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How Long Can Lice Live?

life span of lice how many days

Updated on October 15, 2020

By Wendy Beck

How Long Can Head Lice Live?

Sometimes our clients wonder how long do lice live without a host? They are thinking about lice in the house or on their clothes. 

Head lice need a host to survive. The life span of the louse is 30 days. How long do lice live without a host?

How Long Can Lice Live Without a Host?

When questioning how long do lice live without a host, the phrase “Head lice live on the head, not in the home” brings peace of mind to our clients. If the head is properly treated, a louse that is separated from its host will die eventually and the house will take care of itself. How long can lice survive without a host or how long can lice live off a human? The good news is if there is a louse in the family home, it will die within 24 hours. 

Where Do Lice Live When Not On Humans?

If you’re wondering how long can lice survive as it pertains to not being on the human head, the answer is 24 hours. Where do lice come from when not on humans? If a louse falls off a person’s head onto something else, if another head comes into contact with it soon thereafter, it may take advantage of that opportunity to make itself at home somewhere else. This, however is not very common. By far, the most common way that lice are transmitted is by way of direct contact of one infested human head to another human head. 

How Long Can Lice Eggs Live Off Host?

Lice eggs are not contagious; once an egg is detached from the head, it will not survive. In another words, lice eggs that fall off the hair (very unlikely as they are glued to the hair are not viable

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