If you have ever wondered how long head lice live off a human body, you aren’t alone. Lice are small, grayish-white insects that live on the hairy parts of our head. While lice can survive for a short period of time on inanimate objects and surfaces, they need direct contact with a human head to survive. It’s important to note that head lice cannot live on our pets or on the clothes that we wear.
Lice need to feed several times per day to survive. To do this, they move to the scalp and draw blood. In fact, lice can only survive for 24 hours without a human host. However, there are many myths surrounding the spread of lice. These myths aren’t true. Lice cannot live off other surfaces or fall off your bedding. Even pets cannot carry the infection.
Adult head lice lay their eggs near the scalp. While they’re too small to be seen, these nits contain tiny lice eggs. These eggs are just a few millimeters in size. Adult head lice can live for up to 30 days on your head, but a single egg will only survive for about two days without a blood meal. Then, they begin to reproduce, laying 6-7 eggs a day.
Regular, non-medicated shampoos can prevent the spread of lice. However, they won’t eliminate active lice. To kill lice, you should wash all clothing and bedding in hot water and put them in a clothes dryer for twenty to thirty minutes. You should also wash stuffed toys and other hair accessories that have been exposed to lice.