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Does Cold Weather Kill Head Lice?

Mountain climbers scaling a snowy peak

Updated on July 13, 2020

Cold weather will not kill head lice. All these creatures need to survive is a warm human head.

Lice Laugh at Cold Weather

If you are in the Northeast, Northwest or in the middle of the country, you are dealing with frigid weather. Temperatures are in the 20s about to dip to the teens. If you have head lice, this is great news as the cold weather will kill the head lice, right? Sorry to say the cold weather has no effect on head lice.

Winter scene of snowy pine tree forest


Head Lice Need A Human Head to Survive; That is All

Head lice are impervious to the cold weather outside. You can stand outside hatless for hours and nothing will happen to the bugs in your hair. The reason for that is that the temperature of your head will sustain the lice and keep them alive. They need the temperature of the human head and the blood inside to survive. If there is any hair on the head, lice will attach and climb to reach their new home: your scalp. That is where the louse will remain until it either dies (after 30 days) or finds another head to live on.3 little girls posing for a picture outside on a snowy day

In fact, when it is really cold outside and we are more likely to remain in the house, perhaps in close quarters, there is an increased likelihood of sibling togetherness. In the lice world togetherness equals opportunity for lice transmission. Lice are found in all states across the country including in the coldest statesman the middle of the winter.

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, we will jump in our car (or on a sled) and 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!