How Long Do Head Lice Stay on Clothes?

How Long Do Head Lice Stay on Clothes?

If you are concerned about head lice, the first step is to know the difference between head lice and body lice. Head lice live in the scalp, while body lice live in the body and deposit eggs on clothing and body parts. Typically, females lay 50 to 150 eggs throughout their lifetime, but some may lay up to 275 eggs. These eggs need a constant temperature range of 23 to 38 degrees Celsius for them to develop and hatch. When they hatch, they turn into nymphs, a smaller version of adult lice. They need to feed on human blood for nine to twelve days before they mature into adults.

Although adult lice cannot survive without a host for longer than two days, they can live on clothing and bedding for up to 13 days. Even if you haven’t slept on the clothing for a few days, lice can lay eggs on your clothing. Fortunately, you can remove a louse infestation from clothing and bedding by washing and drying everything in hot water as soon as possible. You can also freeze items that are too delicate to wash until the next time you need them.

While some clothing may be infested with head lice, most of these creatures cannot live on clothes or bedding for more than a day. This is because they feed on blood every four hours. Since they feed more often at night, they prefer to load up on food during the night, when the environment is darkest and most active. Furthermore, head lice prefer the warmth of the head, where the temperature is 99 degrees Fahrenheit.