When you discover that your children have head lice, you might go into a tailspin, obsessively trying to clean your home to prevent any further infestation. Relax! Lice feed off blood and cannot subsist when not on a scalp.
They cannot camp out on bedding, flooring or on stuffed animals. Not only is it unlikely a louse would fall off a head – once an egg hatches, it tightly adheres to the hair strand – it would die within 24-48 hours. Lice eggs (nits) also require the warmth and moisture of a human scalp to hatch; they will not hatch unless they are very close to the head.
Additionally, lice can only crawl – they cannot jump or fly – so any that have managed to survive off the human head will not be able to jump back on.
Having said that, there are a few chores that should be done for extra protection, as well as for the psychological benefit of feeling clean!
- Throw all bedding, stuffed animals, clothes and hats worn in past 2-3 days into the dryer for 30-40 minutes on high or leave unused for 2-3 days.
- Stuffed animals and pillows that cannot fit in the dryer should be bagged in plastic for 2-3 days.
- Vacuum couch, lay a sheet on it for 2-3 days – sitting on it will be fine!
- Vacuum carpets and discourage lying on the floor for 2-3 days
- Vacuum car seats
- To rid hairbrushes, combs, barrettes, and other hair ornaments of lice, boil them for 30 minutes or place them in a ziplock bag in the freezer for 48 hours.
The most efficient and effective way for safe lice removal is an hour appointment at a lice treatment center. If you are in Denver/Arvada or Colorado Springs area, call Lice & Easy at 303-416-2216.