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At what temperature do lice and nits die?

≡ Article 36 comments

Lice and nits are quite sensitive to cold and high temperatures: let's see how this can be used to combat parasites.

In terms of temperature stability, lice are in many ways similar to bed bugs: these parasites are adapted to live only in very narrow temperature ranges. Lice die at a temperature that is no longer comfortable, but still portable by humans, and therefore it is quite possible to destroy them without the use of toxic substances.

But for this we need a certain perseverance, as well as knowledge of the technology of such a fight with lice, the important nuances of which we will further consider.


Temperatures dangerous for lice

Adult lice can survive for several days at temperatures ranging from minus 5 ° C to + 40 ° C.

Lice begin to die already at temperatures below minus 10 degrees Celsius

At temperatures beyond these values, lice and their larvae die within a few hours. At temperatures above + 54 ° C and below minus 13 ° C, the lice die within 5 minutes.

On a note

These temperatures are somewhat arbitrary.At high humidity, the temperature ranges at which lice survive are reduced, and at low humidity, they roughly correspond to the indicated values.

Already at about 0 ° C and at + 42-44 ° C, the lice are so weakened that they are easy to shake off the head or underwear. This is used in sanitation when combing lice with special combs.

At a temperature of +42 degrees, lice become so weak that it is easy to comb them out later.


These data should not be interpreted in such a way that if you walk for half an hour in the cold at minus 20 ° C without a cap, then the lice will all die at once. The hair on the human head is created by nature in order to maintain a constant temperature at the surface of the skin. So, it is there that the lice, though they feel discomfort, but they will not die for sure. Forensic scientists know that lice begin to creep away only from a corpse that has cooled down to a temperature of about 20 ° C. In other words, if the body is warm - the lice around it will survive, no matter how cold the person tormented himself.

Practice shows that it is easiest to deal with body lice with the help of heat treatment. The main place of their presence is clothing that can be boiled and hung out for several days in a hard frost. It is difficult to handle the person’s temperature critical for lice,but it is possible - even today there are specially developed methods for this, which will be discussed a little lower.


At what temperature do the nits die

Nits (lice eggs) generally more resistant to high and low temperatures. Even after exposure to deadly adult lice temperatures, the nits may not die, and after the return to normal mode, the larvae will emerge from them.

However, there are also conditions critical for louse eggs. Namely - nits die at temperatures below minus 20 ° C and above + 60 ° C. Almost instantly nits die at about 100 ° C in boiling water when boiling clothes.

Linen louses and their nits die while boiling clothes

Linen lice they are dangerous because if they don’t use their clothes for a long time and store them at normal positive temperatures (even if they are near zero), all adult lice on it will die of starvation, while nits will remain viable in a state of diapause. As soon as the clothes are worn by a person, warming them up, the larvae hatch out of the nits that can create a new population of parasites.

We must remember that new lice larvae can hatch from surviving nits.

Considering reliable and strong gluing of nits to the surface, even knowing at what temperature nits die and treating fabrics with such temperature,it is impossible to completely remove them - after the destruction will require more and additional combing or cleaning clothes.


Fight against lice with frost

Knowing the temperature at which lice die, you can very effectively deal with body lice. This is usually done in winter:

  • All clothes worn by the infected are hung out in the cold for several days. Desirable - for a week.
  • The infected person himself is thoroughly cleaned, his head is shaved or he is carefully combed his hair with special combs.

Freezing clothes is a very effective way to get rid of laundry lice.

It is important that the temperature at which things will freeze out is really very low — below minus 20 ° C. Nits die around this temperature, and after such freezing there will be no chance of survival for the parasites.

It is physically impossible to freeze the head and pubic lice without the risk for the most infected person. To combat them sometimes use other temperature methods.


High temperature lice removal

Removing lice on the body by high temperatures is quite time-consuming, but, as experiments show, it is quite effective.

The most revealing were the attempts of American researchers to develop a special dryer for the destruction of lice. This hair dryer blows the infected part of the body with air with a temperature of about 50 ° C, sensitive, but painless to humans.

Special dryer for the destruction of lice

The special nozzle of the hair dryer allows you to effectively warm up even thick and long hair.

Lice dryer in action

Lice die at about 55 ° C, and at 50 ° C they lose mobility and cannot cling to hair. Accordingly, a half-hour hair treatment with such a hair dryer allows you to immobilize and weaken the parasites, after which they are shaken off and combed out from the head with special combs.

It is interesting

The idea of ​​using a hair dryer against head lice was proposed by the British inventor Dale Clayton. Initially, he developed a remedy for head lice in the UK, but then moved to Salt Lake City, in an area with a much hotter and drier climate. There, he found that local lice are much less viable, and after staying for a long time in the sun in conditions of dry desert air, they completely lose their mobility. This encouraged him to create a special dryer.

Today, such hair dryers for mass use have not yet been released, but those who have decided to deal with lice mechanically - with the help of crests - can take a weapon into service.Before combing the hair should be washed in water with a temperature of about 55 ° C, and then dried with a regular hairdryer with the maximum tolerated temperature. Lice after this procedure will be combed out easier and in much larger quantities.

Before combing lice at home, you can use a regular household hair dryer


“I knew from the time I worked at the SES at what temperature lice die. It's about 50 degrees. When lice appeared in a child, I didn’t even think in the direction of any insecticides - it was all poison. I did this: I just bathe the child, then I dry his hair with a hair dryer at such a temperature, which is already a little unpleasant, but you can tolerate - about 7 minutes. Then I immediately take and comb my hair with a comb from the lice. It should be special, dense, with hard teeth. On the Internet, they are now selling a lot. Only lice and nits at this temperature do not die, but are braked, and they need to be combed over the bathtub. ”

Lyubov Ilinichna, Sterlitamak


How does temperature affect lice reproduction rates?

The rate at which the lice breed, the temperature also affects quite significantly. At temperatures below + 22 ° C and above + 40 ° C, the larvae and nymph lice stop feeding and do not develop. No nits develop at these temperatures - no larvae hatch from them,although the nits themselves do not die, their development is simply inhibited.

Although nits cease to develop at high temperatures, they do not always die.

At the temperature at which the lice die, nits are still able to survive. In general, even a small change in temperature already affects the duration of the reproductive cycle of lice.

The optimal temperature for breeding lice is + 30-32 ° C. In such conditions, the period from egg to egg is about 16-18 days. Reducing the temperature to + 28 ° C stretches this period to 23-24 days, and at + 25 ° C, it takes about 35 days from egg to egg.

At a temperature of + 22 ° C, the larvae stop hatching from nits. This is how the natural protection mechanisms of the population work - at low temperatures, lice are not viable, and it is more rational to keep dormant nits until the next warming, than to risk hatched larvae that can simply die from starvation.

Interestingly, the temperature rise at which lice livedo not lead to the opposite effect. If the temperature rise to + 34-35 ° C keeps the reproductive cycle at the level of 16-17 days, then upon reaching + 37-38 ° C, reproduction in lice generally practically stops, and after + 40 ° C they begin to die.

Lice begin to die already at temperatures above +40 degrees Celsius

At the same time under natural conditions, lice in such conditions practically do not end up.


What about in nature?

Lice on a person rarely end up in extreme situations - thanks to their activities, people can always be in comfortable conditions for themselves and for their parasites. Even if a person is in the cold or in conditions of extreme heat, hair and clothing protect both his body and lice from significant temperature drops.

The same with animals. Human lice do not parasitize them, but they have their own analogs - lashes, very close to the lice. Due to the dense structure of the wool in animals, even in the inhabitants of the polar regions, lashing eaters of the skin itself are in quite tolerable conditions - the temperature under which the parasites can live and reproduce, remains under the dense undercoat.

Voyoedy on animals feel good even in winter

In winter, under icy hairs, lashes, of course, slow down their activity a bit, but by the summer they begin to multiply at a normal speed again.

In this respect, people are lucky - if they wish, they can change their clothes and shave their hair without the risk of being frozen or overheated. In the fight against lice, this advantage must be used.


How does lice infect, how is it dangerous and how to deal with parasites


To write "At what temperature lice and nits die" 36 comments
  1. Sergei:

    There is a great tool - spray NitFree, it scares away lice, and comb NitFree.

  2. Elmira:

    We pediatrician recommended comb Nit Free, explaining that only in this comb the distance between the teeth is less than the nits, and there are special notches, so lice and nits are easily removed.And it is not necessary before combing it off with chemistry, it is enough to wet your hair, the effect is one! We are very grateful to him, it took only two combings, and after the second there was nothing, we did it just in case.

