A young girl is reading a book on a green fabric couch. There is a window in the back ground. The words "How long can lice live on your couch" appear over the image.

How Long Lice Can Live on Your Couch and Other Furniture

A girl with head lice sitting on a couch reading a book

When dealing with head lice, you want to get it out of your house as fast as possible. Discover how long lice live on your couch and what to do about it.

Before getting started on cleaning, let’s address the bigger question that I get asked all the time. 

Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Lice? 

Lice have become immune to everything that used to work in the past. Perhaps you remember your mom using a lice treatment and that doing the trick. Those treatments no longer kill the new strain of head lice, that’s why lice today are termed by people, “super lice.” 

They are called SUPER LICE, because they can’t be eliminated with treatments that used to work. Lice treatments only kill the weakest lice and these SUPER LICE keep getting stronger and stronger. 

Also, lice treatments don’t kill lice eggs, so if you miss just a few lice eggs on the head then they hatch, and lice start all over again.

That’s why, as a lice expert, I DO NOT use lice treatments to cure lice. With my technique, you can be completely CURED of head lice in ONE DAY. No lice treatments or re-treatments required. You can learn more about the method I use here.

Most people with lice are stuck in what I term the “never-ending lice cycle” that looks like this…

You discover lice; you spend hours treating, nit-picking, house cleaning etc.

You think it’s gone for a few weeks…

But then it’s back again!

Many people think that they’re in this cycle because they’ve missed something in their cleaning. Let me assure you it’s not because you missed something in your cleaning. It’s because you never really got rid of lice. Lice are immune to lice treatments.

If you want to be confident that you’ve eliminated lice from your life permanently then check out the page How to Get Rid of Lice in One Day.

Head lice are called head lice for a reason. Generally speaking, head lice stick solely to the hair and scalp of humans, they do not live long on furniture. They cling tightly to the hair strand and do not usually fall.

But, if lice do fall out of your hair and onto your couch...

How long can lice live on a couch?

A girl sitting on a couch.

Two days. Most lice die within 24 hours of being off the head away from a human blood meal. But, when studied in labs under precise temperatures, the longest lice can survive is around 48 hours. 

How likely is it that lice will be on your couch?

Not very likely, but possible. A study was conducted using pillowcases to determine the likelihood of lice transferring to bed linens. Scientists examined the pillowcases of 48 people with head lice after a night’s rest. 2 out of the 48 pillowcases had live lice on them, which is roughly 4%.

This pillowcase study seems to reflect the chances of lice being on your couch as many people rest their heads on couches.

A vacuum on a couch

How do I treat lice on my couch?

Do not use a pesticide spray on your couch like the ones that come in a lice kit. Lice are resistant to these sprays, so it will not kill them. Additionally, these pesticide sprays are toxic to humans, children, and pets, putting your family at an increased risk of cancer, breathing problems, seizures, and poisoning.

The easiest way to get lice off your couch is by vacuuming it with a handheld vacuum or hose. If the pillows of the sofa are removable and can go into the dryer, then put them in the dryer on high heat for 40 minutes. Otherwise, vacuum the pillows as well.

How do I clean my couch after lice without a vacuum?

Another option is to use a sticky tape lint roller. The tape is sticky enough to pull lice off the couch; just be sure to replace the tape frequently, so it maintains its stickiness.

Are there any sprays for couches you’d recommend?

A quick disclosure: these are affiliate links, and I do earn a commission from qualifying purchases; however, all of my reviews are based on the quality of the product.

Most lice sprays these days do not work to kill lice because they are pesticides. 

Summary

Head lice prefer to stay on the head and rarely come off. Lice can live up to 48 hours on your couch and other furniture. It is unlikely for them to be on your couch, but not impossible. The best way to treat your sofa is not with lice spray, but instead to vacuum or lint roll it. Remember, most people are not getting lice back from their couch, but instead, they can’t get rid of lice because they are using an ineffective treatment. 

The most important thing about getting rid of lice isn’t cleaning inanimate objects--it’s making sure you’ve gotten rid of lice! If you want to get rid of lice fast, then check out the technique I use on the How to Get Rid of Lice in One Day article.

Best of luck on your lice journey! (1)