Head lice are commonly found among children aged three to 13 by direct head-to-head contact. The louse is a parasite that crawls on the scalp and causes extreme itching. Since it can live outside the human head just for 24 hours, it can easily live on a mattress for that period.
If someone has lice, they probably would have got it from a family member, friend or stranger with whom they might have had close contact. Shared items like a hat, brush or bed mattress can also cause this infestation.
In case there are lice on the mattress, it’s essential to properly clean and treat your bedding to prevent infestation to your partner or any other family member. When treating lice, it may cause panic in your house, as no one wants to get infested with head lice. But don’t worry, we understand your concern and have compiled a proper guide to prevent lice so that you can sleep sound and your scalp also breathes freely.
How do you treat your mattress for lice?
Wondering how to treat a mattress for lice? Well, there is nothing to worry about. Here are a few things you can do to get rid of lice on the mattress:
First, you need to strip off all the bed sheets and blankets from the bed. After that, wash them in hot water because heat kills lice that may be living on your mattress or bed sheet. You must also pay special attention to any pillows, blankets or even stuffed animals in your house. You can clean pillows, bedsheets, etc. in a washing machine.
Once the mattress is stripped off and all the linens are cleaned, you may use a vacuum cleaner or spray lice eradicating essential oil to kill lice to get better sleep.
You must also check the heads of every family member in your house and also inform anyone in close contact with an infected person. Although head lice are troublesome, if you stay level-headed and persistent during the treatment process, you can sleep soundly without scratching your head.
How Long Can Lice Live on a Mattress?
Lice can never live without a food source for over 24 to 48 hours. Unlike bedbugs and fleas, they won’t be able to live without a host body, returning to feast. If you get up every morning feeling itchy or have noticed any bugs around your mattress, it’s best to clean your bedding thoroughly to get rid of the pesky lice.
How do you deep clean a mattress?
Here are the five simple steps to deep clean your mattress to remove lice and ensure your family is also free from such tiny pests:
1. Make sure everyone’s hair in your family is treated, even if any member doesn’t have head lice. Since precaution is better than cure, you need to make sure that everyone’s hair is treated to remove all the traces of lice and its eggs that may also be present on your bedding.
2. Strip the mattress properly by removing pillow protectors, pillowcases, bed sheets, duvet covers and mattress protectors for properly cleaning it.
3. Wash everything properly that can be washed. You can clean everything in a washing machine, such as pillows, duvets, etc. Don’t be afraid to bag these things and also take them to the laundry.
Here’s how to clean the washable stuff:
- Use hot water for cleaning.
- Use a long wash cycle so that bedding is properly cleaned in high-temperature water.
- Use the best quality products, such as germ-killing detergents, for cleaning.
- Heat and kill any existing head lice.
You have to dry bedding at high temperatures. Usually, head lice are killed after hot washing and drying your bedding. So, wherever possible, you may use a tumble dryer for drying bedding on high heat. Besides, leave the bedding for drying in an area with full sunshine. Direct and warm sunlight may do the trick.
4. Vacuum your mattress: For mattress cleaning, you may use a vacuum cleaner for killing head lice. This is the second last step for making up the bed and thoroughly cleaning it. Pay attention to even the smallest hiding places or creases where lice may find space to hide.
5. If Needed, Repeat the Steps: Even if you have cleaned your bedding properly after the initial infestation, you may even want to repeat certain steps if there is any re-infestation.
All these steps must be taken for all bedding in your house. So, it’s helpful to seal the bedding in any area of your house that’s not used that frequently, such as a closet or basement.
Homemade Bedding Spray
If you think that vacuum cleaner and drying has not cut down head lice, you may try making homemade head lice spray to kill it. The shampoo is a great insecticide, and thus a good DIY (do it yourself) spray to kill lice.
DIY Bleach Spray to Kill Lice
If your mattress, bedding or furniture has lice, you may try to make the following DIY lice spray. It takes these ingredients to make head lice spray:
- Two tablespoons bleach
- Water – 1 ¼ cups
- Spray bottle
Now combine water and bleach in a spray bottle, shake it lightly and spray on a small area where it won’t harm the material. After testing the material, you may start spraying your entire mattress and bedding generously.
DIY Spray Using Essential Oil
If some of your bedding materials or furniture cannot handle bleach, you may try spraying essential oils on it. There are certain essential oils for repelling lice naturally.
Here are the ingredients you need:
- Two cups of water
- Around 10-20 drops of rosemary, tea tree, lavender, peppermint or any other essential oil
- Spray bottle
Mix all these ingredients in a spray bottle and shake it well. Now spray this homemade solution on your bed mattress. You may even use an essential oil mixture on your head to get rid of lice.
Head lice cause nuisance and often affect school-going children. These little menaces cannot jump but they crawl on the head and may transfer to others by direct head-to-head contact and may even live on your mattress for up to 24 hours. If you are wondering how to kill lice on the mattress, you must properly wash your mattress and entire bedding in hot water. Then, dry the bedding and do proper vacuuming for eradicating the lice. You may even use prevention lice mattress spray on bedding, as well as your head, to kill these tiny parasites.