  3. Aminat:

    I have lice, I'm 13 years old. The best ways: hair dye, vinegar, dichlorvos or kerosene!

  4. a guest:

    Roman, you have absolutely no constructive approach to solving this problem.

  5. Anonymous:

    Punching the head with hot water of 60-70 degrees, cool it cold and again hot and cold again.After drying with a hairdryer (hot air), moisten with vinegar for prophylaxis (optional). Next, comb out with a fine comb and, finally, wash your hair in the usual way. Do not forget to wash clothes at high temperatures: lice and nits die after 55 degrees. I personally checked!

    I believe that in the sauna (in the steam room), grayed over half an hour, you can also fry lice and nits. Did not check!

  6. Anonymous:

    There are irons for straightening hair, I “straightened” my daughter’s hair and you should not worry about nits)) Temperature 200. Probably, a curling iron for hair is suitable.

    • Illuminati:

      Quite, they are afraid of high temperatures, about 60+, and there are more than 130, at least.

  7. Anonymous:

    I had lice, but my mother brought out, and the nits remained. How to get nits? I know that I need a comb, but I haven’t found a comb anywhere (So advise, please.

  8. a guest:

    Hello. Help, lice for 4 months I deduce. But I need folk remedies. Tell me, what about vinegar?

    • Anonymous:

      If you do not want chemistry, a very simple way - conditioner and vinegar.You apply the conditioner to the hair with a thick layer and a small comb you begin to comb, and the comb must be periodically washed. Then rinse with vinegar. So you repeat 1, 5, 9, 13 day. You have to do it twice a day. On those days when you don’t use air conditioning, wash your head with 55-60 degrees water, and then comb your hair again with a fine comb, preferably over a bath. And lice and nits will not. Good luck.

  9. Alina:

    I don’t know for sure if I have lice, but my head itches. Tomorrow I'll go to the bath, there are 100 degrees.

  10. Sveta:

    The most good remedy is Paraplus. Once you apply and that's it. And it costs 800 rubles. I used it, I know.

    • Illuminati:

      The best means is not to live on this mortal earth at all ...

  11. Alexander:

    Faced with these parasites, when a small was in the camp picked up! We bought some kind of shampoo against lice, one treatment was enough, disappeared. To this day I live without them.

  12. Helena:

    The best way is kerosene. A cotton swab is applied to the scalp, and then processed completely over the entire length of the hair. You put the bag on your hair, and a towel over the bag. You sit for an hour or two. How much can you tolerate, so how to burn and itch will be strong.But all lice and nits completely die. Nits peel off from the hairs. After this procedure, no nits or lice will not.

  13. Sasha:

    Bought Pedikulen, 500 rubles, comes with a comb, magnifying glass and poison in the form of a spray. And as a child, our grandmother would bring us kerosene - a bag with a towel on our head and sleep, you will be happy in the morning.

  14. Olga:

    And Chemerichnaya water? She is always last remembered about her. As a child, my mother used to make dust and brush out dust as a child, her hair was always long, I used my shallow water to wash it and wash it, scratch it and scratch it.

  15. Anonymous:

    Why reinvent the wheel? In Russia, they always washed in the bath, and there were no lice. It is enough to sit for 10 seconds in the bath at 100 degrees. Tried it. Even nits dry instantly.

  16. Tanya:

    There is a saying: "Who's what, and lousy about the bath" ... 😉

  17. Olga:

    I have 2 daughters and one of the school brought lice. So the chain came to the youngest, and to me. I sprinkled it. The next day, and sat with his hands on small strands pulled nits. But I have no one to pull out. How do I get rid of nits? They will hatch.

    • Anonymous:

      Buy a comb in the pharmacy, and then comb over the bathroom or sheet.

  18. Anonymous:

    All pharmacy products on the child have tried, the hair is long ... The plenary water does not help (it is a poison that can be used only after 18 years, and they are written in the instructions). Washing clothes on boiling and ironing do not help. I pull out, comb out combs, go to school - reappear, and so 2 months. I took the money from 50 rubles to 1200. I decided radically - I will straighten her hair with a flat iron, since I will not poison the child with kerosene after so many drugs (the most interesting thing is that it appears to her again and again).

    • Anonymous:

      So can the funds help, and the daughter is constantly in contact with the patient at school? That brings again and again.

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