Lice and Carpets: Proven Ways to Treat Carpet after Head Lice

Discover the truth about lice and carpets and proven ways to get lice out of your carpet.


How long can lice live in my carpets? What's the best way to clean my carpets after a head lice infestation?

Girl presumable with head lice with hair on carpet

Answer from a Lice Expert:

If you have head lice in your house, then you are in a hurry to get them out as quickly as possible. And after spending hours treating your child with lice the last thing you want is to get it back from your carpets!


Before getting into this article, you should know that there is a FREE, all-inclusive LICE CLEANING CHECKLIST available that covers how to clean everything in your house for lice. 


In this article let's dive specifically into carpets and head lice.

Let me introduce myself...

Lice nurse helping others

Hi there! I'm Theresa, I'm a lice expert, lice coach, and Registered Nurse. I help people with lice every day! You can get rid of lice in ONE DAY at home by using the same proven professional technique that I use in my lice center.

Just follow the step-by-step videos and be done with lice by the end of the day.

Carpets and Lice

carpets and head lice featured image
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Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Lice?

Now that you know what you're looking for I want to talk briefly about your biggest worry (that your child actually has lice) and the question I get asked by parents around the world that have been battling lice….

picture of lice bug under a magnifying glass

Lice bugs are immune!

Parents around the world are all asking me the same question…. "Why is it so much harder to get rid of lice now?"

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

I’ve cured thousands of people of lice in my lice center and let me tell you, I don't do it with over-the-counter lice treatments. 

magnifying glass looking at lice eggs and nits in brown hair

Lice eggs hatch!

Most people struggle with lice because they focus all of their attention on killing lice bugs and not enough attention on GETTING RID OF LICE!

If you want to get rid of lice you have to address all 3 of the problems of lice:

  1. Lice Bugs
  2. Lice Eggs
  3. Getting Lice Back

The best way to get rid of lice is to tackle all 3 of these problems at the same time, which is what I teach in my step-by-step video system.

So, if you discover your child HAS lice, don't panic. Just head over to the video system. Follow along with the videos and you'll be done with lice by the end of the day.

lice bug under a magnifying glass

Should I use lice sprays or insect bombs on my carpet?

the word no

Do not waste your time, money, or health on pesticide lice sprays or lice bombs. If you have tried a bunch of pesticide treatments that have failed, you are not alone, and it’s not your fault. The latest stats say that most parents that use over-the-counter kits still have lice even after multiple treatments!

Just like pesticides are an ineffective treatment on the head, they are even more worthless when sprayed in the air or on your carpet.

Additionally, they are EXTREMELY toxic and dangerous to you, your children, and your pets. If they actually killed lice, maybe you could rationalize the risk of breathing problems, sickness, or even cancer, but they don’t actually kill lice! The chemicals in lice sprays and bombs are the same pesticides that 98% of lice are resistant to, so you end up just spraying poison all over your carpet for no reason.


Over 98% of lice have some immunity to pesticides!

Can Lice Live in Carpet?

multiple children presumably with head lice with their heads on the carpet

Yes, head lice can live in the carpet for a short time; however, it is unlikely. Head lice are called head lice for a reason. Generally speaking, head lice stick solely to the hair and scalp of humans. 

Lice must feed on human blood multiple times a day to survive. Without a human, head lice will die of dehydration relatively quickly.

How long do lice live in carpet?

carpet and a stop watch, watching the time for how long lice live in carpet

48 hours. Most lice die within 24 hours of being off the head away from a human blood meal. But, when studied in a laboratory under precise temperatures, the longest lice were able to survive was two days.

How likely is it that head lice will be in the carpet?

Not likely. A group of researchers tested this using the classrooms of over 2,000 children. After a full day of school, the researchers examined the children’s heads for lice and the floors of the classrooms for lice. Researchers found that over 450 children in the school had lice, but the floors of the classrooms did not have any lice on them: zero, nada, nothing. Researchers found no lice in the carpets of the entire school.

