Scabies occurs because of a microscopic female bug that lives inside the upper layer of your skin. The mite usually attacks immunocompromised or elderly people, and people who live in nursing homes, dormitories, camps and other crowded places. The condition is highly transmittable, spreads by close skin-to-skin physical contact with the patient. The chances of having scabies is even more by using infested towel, furniture and blood.
Before landing on your towel, mattress or furniture, the eight-legged adult female mite lands on your skin crust. She burrows your skin almost 1/4 inch deep down to provide her eggs ideal temperature to cultivate safely under your skin. She lays her eggs in the burrowed tunnels, and along the way, she also drops her body residuals and fluids that cause you itching and rashes.
In 3-5 days, eggs hatch and reach maturity within 2-3 weeks. Larvae from hatched eggs also travel through burrowed tunnels and results in itching and pimple-like rashes. Although, the female mite doesn’t survive more than a month under your skin, but her newborn female mites mate, as soon as they find partners. Then each female mite again burrows your skin to lay their eggs. The procedure goes on, and make your condition more complex and contagious.
While getting rid of the mites in your skin is challenged, it can be even more challenging to avoid re-infestation, as mites can survive in your towel, clothes, mattress, and furniture. Even after a successful treatment, you can get the condition again by using infested belongings in your home.
How long can a mite survive on your furniture?
Usually, a female mite cannot survive more than 1-2 months inside a human body. However, she cannot survive for more than 48-72 hours on furniture, as she dies if exposed to a temperature of 50°C (122°F) for 10 minutes.
It very much depends on the surface though. In mattresses, she can survive more than two weeks, as the mattress provide them a nice temporary home with safety and food, but on a flat surface, she would die early. Similarly, on a filthy towel or garmentmite can survive more than two weeks, and it is enough time or her to lay her microscopic eggs on your towel or clothes.
How to treat?
To kill the parasites from your furniture and entire home, you will have to do more than just treating your skin or taking medications. Have a look at the things you can do to kill scabies mites from your furniture.
- Wash all your garments, towels and beddings with hot water to get rid of the mites completely
- Vacuum your whole home, including your mattresses, couch, and carpets
- Apply a hot iron without putting excessive weight on the surfaces from where you want to kill mites
- Use hot dryer on the surfaces to kills mites
- Use bug spray on the surfaces with 5 percent permethrin
- Use rubbing alcohol when cleansing your entire home, as rubbing alcohol kills mites permanently. However, rubbing alcohol is not recommended for treating your skin.
If you have scabies, immediately go to a physician, as the condition is not treatable without topical or oral medications. Creams and lotions, with 5% permethrin like Elimite and Lindane are the most recommended medications for the condition, which kills mites and their eggs within 24 hours permanently.
In more complex cases like crusted scabies, an oral medication Ivermectin will be prescribed by the dermatologist. Sometimes, even after a complete treatment urge of itching continuously in patients, as dead mites, eggs, and fecal materials remain in your skin after so many days of successful treatment.