Cleaning your home after a lice infestation

Cleaning your home after a lice infestation

You’ve treated the children and they’re now head lice free. Now, how do you make sure your home is too? The good news is that lice can’t live away from a human host for longer than 24 hours. So if any lice or nits (eggs) have fallen or been brushed from your children’s hair, they are probably dying anyway. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure they don’t have the chance to start another infestation.

Lice live in hair, not the home.

Head lice aren’t a sign of an unclean environment, and are almost always transferred from one child to another via direct head to head contact. (Lice don’t discriminate between clean or unclean hair either.) The chance of your children picking up lice or nits from objects around the home is slim, therefore you don’t have to wash everything after an infestation. However if several children in the home have had lice, or there have been multiple outbreaks, it’s a good idea to take some basic precautions.

If it’s been in contact with your child’s head in the last 24 hours, wash it.

This includes pillows, sheets, towels and pyjamas. Hair brushes and combs should also be soaked in very hot water, to kill any lice or nits. Hair ties and hats can also be washed, or sealed in plastic bags for several days to ensure any nits or lice have died before re-use. To speed up the process, place sealed bags in the freezer for a couple of hours. Plush or stuffed toys that can’t be washed can be placed in a dryer on high heat for 30 minutes or sealed in bags for a couple of days.

Vacuum couches and car seats.

Any places where your child rests his or her head should be given a quick vacuum to pick up stray lice or eggs. If you have a section of carpet or a rug where your children frequently sit or lie, you might want to give that a quick clean too.

What about your pets?

There’s no need to worry about Ginger or Rex reinfesting your children. Your pets can’t carry or transmit human head lice.

Avoid pesticide sprays.

After a nasty infestation, you may be tempted to have your home fumigated with an anti-lice pesticide. However, the harsh chemicals they contain can do more harm than good, especially if someone in your family has a respiratory condition.

If your child has head lice again?

Focus treatment on the hair, not the home. Licener Head Lice Treatment kills lice and eggs with just one treatment in just 10 minutes, with no combing required to be effective.

Sources: babycenter.com, parents.com, abc.net.au, liceclinicsmedford.com