You know that it’s not too uncommon for people to get head lice. This is something that sometimes happens to children, but it can happen to adults as well.
Often, a child will get head lice and then spread it to other children at school. Your child could bring the lice home from school.
You’ll then have to deal with this situation and use a special shampoo to get rid of the lice. It’ll also be necessary to clean your home thoroughly.
Can lice live on a couch? Will you need to clean your couch in a special way to ensure that the lice have been dealt with?
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this uncomfortable topic. Once you’ve learned all that you can, it’ll be simpler to get good results.
How Long Can Lice Live On a Couch?
Thankfully, lice cannot live for very long on a couch. It’s said that lice can’t survive for more than 24 hours in places other than the human body.
So this means that your couch isn’t going to be a safe haven for lice. If your child brings head lice home from school, you don’t have to worry too much about your couch.
Lice also won’t be able to live in your carpeting, your bed, your clothing items, and on other pieces of furniture. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take precautions, though.
It’s best to clean thoroughly when you notice lice in your home. You want to wash any items that you or anyone else in your home came into contact with.
This means washing your couch, your carpeting, your clothes, stuffed animals, and anything else that you can think of. You’ll be thoroughly washing things and cleaning your house to ensure that you get rid of all traces of the lice.
How to Get Rid of Lice On a Couch
After reading the information above, you know the head lice can’t live long once they’re not on humans any longer. Any lice that might be present on your couch will survive for only 24 hours.
In some cases, they might survive for 48 hours, but they aren’t going to live long. It’s recommended to simply clean the couch properly to keep things from spreading.
Experts recommend using a lint roller on the couch and vacuuming thoroughly. Just doing this will be enough to keep the lice from spreading.
You can go further and use lice spray on your furniture. This spray is designed to kill both lice and bed bugs.
Go around your home and spray your couch, the carpet, beds, hampers, and other areas that you might be worried about. This spray isn’t all that expensive, so it’s a practical way to give yourself peace of mind when dealing with lice issues.
You can also make a homemade spray that is capable of killing lice. A bit of water and 1% tea tree oil works to kill lice.
What Are the Most Important Items to Clean?
Technically, cleaning your home won’t get rid of the lice. The lice can’t live unless they stay on your head.
So cleaning the couch and vacuuming your floor is only done to prevent the spread. You don’t have to worry too much about deep cleaning every nook and cranny.
However, there are items that are more important to wash and clean. You want to clean the bedding because this has been touching your hair at night.
Wash your sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and any other bedding items. You should also wash all of your clothes and towels.
Make sure that you clean hairbrushes and combs properly. You’ll learn a bit more about this later.
Any hats, helmets, or scarves that you’ve worn should be washed immediately. Essentially, you’re washing things that might have come into contact with your head.
It’s also important to wash your child’s stuffed animals. Often, kids keep their stuffed animals on their beds.
So they need to be washed to ensure that the lice don’t temporarily go on the stuffed animals and then jump back onto their heads. Since lice can’t live for too long on non-human surfaces, it’s not something that you need to be overly worried about.
Soak Combs in Hot Water
High temperatures are capable of killing head lice. You don’t want the lice to continue to live on your combs and brushes.
Thus, soaking the brushes in hot water is a good idea. Temperatures of 128.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher can kill lice when they’re exposed to them for five minutes.
So hot water can kill lice. This will work well for many of your combs and other hair accessories.
How Are Lice Spread?
Lice can only be spread by close human-to-human contact. This is why it’s so common for school children to get head lice.
Kids play and get close to each other at school. If one child has head lice, other kids can easily get the lice by interacting with those children that already have them.
It’s also possible for lice to spread when people share combs. Sharing combs, brushes, and other types of hair accessories can cause lice to spread from one person to another.
Sometimes you’ll see people spread head lice by sharing hats. A child might wear a baseball cap and let another child borrow it.
The head lice can be transferred from the cap to the other child’s head. Any type of head or hair accessory could potentially transfer lice from one person to another.
How Common Is It to Have Head Lice?
Head lice issues are more common than many people realize. While you don’t expect to deal with lice all the time, it’s something that does happen to millions of people each year.
Recent estimates suggest that between six and twelve million people deal with head lice infestations each year. Generally, this problem is most commonly seen in children.
Specifically, school-aged children are more likely to get head lice. This is because children are in close proximity to each other during school.
It’s also common for kids to share hats and do other things that make it easier for lice to jump from one person to another. The kids then bring the lice home from school and their parents wind up getting them as well.
