When someone in your family contracts head lice, the first two things that come to mind are 1) how do I rid the lice from the head and 2) how do I prevent them from infesting my entire house!
You will be relieved to know that lice feed off blood and cannot survive when not on a scalp for more than 24-48 hours.
Lice cannot camp out on stuffed animals, pillows or carpets. Not only is it doubtful that 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.
Additionally, lice cannot jump or fly; they can only crawl, 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 tasks that should be completed 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 hair brushes, 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 the Thousand Oaks area, call Lice Clinics of America at (805) 633-3119.