Question About Lice

by Laura

After reading your suggestions on getting rid of head lice, I do have one further question about lice.

If lice can only live off the person for 24 hours, why then do we need to keep stuffed animals or things like that in black bags for 2 weeks?

I never could understand that. Can you explain further?


Hi Laura,

That's actually a really good question about lice and I'm glad you asked because I obviously didn't make the article as clear as it could and should have been.

You're right that lice can only live away from a human head for 24 hours, but we are speaking here of the actual hatched lice. Once they're hatched, lice need to feed regularly.

Nits, or louse eggs, are an entirely different story. They don't have to feed until after they hatch, so a louse egg can survive much longer.

The caution for placing items that can't be washed in a garbage bag for a couple of weeks is specifically to target any stray eggs.

It would be a real shame to go through all the drama and hassle of clearing your child's head, bed, etc., and then a week later have them get another infestation while playing with a stuffed animal that's carrying freshly hatched lice. :)

Hope that helps and that you will soon be the victor in your battle against the pesky louse!


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