Once all of the heads have been treated for head lice, the next logical question is always “What do we clean in the house?” Here are our recommendations for cleaning at home once (or before) you’ve been treated at our clinic!
How to Clean the House, Bedding, Carpets and Furniture after Lice
The likelihood of any live lice being on inanimate objects is slim, but it is best to take a few steps to prevent cross contamination. Put your sheets and pillowcases in the dryer on high heat for 25 – 30 minutes. It is not necessary to wash the bedding since the dryer will dehydrate anything lice-related.
For anything that can’t be dried out with heat, such as couches, or other objects, vacuuming or bagging is the safest bet. Wipe items down with a sanitizing wipe or paper towel with soap and water. For the tops of furniture, where your heads would touch, vacuum visible debris. Likewise, you can place a sheet over the couch for 48 hours. Other items can be put aside in bags or elsewhere for 48 hours.
How to Clean the Clothes after Lice
Once your treatment with us is complete, you should focus your efforts on cleaning clothes worn within the last 48 hours. Those are the clothes you are wearing the day of treatment and everything worn up to 48 hours before. These clothes should go directly into the laundry, and should be dried in the dryer. The heat will aid in killing the bugs and eggs, similar to our AirAllé Machine.
If there are items that were placed on your body within the last 48 hours, like scarfs or hats, you can place them directly into the dryer for 30 minutes.
How to Clean Stuffed Animals after lice
Stuffed animals are cuddled throughout the night, and often times come into contact with our children’s heads. It is best to remove these items from the bed, and place them into the dryer, exposing them for dry warm air for 30 minutes, similar to our AirAllé machine. This will dehydrate all eggs and bugs. If you’d like to wash these items, and feel that they will remain intact, you can do so as well, but dryer heat will do the trick.
How to Clean Hair Brushes, Combs hair Accessories and Elastics after Lice
Collect all hair items used within the last 48 hours, and place them in a sealed plastic bag and into the freezer for an overnight stay.
How to Clean Your Pets after Lice
No need to worry about your animals. They can’t carry or transmit human head lice.
Hair Care and Lice Tips Moving Forward
After this infestation is over we recommend doing head checks with the Terminator comb once or twice per month as a safeguard against another infestation.
Using a repellent spray is always smart for children going to school or at any other activity with other children.
Hair worn in braids or a bun always helps keep lice at bay.
Once you or your children are diagnosed with head lice, you will wonder whether or not your family’s furry, four-legged friend could be infected as well. We’re often asked, “can my dog get lice from my kids?”, or “can I get lice from my cat?”
We are happy to report that the answer is “NO!”
The reason this cross infestation isn’t possible is lice don’t move from one species to another. Let’s dig in:
Lice are actually species-specific ectoparasite. Human head lice are called Pediculus Humanus Capitis. The lice that you would find on a dog are called Trichodected Canis or Linognathus Setosus. The lice that you would discover on a cat are called Felicola Subrostrata. Each is a different type of bug! Human lice need humans to survive, dog lice need dogs to survive, and cat lice need to live on cats to survive. Lice can tell the difference between the blood types, and stick to their animal host preferences.
Additionally, animal lice infections aren’t nearly as common as human head lice. It’s more likely that your pooch or kitty will catch a case of the fleas or ticks [we hate those too] before ever experiencing a lice infestation.
If you suspect your dog/cat caught lice from a same-species pet, contaminated grooming utensil or bedding consult a veterinarian for screening for lice, fleas, ticks or other ectoparasites.
Dog/Cat Lice Symptoms
Scratching, rubbing, biting skin
Dry scruffy coat
If lice are discovered, your vet can provide you with the most effective treatment program and your furry friends will be back to couch climbing and bone chewing in no time!
For more information on Human Head Lice visit call us or visit us online.
Do you know someone who may be infected with lice? Call us to get more information about their treatment options.
Disclaimer: the cute dog pictured here is lice free and was not harmed by the writing of this article!