How to treat lice on furniture?

How to treat lice on furniture?


Dealing with lice can be a frustrating experience, and it’s not just limited to our hair. Lice can also infest furniture, making it important to treat both the affected individuals and the surrounding environment. In this article, we will explore effective methods to treat lice on furniture, ensuring a thorough eradication of these pesky parasites.

Identifying Lice Infestation on Furniture

Before diving into treatment methods, it’s crucial to identify the presence of lice on furniture. Lice eggs, also known as nits, are tiny and can be found attached to the fibers of upholstered furniture, mattresses, and cushions. Adult lice may also be visible, especially in the case of severe infestations. Look for small, brownish insects crawling on the furniture’s surface.

Methods to Treat Lice on Furniture

1. Vacuuming: Start by thoroughly vacuuming all affected furniture, paying close attention to seams, crevices, and cracks. Use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to ensure that captured lice and eggs are not released back into the air. Dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister in a sealed plastic bag outside of the living area.

2. Heat Treatment: Lice cannot survive extreme temperatures, so exposing infested furniture to heat can be an effective treatment method. Wash removable fabric covers in hot water and dry them on high heat. For non-removable upholstery, use a steam cleaner to treat the furniture’s surface, ensuring the temperature is maintained above 130°F (54°C) for at least 30 minutes.

3. Freezing: Another temperature-based treatment option is freezing. If the furniture is small enough, you can place it in a sealed plastic bag and freeze it for 48 hours. This method is particularly useful for items that cannot be washed or steam cleaned.

4. Insecticidal Sprays: There are insecticidal sprays available specifically designed to treat lice on furniture. Look for products that are safe for indoor use and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. It’s important to note that some sprays may require you to evacuate the area during treatment and allow sufficient ventilation before re-entering.

5. Encasements: To prevent reinfestation, consider using mattress and pillow encasements designed to keep lice out. These encasements create a barrier that lice cannot penetrate, effectively trapping any remaining pests inside the encased furniture.

Preventive Measures

Taking preventive measures can help minimize the risk of lice infestation on furniture. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Regular Cleaning: Vacuum your furniture regularly, especially if you have children or individuals who have recently dealt with lice infestations. This will help remove any potential lice or eggs before they become a larger problem.

2. Laundering: Wash bedding, pillow covers, and any removable fabric covers on a regular basis using hot water. This will help eliminate any lice or eggs that may have transferred from the hair to the furniture.


Treating lice on furniture requires a combination of methods, including vacuuming, heat treatment, freezing, insecticidal sprays, and using encasements. By following these steps and taking preventive measures, you can effectively eliminate lice from your furniture and minimize the risk of reinfestation.


– Mayo Clinic:
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
– National Pediculosis Association: