How to Treat a Couch for Head Lice

Head-lice treatment does not end after shampooing infested hair. Once hair has been treated, it is extremely important to remember to treat everything with which infested hair has come into contact. While treating clothing and linen is simply a matter of washing or storing in sealed plastic, treating a couch for head lice can be a little bit more time consuming.

How to Treat a Couch for Head Lice

Vacuum the couch and immediate area. This should be done as soon as you realize that the couch has come into contact with head lice. If the couch has removable cushions remove them to vacuum both sides along with the area underneath them. Be sure to vacuum underneath the couch as well.

Purchase a disposable spray bottle (if you do not have one) along with tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil. These products can usually be found at many health food shops, vitamin stores and in some pharmacies. Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil can also be found in certain hair-supply stores 1. If you are not able to find eucalyptus oil don't panic, it is possible to treat a couch for head lice using only tea tree oil.

Combine the tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil in the spray bottle and add enough water to dilute the oils 1. If you are unable to find eucalyptus oil, a combination of tea tree oil and water can be used instead 1. Both are natural insect repellents that will kill any remaining lice or nits (lice eggs) without exposing your family or pets to harsh chemicals. While vacuuming alone can sometimes be effective using tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil to create a spray is often recommended to kill any lice or nits that vacuuming missed.

Spray the mixture of tea tree oil and (if available) eucalyptus oil over the couch 1. Be sure to thoroughly spray cushions as well. Avoid sitting on or using the couch for at least 24 hours after spraying.

Repeat the process if necessary. Head lice cannot survive long without human blood, so you do not have to worry about lice breeding on a couch once it is clean and all infested family members or pets have been treated. However, vacuuming and spraying the couch can be done again for extra precaution or to give you and your family peace of mind.


Never use head-lice sprays intended for pets or hair on furniture.