How Long Do Lice Live On Mattress: What To Know

The answer to the question of how long do lice live on mattress is not that long. Most of the time, lice will die, but some can survive up to two days after they fall from the host. As gross as it seems, this just means that you have to clean your mattress to get rid of lice completely. 

This article will teach you the best ways to eradicate these itchy bed spacers before you scratch your head. You’ll also learn some techniques for house disinfecting to help control and prevent the spread of lice. Get your mattress ready, and read on below!

How Long Do Lice Live On Mattress


How Long Do Lice Live On A Mattress?

Lice are unable to live for very long once they have fallen off their host. In the mattress, they can only survive for two days or shorter. You can assume that lice can only survive anywhere for one to two days, especially since they no longer have a source of food. 

Compared to other common bed insects like bed bugs, lice don’t hide during the day, so it’s possible to see them crawling on the mattress surface to find a host. As squeamish as it sounds, it’s possible to get lice from an infested mattress if you lie on it. Even though it’s not a common way to contract lice, you should always disinfect the mattress and bed linens before using them just to be safe. 


Can Head Lice Live On Pillows And Sheets?

As you can assume, lice can live on other bed items like sheets and pillows as well. However, they can only survive for two days or shorter since there is no source of food. Always practice good hygiene and clean your bed items, including pillows, pillowcases, and sheets, regularly to prevent lice infestation. 


How Do You Clean Your House For Lice?



Now that we know that it’s possible to contract lice from beddings, you must never neglect them when treating the house for lice. While it’s common for us to wash our beddings, comforters, and pillowcases regularly, you might be overlooking your mattress. Practice including the mattress in your cleaning regimen, primarily if an infested person has used it. 

The best way to wash these items is with hot water and then use a dryer to heat them further. The heat from the cleaning and drying processes should prevent any lice and their eggs from surviving. If any item that the infested person has lied on can’t get washed, you can treat it in the freezer for some hours.

After you washed and dried your mattress, you must vacuum it as well. Some even recommend spraying the material with an essential oil that lice hate, such as lavender and peppermint, to prevent reoccurrence. But for a more intense infestation, try applying some food-grade diatomaceous earth and then vacuum it off from your mattress before usage. 


Personal accessories

To further disinfect the house from lice, it’s not enough to clean the area where the person lies down. Remember everything that they use, especially hair accessories that directly come in contact with lice. Gather all the hairbrushes and hair accessories and then freeze them inside a Ziplock bag. 

If you can get these items wet, you can remove the leftover hair strands and then soak them in hot water for some time. You can also vacuum or place them in the dryer to further disinfect the items. Again, these are just the everyday items that you must disinfect to get rid of lice, but never overlook the other areas and paraphernalia that the infested person used. 

You can disinfect them similarly by soaking them in hot water or any method that subjects them to high heat. If you can’t wet them, you can also place them in the freezer. And if possible, apply some lice deterrent product on the items as well. 


Where Do Lice Live When Not On Humans

Naturally, one will get curious about where lice would live if they’re off their human hosts. Unlike other insects, they don’t originate from the ground. And because they won’t survive long without their host, they can’t live in another environment for too long. 

Lice can live on the items that come in contact with the infested person. However, their life cycle happens to a human, so it’s impossible that they will live when they’re not on a host. They would usually die within 24 hours without a food source. 



When was the last time you cleaned your mattress? Perhaps learning more about how long lice live on mattress will make you feel squeamish and get started in disinfecting your beddings. This is especially important if someone with lice has used your bed or any items where you lie on. 

Lice can live on a mattress for one to two days, although they can die after 24 hours without a host to feed on. Still, this time frame is enough for possible contamination among the people who use the same mattress. Expose it to heat by washing with hot water and placing the mattress in the dryer to kill off lice and their eggs before usage.