how long can head lice live on clothes

how long can head lice live on clothes

How Long Can Head Lice Live on Clothes?

Head lice are parasites that live exclusively on humans, feeding on our blood and laying eggs in the skin at the base of the individual hairs on our head. Although these parasites require human contact to survive, it is possible for them to spread and live on clothing and other items. But, how long can head lice survive on clothes?

Head Lice Lifespan on Fabric

Head lice are not able to survive more than a day or two away from the human head. In fact, the lice cannot even breed without regular contact with the human scalp. Without that access to blood, the lice will start to dehydrate and eventually die.

What Makes Head Lice Different From Other Lice?

Head lice have evolved to survive in the human environment much better than other kinds of lice. They have developed a stronger exoskeleton to help them hold onto hairs and they produce a glue-like substance that helps keep them in place. This glue can keep them tethered to the fabric they are on, but they will still die quickly without access to human blood.

Are Head Lice Spread by Clothing?

Head lice cannot live on clothes, but they can still be spread in this manner. When someone with head lice touches their hair and then a shirt or other item, they can pass the lice to another person who touches the same item. It is also possible for the lice to be spread by sharing a brush, headband, hat, or other hair accessory.

How Can You Prevent Head Lice Spread?

In order to prevent the spread of head lice, it is important to:

  • Wash fabric items regularly. Anything that someone with head lice has worn should be washed in hot water and put in the dryer on the highest heat setting for at least 20 minutes. This will kill off any lice or eggs that may have gotten onto the item of clothing.
  • Avoid sharing hair accessories. Headbands, scarves, hats, and other items should not be shared between people, especially if someone has head lice.
  • Vacuum furniture. After someone has been treated for head lice, the furniture in the home should be vacuumed to get rid of any lice or eggs that may have gotten onto the furniture.

By following these steps, you can help reduce the risk of head lice being spread by clothing and other items.

Recent Posts

Follow Us