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How Long Do Head Lice Live on Fabric?

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By katie

My Laundry Question

if i leave bedding in a suitcase for 10 months will lice die?

Share a Little Background Info

i have found lice on my head today but was itching for 2 weeks before this. i am moving house and already packed my bedding and some clothes in a suitcase. i will not use them for 10 months. will they die in the suitcase or do i need to heatclean them anyway? and if i don't are they going to take over everything in it during this time?

Lessons Learned

  • i have fought special shampoo and am cleaning my room now.

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

While it is not ideal to just leave them, if you aren't going to use everything for 10 months the lice should be dead. The life span of an adult louse on a host ranges up to 30 days. During this time, the female head louse can deposit about 90 eggs. After incubating for seven to 10 days, the nits hatch and, after another 10 days, mature into adult head lice and the cycle begins again. Off the host, adult head lice can live about two to four days at 74 degrees Fahrenheit (F) and one to two days at 86 degrees. Nits will remain alive off the host for up to 10 days; they will not hatch at or below room temperature (68 degrees F).

Enclosing the suitcase in a dark plastic bag for a week will kill them more quickly. It will also prevent the infestation of the storage area if your suitcase isn't completely airtight. Please notify someone if you plan to store the materials near people who could be come infected.

Good luck!

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