For complete head lice treatment, you should treat the infested person and clean your household to effectively end head lice infestation.
Cleaning up after a head lice infestation can seem like a big job, but it is necessary to get rid of lice at home:
- Wash all bedding and clothing that the infested person has been in contact with in hot water (at least 130° F). After washing, run all items through the dryer at the hottest setting for at least 30 minutes.
- Consider dry-cleaning items that cannot be washed and dried at home.
- Place items, such as stuffed animals and pillows, which cannot be cleaned in a tightly sealed plastic bag for 10-14 days.
- Soak all hair care items (such as combs, brushes, and hair clips) in hot water (at least 130° F) for at least 15 minutes to kill any lice or eggs.
- Vacuum your home thoroughly including the mattress and furniture the infested person has been in contact with.
Using bug bombs or garden insecticides in closed areas of the home is not recommended.
The most important part of getting rid of lice at home is to treat the infested person with a head lice treatment, also known as a pediculicide. The use of a pediculicide along with careful combing and clean-up will result in successful lice removal. Be sure to follow all directions as instructed by the head lice remedy and follow up with a second application within 7-10 days to be sure all lice have been killed.
After using most head lice treatments, you must comb the hair to remove the dead lice and nits as part of the process of getting rid of lice at home. Use a fine-toothed nit comb to remove the lice and nits by carefully and slowly starting at the nape of the neck and moving forward. Sectioning the hair off and moving inch by inch is a successful practice of combing. Using an additional conditioner or detangler may also be helpful in the combing process as many head lice treatments can cause the hair to be dry and brittle.
Some products may kill the nits, such as Licefreee Spray!. In this case, combing may not be necessary to prevent reinfestation, but still may be required by your child's school. If your school has a no-nit policy, your child will not be able to return to school until every louse and egg has been removed from his or her hair.
Self-medication and self-combing is not a good idea, as a second person is required to effectively comb-out lice and eggs. However, if you need to self-treat to get rid of head lice, Licefreee Spray! is a good option.