Can Scabies Live on Bedding

Can Scabies Mites Be Transferred Through Contact with Linens, Clothing and Furniture?


In a word, yes. Scabies mites are most commonly transferred through prolonged skin-to-skin contact. They cannot jump, hop or fly from one person to another, but they can linger on couches or mattresses for more than a day. It is often reported that scabies cannot be transferred through casual contact with infested surfaces, but this is not an absolute fact. In most scabies outbreaks connected to hospitals and nursing homes, mites are spread through the common laundering of infested clothing and linens. The simple truth is that individuals who display advanced symptoms are more contagious than others. Severe outbreaks should be treated as a direct threat to all members who share a communal space.


In the world of mite transmission, there are many angles to consider. For example, dogs with sarcoptic mange can transfer scabies mites to carpets, creating an unsafe environment for children who spend a lot of time crawling or playing on the floor. Scabies is often described as a sexually transmitted disease, but nonsexual cuddling between parents and children is more than sufficient to transfer scabies mites.


Statistics vary, but it’s generally accepted that scabies mites can live outside the body for 24 to 36 hours. Given those numbers, it’s certainly not impossible to come in contact with a mite lingering on the sofa. An individual’s ability to contract mites can sometimes depend upon internal factors. Sick or elderly family members with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to the contraction of mites through casual surfaces, but even healthy people can fall victim to the scabies mite.



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