pillows and sheets with the fall of your hair. It’s the only way they move to your beddings.
Head lice have no wings or hind legs; they cannot fly or jump into the head of another person or a surface. They are moving through their small legs and cannot live without the warmth of the heat of humans for long.
Therefore, when it comes to can head lice live on pillows and sheets, yes, they can stay in pillows and sheets after they have fallen there with your hair. But head lice cannot live long on pillows and sheets.
However, head lice do not prefer to stay away from their host head, and therefore the chance of crawling from the head to your beddings is very low. And even they cannot live without the heat of the human head since it provides a gestation for them to live.
So, the answer for the matter is yes, they can stay in your bedding, expecting a human head, but they can’t live there too long.
How long can head lice survive on pillows and sheets?
Then, let’s identify how long head lice can live on your pillows and sheets. Head lice can stay on your pillows and sheets for about 24 hours after they have fallen there with your hair.
They can’t live without the warmth of a human head for longer than 1-2 days, and they need blood to feed. Head lice need to feed several times a day, and they can’t live in bedding without feeding blood.
They need to eat every 4 times a day, and the temperature they need to survive is also in your scalp. The room temperature at the pillows and sheets is too cold for them, and therefore they always need to stay on the scalp and do not lie long in pillows and sheets.
Therefore, if you can clean your pillows and sheets after use, especially when you or your family member has head lice on the scalp, even within 2 days, then there is no risk of infecting head lice from one person to another.
The chance of head lice to live on pillows and sheets for longer and transfer into another person’s head is very low.
Tips to get rid of head lice
When searching for answers for the matter can head lice live on pillows and sheets, it is necessary to understand how to get rid of head lice.
If any of your family members has head lice, then you need to follow lice treatment to get rid of them to reduce the risk of spreading them to everyone.
As there is the risk of head lice staying on your pillows and sheets waiting for a human head for 24 hours after they have fallen there, you have to be cautious about it.
If you want to get a head lice-free home, then first you have to identify where they live and how to get rid of them. As we already discussed, head lice live on your head, not your pillows and sheets.
Therefore, you have to free your head from lice, and then you may eliminate the risk of having head lice on your bedding. So, here are some tips you can follow to get rid of these irritating bugs.
1. Comb the hair by applying oil
Thick oil is a good way to kill the head lice, and you can apply thick oil to your hair and then leave the oil in your hair for some hours. It will disturb head lice and slow them down.
Then take a lice comb and pull out the lice from your hair by combing. Use a comb with closed-together tines. You can divide the hair into several sections and comb the hair separately to pull out all the lice from it.
Then the head lice and nits will be removed with combing, and be aware of the tines of your comb.
2. Wash the hair by using a lice shampoo
After oiling and combing the hair, you can use a lice shampoo to wash it. Lice shampoo will support you to remove the head lice, and they make the scalp environment difficult for lice to stay, and then they begin to fall from your head.
Ask another person to search and remove the head lice and nits stuck in your hair, and it is better to use a magnifying glass and bright light. Pay more attention to ears and necks when removing nits and lice through lice shampoo.
3. Use personal belongings separately
Although there is less chance to transmit head lice through belongings, it is better to use them separately.
Especially, combs, brushes, helmets, towels, hats, pillows, and sheets should be used separately.
Since they are personal items, it is better to keep them only for you, and it can be a benefit to maintain your cleanliness as well.
4. Wash, dry, or vacuum beddings
If there is a lice-infested person at your home, then to reduce the spread or eliminate the risk, you can wash, dry, or vacuum your beddings, including mattress, pillows, and sheets, at least after two days.
Since head lice can live on those surfaces only for 24 hours, cleaning them will support getting them away.
5. Minimize head to head contact
You don’t know which person’s head lice are and therefore minimize head-to-head contact with others.
Head lice transfer mostly from this way by contacting two heads and therefore reduce it to get away from head lice.
6. Check the head regularly
To get rid of lice, you have to be cautious of it. Even after treating and eliminating lice from your head, always check the head regularly and make aware that there are no head lice or nits in your scalp and hair.
It is easy to treat them at the beginning before spreading them throughout the scalp with a large number of nits.
7. Lice doctor
If the situation is worse and you can’t handle it anymore, it is better to contact a lice doctor and go for medication.
There are lice doctors specialized for the scalp, and you can get their service, and it is a better option to get rid of head lice.
Conclusion – Can Head Lice Live On Pillows And Sheets?
I guess by reading this article, you have got a clear understanding of head lice and their life cycles. And, you have got answers for the matter, can head lice live on pillows and sheets, and now you know how long they can stay in your pillows and sheets.
Since I’ve mentioned to you some steps that you can follow to reduce head lice, you can try them out. It is better for your scalp as well as for your family members to get rid of head lice.
Thank you for reading. Stay tuned with BestFamilyLife for more good content.