This is certainly an annoying issue, but it’s not a serious one. You can deal with lice rather easily.
Does Getting Head Lice Make You a Dirty Person?
No, getting head lice does not make you a dirty person. Some people have the misconception that people who get head lice are dirty.
There are rumors out there that say that only dirty people attract lice. This simply isn’t the case.
Lice seek out human hair because that’s where they need to live. They don’t care whether your hair is well-groomed or if it’s dirty.
So a dirty individual isn’t more likely to get head lice than someone who spends a lot of time grooming themselves. Poor hygiene has nothing to do with getting head lice.
If lice find an opportunity to get on you, they’re going to do it. The main cause of head lice is simply being in close contact with someone who happens to have head lice.
Do Head Lice Prefer Long Hair?
No, head lice don’t necessarily seek out people with long hair. These parasites are capable of living on hair that is as short as 0.1 inches.
So even someone who is balding can potentially have head lice. It’s not a situation where the head lice will look for a host with long and luxurious hair.
You should know that lice stay very close to the scalp. They feed on blood from the scalp, and that means that they need to be close to the scalp to feed.
So the length of your hair won’t have an impact on your ability to deter lice. If you have no hair on your head whatsoever, the lice technically won’t be able to survive, though.
Just don’t think that you have to shave your head or shave your children’s heads to solve lice issues. You can get things back to normal without cutting or shaving hair.
Can Lice Spread to Your Pets?
Many people keep cats and dogs in their homes. When you’re cleaning up and trying to solve lice issues, you might be worried about your furry companions.
Can lice spread to your pets? Thankfully, this isn’t something that you have to worry about.
Human lice cannot spread to dogs or cats. The lice that bother humans cannot feed off of dogs or cats.
Dogs and cats can deal with lice issues, though. Cats have their own specific types of lice and so do dogs.
These lice that can get on your animals cannot be passed over to humans. So you don’t have to worry about that.
If your dogs or cats seem to have issues with lice, you can talk to a veterinarian. They can give you what you need to treat your pets and help them feel comfortable again.
How Do You Get Rid of Head Lice?
Getting rid of head lice is relatively simple. You just need to take a shower or bath and wash your hair with a special type of shampoo.
There are shampoos that you can buy that are made to kill head lice. You’ll want to bathe your children and wash their hair using this shampoo.
Then you’ll need to use the shampoo yourself. You’re supposed to keep the shampoo on your head for a certain period of time.
This allows the shampoo to kill the lice properly. It’s easy to get this shampoo from department stores and you can also order it online.
There are some reports that head lice are resistant to some of these over-the-counter shampoos, though. So you might wish to talk to your family physician to get prescription shampoo.
Head Lice Don’t Actually Jump
The term “jump” is often used when talking about head lice. This isn’t technically correct, but it makes sense why some people use the word.
Understand that head lice don’t literally jump from one person to another. Head lice are only capable of crawling.
They don’t have wings so they cannot fly. Lice also aren’t capable of leaping.
When someone says that lice “jump” from one child to another, they mean that the lice crawl from one surface to another. Lice might crawl onto a hat that one child wears, and then it’ll get on a new child’s head when that hat is shared.
It’s just a bit of a misconception that lice are capable of jumping. Even if it doesn’t work like that, it’s still remarkable how lice can spread when people are working in close proximity.
You’ve learned a lot about lice now. Now that you’re more informed, you know that lice can’t live on your couch.
It’s good to know that lice can only survive for 24-48 hours on non-human surfaces. If you use a lint roller on your couch and then vacuum it, that should help to keep lice from spreading.
The best thing to do is to focus on getting rid of the lice on the people in your home. Use special shampoo to treat yourself and your family members.
You can also buy lice spray to spray on surfaces such as carpets, couches, beds, and more. This can kill lice, but it’s not 100% necessary to buy this spray.
It is best to clean things such as your bedding, towels, clothing items, hats, and more. You want to soak combs and brushes in hot water to get rid of the lice, too.
Getting rid of lice can be a bit of a pain, but it’s easy enough to do. Now that you know how to approach things, it shouldn’t feel too overwhelming.
Hopefully, this won’t be an issue that you’ll have to deal with too often. It’s more common for school-aged kids to get head lice.
If you’re a parent of kids who are in elementary school, problems such as this might occur from time to time. Just deal with it as best you can and you shouldn’t have to feel like it’s too big of a deal.
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys, and I’m so excited to start this adventure with them! In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.