Lice Hiding in the Mattress? How to Get Rid of Them

A little blonde girl is jumping high on a mattress.

Dealing with a head lice infestation is challenging enough, but did you know that lice can also live on furniture and bedding for up to 48 hours? Unknowingly, you could spread lice through things like your mattress, sofa, or car upholstery. Unlike bedding and clothing, large furniture cannot be washed or dry cleaned, which makes limiting a lice infestation difficult. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to prevent lice from spreading within your home.

In this article, we explore the longevity of lice outside the scalp and provide solutions for effectively removing lice from non-washable items like mattresses. We’ll also uncover some of the best products to protect your home.

What Are Head Lice?

Head lice are small parasitic insects that infest the scalp and hair of humans. They feed on blood from the scalp and lay eggs, known as nits, which attach to the base of individual hair strands. Head lice can cause itching and discomfort and spread lice to others through direct head-to-head contact or sharing personal items such as combs, hats, or bedding. These tiny insects are common among school-aged children and can affect anyone regardless of personal hygiene or cleanliness. 

How Long Can Lice Live Off a Human Head?

Just because your scalp is lice-free doesn’t mean you’re in the clear! Lice can survive off a human head for up to 48 hours. During this time, they can crawl onto various surfaces, including mattresses, furniture, and car upholstery, increasing the risk of re-infestation.

How to Protect Your Home During a Lice Infestation

Uh oh, one of your kids has a confirmed case of lice, and now you are doing everything possible to stop it from spreading to everyone else in your home! If this has you scratching your head, take the following steps to prevent the spread and re-infestation of lice at home. 

Quarantine-Infested Individuals: Keep individuals with lice away from common areas, such as living rooms or shared bedrooms, to minimize the risk of lice spreading to furniture, bedding, or other surfaces.

Launder Infested Bedding and Clothing: Wash all bedding, clothing, and personal items that have come into contact with the infested individual in hot water and dry them on high heat. This helps kill lice and their eggs.

Vacuum Thoroughly: Vacuum upholstered furniture, mattresses, carpets, and any other surfaces that may have come into contact with infected individuals. Pay extra attention to areas where they spend significant time, such as couches or car seats.

Spray LiceFreee! Home: Use Licefreee Home on upholstered furniture, carpets, mattresses, and other non-washable items to kill lice. Simply spray the formula onto surfaces, saturating the fabric, and allow it to air dry. 

Seal Non-Washable Items: Items that cannot be washed, such as stuffed animals or pillows, can be placed in sealed plastic bags for a few weeks. This deprives lice of a blood meal, causing them to die eventually.

Clean Combs and Hair Accessories: Soak combs, brushes, hair ties, and other hair accessories in hot water. Alternatively, you can seal them in a plastic bag for a few weeks.

Inform Close Contacts: If someone in your household has lice, inform close contacts, such as school, friends, or family members, so they can take necessary precautions and seek treatment if needed.

Encourage Preventive Measures: Educate family members about lice prevention, including avoiding head-to-head contact, not sharing personal items, and maintaining good hygiene practices.

Dealing with Lice on Non-Washable Items:

Unlike clothing and bedding, more oversized furniture like mattresses cannot be easily washed. This poses a challenge when it comes to removing lice from these items. Luckily, Licefreee Home is a practical solution for treating furniture and upholstery around your home. Using a naturally occurring chemical found in orange peel oil, this convenient spray effectively kills lice upon contact without harmful chemical pesticides. Better yet, your furniture will remain pristine as the spray is non-staining. 

If the news of a lice infestation has you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, don’t panic. Licefreee’s products are designed to manage head lice infestations every step of the way, from routine scalp inspections with the Licefreee NitDuo Comb to the Licefreee Ultimate Family Kit for protection for the whole family.

You may find this product at one of our many local retailers.

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