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Head Lice and Vacations: Does Travel Put You at a Higher Risk?

Can you get lice on vacation asks Irvine residents

Updated on July 19, 2020

It is not likely that you will get head lice from an airplane seat or hotel room bed. There is one aspect of family vacation, though, that can facilitate the spread of lice.

Not Likely to Get Lice from a Seat on Plane or Hotel Room


The reason for that is that head lice are found primarily where their name suggests: on the head. They do not like to linger on seats or beds or your suitcase as they will starve without human blood (their food source). The chance of getting head lice from a hotel bed, where new sheets are present, is almost zero.

Think about it: head lice are sitting pretty on your scalp. The temperature of the scalp is perfect for them and the scalp is a virtual restaurant for them filled with their favorite (and only) food: human blood. These lice are perfectly set up to live out their full lifespan of one month. What would compel them to leave this ideal situation and go onto a cold suitcase or airplane seat where they will starve and freeze to death in a day?

Now you may be thinking that head lice might be waiting for you on the bed in the hotel. That is an even less likely scenario. Again lice will not leave the head to hang out on bed sheets that have no food for them. They are not like bedbugs that can survive off of the head and on the bed. Also keep in mind that hotels change their sheets between  guests (at least we HOPE they do!). When you get to the hotel room, you are facing a bed of freshly washed sheets that cannot have any lice on them after being in the washing machine.

The “Togetherness” Aspect of Family Vacations Does Increase the Chances of Head Lice Transmission


We do see a bump in the incidence of head lice after school holidays and vacation times. The reason for this is the periods of concentrated “togetherness”. Head lice are generally passed along through direct human contact; it, therefore, makes sense that when families go away together, are in smaller quarters, and spend more time together, the chances for head lice transmission increases.

Junior may have picked up lice in school or at camp and you may not even know it. He may not even be itchy (not everyone gets itchy fro lice). Then when you are all together in the car, on the plane, in the hotel room, what is likely to happen? As the first head lice victim’s head gets more crowded, the lice look for a clean head to infest. When on vacation, we highly recommend that you do regular checks on your family’s heads. Better to catch a case early on so that you can stop the spread before it happens.

What Can You do to Protect Yourself?

The most important precaution you can take is to check to be sure that there are no signs of lice in anyone’s hair before you go away. Clearly, the best scenario is for all family members to be lice-free before embarking on a voyage. If you miss a case and discover it while away, call LiceDoctors. Irvine-vacation-lice-treatment-technician-childWe are available to make house calls in hotels or homes across the U.S. We will eradicate the lice so you can continue to enjoy your vacation. You do not need to let head lice ruin your vacation. LiceDoctors treats families all over the Irvine area and nearby towns and cities. LiceDoctors is a national lice removal service that goes to homes and hotel rooms all over the United States so if you are there, we are there.

If you do not have lice (and want to keep it that way!), then using a protective spray on your hair will help out. Lice like hair that is clean with no product in it as that makes it easier for them to grab hold of the hair. A protective layer over the hair, helps to thwart their efforts to latch into the hair. LiceDoctors has our LiceDoctors Repellent Spray with a peppermint scent which is repugnant to lice (but not for us!).

Irvine airport luggage lice removalHead lice is annoying but will not make you sick. There is absolutely no reason why you should have more than a couple of hours interruption of your vacation for lice treatment. As soon as we leave you, you will not be contagious and can resume enjoying your vacation.

We are big fans of family vacations and with a few simple precautions, you can travel worry-free of getting head lice. Call LiceDoctors in the Irvine area at 714-395-5181 for safe and effective lice treatment. Bon Voyage!