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CAN YOU GET LICE FROM A HOTEL?

CAN YOU GET LICE FROM A HOTEL?
Created on 
April 30, 2018
Updated on 
September 25, 2020

WHY IS THE RISK OF GETTING LICE FROM A HOTEL ROOM BED LOW?

After a bout with head lice, or while traveling, a common concern families have is if they can bring home head lice from hotels. You can not get head lice from hotel rooms - the chances of getting lice from a hotel room are incredibly low. Head lice do not like to reside off the human head as the ambient temperature is not appropriate and their food source is not there. After being off the head for about 24 hours, head lice will die on their own. Because of this, the most common way to contract head lice is by way of direct contact with another person’s head who has lice. Head lice can survive off the head only for a matter of hours. If someone has lice and a bug falls off the head (not likely) onto a bed at home, there is a slight chance that if someone sits on the bed, he or she will get head lice. In a hotel, where the room is cleaned between guests and the sheets are changed on the bed, the chances of contracting head lice diminish even further.

Can Head Lice Live on Pillows?

LICE IN YOUR HOTEL

If you're still skeptical and wondering can you get head lice from a hotel pillow, consider this: lice do not like to stray from the head, so the probability of getting head lice from a bed in a hotel or Airbnb from a previous guest is minute. Because hotel washers can wash bed linens in very hot water, at temperatures 40-50 degrees hotter than a residential machine, body lice, lice eggs, baby lice and adult lice on bedding will die. Hotels wash bedding between guests with hot water, eliminating the risk of transmitting lice from the bedding. You can stop wondering can you get lice from a hotel room and fully enjoy the time away from home.

HOW TO KILL LICE IN YOUR HOTEL ROOM?

If you do find a live louse in your hotel room, this means that someone with an active infestation has recently been in that room. This can really cause concern, but rest assured that you are not likely to get lice from hotel rooms. The best course of action upon this discovery is to have all family members checked to determine who is infected and then treat all heads as lice are commonly passed between family members with direct contact. As we said, you do not need to worry about killing an errant louse found off the head, because that bug will die in short order. Unlike bed bugs, lice will not last long in a bed without a human host. Lice in hotel sheets will be killed in the washing machine or dryer, so they can't be shuttled from hotel room to hotel room by the housekeeping staff. In fact, your chances of getting bed bugs, which are much more difficult to get rid of, from a bed in a hotel are a lot higher than contracting lice from the bed.

To recap, it is unlikely that you will find a live louse off the head in a hotel room. On the remote chance that you do, focus your time, energy, and resources on checking and treating immediate family/friends who have recently been in your quarters. Concern yourself with the person who brought that louse into the hotel, if that person is a family member or friend of yours because that case will not go away on its own; it will only get worse.

HOW TO AVOID GETTING LICE FROM HOTEL

lice in your room at a hotel

Before booking hotel rooms, it's always prudent to read the reviews. You likely will find nothing mentioned in the reviews regarding head lice as head lice live on a person’s head, but the reviews will give you a better sense of the cleanliness of the place you'll be calling home for one night or more. If you are particularly worried about getting lice, even though head lice do not live in or lay eggs on furniture, you can spend a little time checking the bedding, pillows, and towels for the presence of bugs. In general, to prevent head lice infestation, keep the hair artificially dirty with mousse, gel, hair spray, or a spray-on lice repellent, and keep the hair tied up to minimize contact with others who may have an active head lice infestation.

FOUND LICE IN YOUR HOTEL ROOM OR GOT LICE ON VACATION? WE CAN HELP!

Lice can only survive off of the head for 24 hours, so if you find lice in your room at a hotel, it most likely came from a family member and likely was due to head contact with someone else who has lice, so start checking family members' hair. Remember to wage a battle against lice means to kill lice and remove their eggs at the source: the head. LiceDoctors not only provides service to families and individuals in homes, but we can also send a lice treatment technician to your hotel to minimize the impact on your hard-earned vacation. Call us today to schedule an appointment at a time convenient for you at 800-224-2537. Technicians work quickly and efficiently to kill lice, even “super lice”, which will help you get back to your vacation plans quickly, and lice-free.

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