How much energy should I put into cleaning my carpets?

carpet infested with lice, woman deep cleaning her carpet

When people get reinfested with lice, it’s rarely because of a lack of house cleaning. Many people are stuck in the endless cycle of lice (discovering lice, then painstakingly trying to kill it, only to find it again a few weeks later) because they are using an ineffective lice treatment. 

Can lice lay eggs in carpet?

vacuuming carpet for lice

Fleas lay eggs that fall off and hatch in the carpet. Whereas when lice lay eggs, they cement those eggs directly to hair shafts. Once lice glue their eggs in place, they will not fall off the hair strand-EVER. 

If lice fall off your head, they can lay eggs on carpet. But those eggs will never hatch because lice eggs need exact temperatures to hatch. On a human, lice lay eggs very close to the scalp, so they have constant heat (similar to a chicken who will sit on their eggs because they need warmth to grow). If eggs do not have continuous heat, they will never hatch.

What if lice eggs (nits) falls off into the carpet, can they hatch?

No. The chance of lice eggs falling off your head and into the carpet is extremely rare because lice eggs are super-glued onto the hair shaft. But, in the off-chance that lice eggs fall into the carpet, they will not hatch because they will not have a constant heat source.

What’s the best way to get head lice out of carpet?

a carpet presumably with lice being vacuumed

Simple vacuuming is the best and most proven way to get head lice out of the carpet. The suctioning power of the vacuum has been proven to be effective at picking up lice.

How do you kill lice in carpet?

The most effective way to kill lice in the carpet is vacuuming. Once lice are vacuumed up, place them in a garbage bag, and take the garbage out. Lice without a human host will soon dehydrate and die.

Should I shampoo the carpet after lice?

shampooing a carpet, presumably with lice

Shampooing the carpet will get you no closer to getting lice out of your carpet. Head lice are used to being covered in soap and water daily (you wash your hair, right?). There is no amount of washing you can do to kill lice. In studies, lice can hold their breath for a very long time in water (up to 16 hours!). Vacuuming is sufficient and more effective.

Does a steam cleaner kill lice in carpet? 

steam cleaning carpet for head lice

Head lice are used to hot water (you use hot water when you wash your hair, right?). To kill lice, the temperature of the water would need to be higher than 130° for 5 minutes. Most steam cleaners do not have a precise temperature gauge on them, so it is hard to determine how hot they get. If you would like to use a steam cleaner on your carpets, then use the highest heat setting and vacuum them first. Vacuuming is sufficient and more precise.

Should I hire a professional carpet cleaner to get rid of lice?

professional carpet cleaner presumably cleaning for head lice

No, vacuuming your floors is sufficient, don’t waste your precious resources on a professional carpet cleaner.

Does borax kill lice in carpet?

borax powder on the carpet for lice

The “borax plan” includes sprinkling borax all over the carpets of the house, leaving it overnight, and vacuuming the next morning. Why? Borax does not kill lice, and inhalation of borax can cause respiratory problems. The vacuuming part of the “borax plan” works, but you do not need to spread borax all over the carpets, simply vacuum- skip the borax. 

Is there a carpet powder for lice?

When it comes to head lice, no carpet powder is necessary. Head lice are resistant to most pesticides, including powdered pesticides. Additionally, the risk of inhaling these poisons is very high when working in powder form, which can lead to significant respiratory issues. Just simple vacuuming is sufficient.

Summing It Up…

Many people spend hours and hundreds of dollars on cleaning their home and carpets. Instead of wasting precious resources on unnecessary cleaning, grab the free LICE CLEANING CHECKLIST and take that checklist from room to room with you.

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 quickly then follow along with my Step-by-Step Video System and get rid of it in ONE DAY.

All the best,

lice expert

Theresa is a Registered Nurse and lice expert with years of experience curing children of lice. She owns a lice treatment center in the US which is where she perfected the Step-by-Step Video System proven to get rid of lice. She also works with government agencies and schools helping those with the worst head lice cases in America.

Her greatest passion is empowering parents by teaching parents online how to do a professional lice treatment on their child at home. She is the Lice Coach for the My Lice Advice Step-by-Step Video System.

A baby's hand is on top of white high pile carpet. The words "The best way to clean carpet after head lice" are written over the image.
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