This is a question that we often hear. There is a reason they are called head lice and not house lice. You can stop searching for how to treat a house for lice or how to get rid of lice in your house. The reality is that you don't have to get rid of lice in the house; without blood from the head, lice will die within 24 hours.
How Do You Clean Your House From Lice?
At LiceDoctors, we often get calls from frustrated and tired parents asking how to get rid of lice in your house. It is not unusual for us to hear a parent say that she or he has disinfected the entire house in addition to trying a variety of head lice treatments, and yet the family continues to suffer from head lice. Given the short life span of lice off of the head, it is not necessary to know how to treat a house for lice; your time should be spent on treating the head, as again, these are not “house lice”. You can clean day and night, but if there are still bugs and/or nits in the hair, the case has not ended.
Despite the fact that head lice will not be able to survive off of the head, many families, school nurses, and even pediatricians still insist that cleaning the home from top to bottom, including vacuuming, disinfecting surfaces, boiling hair accessories, and laundering anything and everything your family may come into contact with is necessary. Often, this is the part of head lice treatment that families find to be most stressful. When you understand the physiology of lice and the environment they need to survive, you will comprehend why this is absolutely unnecessary. However, we still understand that, for peace of mind, some families need to do at least something to the home to address a lice infestation. Often, when speaking with our clients, we tell them that while it is not necessary to do anything with the home, they should do whatever they need to do to feel at ease. These are a few of the practical things we suggest if they continue to insist that they want to clean the house.
Tip #1. Apply Lice Treatment
The absolute very best way to address head lice in the home is to address the home in which head lice live – the human head. To ensure that the head is properly treated, use a proven lice treatment method that addresses both the live bugs and all of the nits that are laid on the hair strands. Our at-home lice treatment will accomplish this. By effectively treating the head and making it an unsuitable environment in which to live, head lice will die within 24 hours. They need to feed on the blood from the human scalp to be able to survive, and without it, in a 24 hour period, they will die.
Tip #2. Take Care of Head Accessories
Put hair accessories that your family has used in the last 24 hours in a zip lock back and leave them in the freezer overnight. We cannot stress enough that head lice do not like to leave the human head, but in the off chance that a bug happened to take a jaunt onto a hair accessory, leaving it in the freezer overnight will ensure that anything on the accessory will die.
Tip #3. Apply Lint Roller
Use a lint roller on surfaces your family’s head may have come into contact with like couches, car seats, seat belts, recliners, pillows, curtains, stuffed animals – you name it, go for it if it makes you feel better. Same with laundry — it's not necessary to wash the sheets or add lice pillows on a hot dryer setting as we leave you with a follow-up plan for the head, but if you are self-treating, it is a good idea to wash the sheets.
Tip #4. Vacuum Clean the Surfaces
We are often asked whether lice can live on the carpet, how long lice can live on furniture and how long can head lice live on a surface. They cannot wait for very long and will die within 24 hours off the head. Vacuuming is not necessary, but you may feel more at ease in your home if you do a little extra that will give you and your family peace of mind that all the carpet lice have been vacuumed. If you vacuum, put the head lice vacuum cleaner away for 24 hours. While it is not necessary, it certainly will not cause harm to vacuum clean the cloth surfaces of the home that individuals with head lice frequent.
Lice Spray for House
You will find conflicting information on the internet regarding options for lice house treatment and how to treat your house for lice, specifically in reference to pesticide sprays. When people ask us when they should use chemical pesticides in their homes, our answer is an unequivocal "NEVER"! Run for the hills if you get the advice from someone to do so. Also, avoid scams that offer options to address how to get rid of dog lice at home fast. Lice are species-specific, and you cannot catch lice from your pets.
Again, head lice do not live and cannot survive in the home. They are unable to survive off of the human head for more than one day before they will die. Because of this, you can reasonably conclude that spraying pesticides in and around your home is unnecessary. Not only is this costly, but it is dangerous as this step will expose your family to poisons without having any effect at all on a head lice infestation.
Tip #5. Don’t Use Lice Spray for House; Use a Non-Chemical One for Your Hair
As mentioned, using a lice repellent spray in your home is not advised. However, we do recommend doing whatever you can to help prevent future infestations on your head. Try keeping the hair artificially dirty with a lice repellent spray that is non-pesticidal and can be used every day.
Another Lice Removal Choice
If you are looking for an effective solution to get rid of head lice that won’t break the bank and will not put your family at risk, we can help! At LiceDoctors, technicians eliminate all visible bugs and lice eggs (nits) from the hair. You will also be provided a follow-up head lice treatment plan to ensure that any live lice in the house will not be able to get into the hair and survive – completely eliminating the need to do anything to your home. That’s right – no cleaning, laundering, bagging, or vacuuming! Remember that after 24 hours off the head those lice will be dead. LiceDoctors technicians will come to you and leave you lice-free. Before you waste your time and energy scrubbing down your house, clothes, and toys, give us a call at 800-224-2537 and let us explain how and why these treatments work. You haven't tried "everything" until you let a LiceDoctors technician come and eradicate your head lice problem. Learn more about our lice treatment products!