One of the most asked questions by parents is: how long do head lice live? After all, if you know the average life expectancy of lice, you can take some care to provide a shorter stay for these visits!
Lice need a host to survive, and the average lifespan of a louse on a host (human head) is about 30 days.
How long do lice survive off heads?
Head lice can live up to 30 days on a human host. To survive head lice need to feed on human blood and normally lay their eggs (known as nits) close to the scalp where the temperature is warm enough for them to hatch.
When they fall on another head they have blood to feed, so they survive if they fall on an object in the house (sofa, hat, etc...) and do not have the opportunity to pass to a human head, having an average life expectancy of 24 hours.
How long do nits survive outside heads?
Nits can survive outside of a human host for a short time, but are not able to hatch into viable lice without the warmth and moisture provided by the human scalp.
In other words, lice eggs that fall out of the hair (very unlikely, as they are stuck to the hair) are not viable).
It's important to treat head lice as soon as they are discovered to prevent other people from getting them too!
It is important to emphasize that most of the time, lice are caught by direct head-to-head contact (as long as one has lice) and not through objects.
In any case, there is little care, so the need after a lice treatment: changing sheets, towels, vacuuming sofas and cleaning and storing objects (brushes, rubber bands, etc..)
If in doubt, talk to the Happy Heads Clinic, we can help clarify all your doubts!