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Does Cold Kill Head Lice?

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Updated on August 28, 2020

Updated by Tierna Moser

Every year, right before the chill sets in the air, after parents have sent their children back to school, guards get let down. It is a common myth that lice will die off in the cold months. Here’s why…

Does Cold Kill Lice?

When considering the subject of lice in cold weather, it’s important to know the facts. Sorry to say, cold weather has no effect on head lice. The basic principle behind this is that lice live on the human head, and no matter what the temperature is outside, the temperature of the human head will remain a constant 98.6 degrees.

How Long Do Lice Live in the Cold?

What happens when they fall off the head? Lice do not like to leave the head, especially when the temperature off the head is less inviting. However, in the very rare case of a louse falling off the human head in the cold, the principle regarding how long lice live applies. Off the human head, live bugs can only survive for one day. It is safe to say that when it comes to being outside, the chances of that louse surviving by finding a new human host is a non-reality. For a louse to make it to the human head, the head needs to make direct contact with that bug….and what are the realistic chances of that happening?

Can Lice Survive In the Cold?

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Will lice die in the cold? Yes, but not due to the elements. If a louse is in a cold environment, that means that it has been separated from its food source – the human head. Lice need to feed on the human scalp several times a day. Without that within 24 hours it will die of starvation.

Can Cold Water Kill Lice?

If you’re wondering does cold water kill lice – the answer is no. If dumped on the head, the lice will only cozy up closer to the scalp, hanging on tightly with its legs. If a louse somehow makes it into cold water, it may slow down some, but will die as a result of being removed from its home.

What Cold Temperature Kills Lice?

Remember, lice live on the head, not in the home. Laundering your linens or cleaning your home in hot or excessively cold water is not the reason that lice die. They die from being separated from their host. Treating the head with an approved treatment will eradicate an infestation. To address lice on hair accessories, put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer overnight. Freezing the louse through and through will kill it after sustained time at freezing temperatures.

Head Lice Need A Human Head To Survive - That Is All

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If you see your child scratching his or her head, whether it is warm or freezing outside, grab a light and check for translucent eggs in the hair. If you need us, a technician is available, often at a moment’s notice to come to your home so that you don't have to brave the cold and find us. We aim for comfort, privacy, and convenience; we make house calls and get rid of your head lice, regardless of the weather! Call us at 800-224-2537 for affordable, quality service you can trust backed by our 30 day guarantee!

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