How to Avoid Getting Reinfested with Lice after an Infestation

To avoid getting reinfested with lice, treat the hair with a lice shampoo available at your pharmacy following the directions exactly. Then carefully comb through all the hair with a specially made lice comb to pull off the nits. The itching may persist after treatment. 

After shampooing, nits must be removed from the hair. Most of the products include an extremely fine-tooth comb in the package. Parents find the frustrating meaning of the term “nit-picking” when they try to remove the tiny nits. Careful, thorough removal is necessary because even one live egg remaining on the hair shaft can cause a re-infestation when it hatches.

Treat the Entire Family After an Infestation 

If’ one person has lice, the entire family needs to be treated at the same time. One strand of hair with one nit on it can-be enough to re-infest the family. Clothing, bedding, towels and washcloths should be washed frequently in hot water (above 120 degrees). Washable headgear should be laundered at the same time. Combs, brushes and hair-styling equipment should be thoroughly washed and cleaned.

Will Heat Kill Lice or Prevent an Infestation?

Dry heat, or pressing with a hot iron will destroy lice, since they can live only a few minutes at 120 degrees. Dry clean clothes which cannot be washed, or place clothes in plastic bags for seven days to kill lice. Items that cannot be washed may be dry cleaned or placed in a sealed plastic bag for at least 10 days.

Treat the Furniture Post-Infestation, Too 

Vaccuum the home thoroughly, including the bathroom. Vacuuming is usually the most effective way to remove the few lice that may be in carpeting or furniture. Also, sprays are available to rid mattresses and furniture of lice, health officials say.

There is no need to fumigate the house, since lice don’t live in areas inhabited by roaches and other insects. Officials m the Bureau of Communicable Disease Services in Austin say that fumigation in buildings frequented by people with lice is not recommended.

Breeding Habits/Spreading of Adult Lice 

To avoid re-infestation, it should be remembered that head lice do not hop, jump or fly. they are transported by people and personal possessions. Discuss with your pharmacist options for treating your home and personal items to avoid recurrence.

Lice seldom live longer than 48 hours when removed from the human body. Under ideal laboratory conditions, male body lice have lived as long as 32 day and female body lice have survived for 46 days; however, under normal conditions, even body lice seldom live longer than a day or two when deprived of their human host.

Special hair oils and other hair dressings will not prevent nits from being attached to hair. Remember to be calm, too. Lice control takes time and patience from both parent and child. Plus, a lice infestation nowadays is just something to deal with, not be embarrassed about.