How to Treat Your Home and Family for Lice


I remember going into work one day and seeing the mortified look on coworkers’ face. She was clearly bothered by something and had an exasperated expression her face. When I approached her about what was wrong, it turned out that they had found lice in her daughter’s hair at school the previous day. Now all she could think about was whether or not it had spread throughout the house. Her next words were, “gee, now that I think about it, I hope I didn’t bring it to work with me”….great!

Naturally, I rushed to learn how to treat my home for lice after I sprinted to the bathroom to make sure I didn’t have any lice taking up residence on my own scalp.

How to Treat Home and Family for Lice?

After careful research, I found out that treating your family and home for lice is pretty challenging. One thing you must do for everyone in your home is to give them lice shampoo. There are over-the-counter shampoo options and prescribed options, which are more powerful but do require a visit to the doctor.

Be sure that shampoo doesn’t touch anyone’s skin during treatment, so don’t apply it while showering. The active ingredients are quite powerful and may irritate the skin.

You also have to make sure you wash and dry all items worn by those with lice at high temperatures to make sure you kill the bugs. Here are few products that will help get you started:

Recommended ProductsWhere to Buy
DoMyOwn Lice ControlTry this Product
Hair Genies Lice CombTry this Product
LiceLogic Lice Prevention KitTry this Product

Getting Into the Details

There’s a lot more to know about the steps you’ll need to take to get rid of lice in your home. The following are some details I think are important to know as a parent:

The Medications

As mentioned earlier, there are many lice treatments to choose from. Most of them rely on pesticides like piperonyl butoxide and pyrethrins, just to name a few.

It should be pointed out that lice treatments with these ingredients have ragweed. Some folks have an allergy to ragweed. so try to keep that in mind. You should also know these active ingredients aren’t safe for babies. For babies, you need something like permethrin lotion but only if your baby is older than two months. Those who don’t want to use pesticides have one option: you’ll have to rely on lice shampoos with dimethicone.

This is a silicone-based shampoo that should be able to take care of your lice problem without relying on ingredients that some parents feel uncomfortable with. Personally, I wouldn’t buy pesticide-ridden food, so I wouldn’t want to use any harmful substances on my family’s heads. The non pesticide shampoo works by making it harder for lice to use the water they consume.

If you are worried, ask your pediatrician so that you can get some additional information about what you can or cannot use with your kids. One thing I can tell you is that you have to follow the instructions on whatever shampoo you choose.

The Natural Way

There’s no way I wasn’t going to talk about some of the natural methods to deal with lice at home. While you can combine prescriptions and over-the-counter products, natural methods could be a little safer and easier to come by. It can’t hurt to add them to your new cleaning routine.

I would definitely purchase a good lice comb and try the wet combing technique. All you have to do is wet your child’s hair and use the comb. You’ll need a bowl or something to wash the comb after each comb through.

You’ll see little eggs and active lice on the comb’s teeth, which you’ll want to wash off before you keep going. It’s important to do this at least once a week although I’ve read multiple places that more is better. It can be time-consuming, but getting rid of those things out of the hair should be a high priority.

I found out some people use greasy products to suffocate lice. Some people add petroleum jelly, mayonnaise, or even olive oil on their hair. They add these substances and let them sit on the hair for a few minutes before washing it off. I can’t verify they actually work, but they are interesting and natural solutions if they work.

Cleaning Details

You Probably Don’t Want These Crawling Around on Your Head

Okay, I want to tell you what todo to ensure that once those little parasites got killed there is no way they can come back. It seems to come down to using the right products, being extremely thorough, and then staying as clean as possible.

Lice can crawl off anyone’s body at any given time. They don’t do it often because lice can’t survive without a host for too long, but they still do it.

Wash Sheets and Towels in Warm Water

Of course, they will make their way to your bedding, which will have to be washed often, but that’s not all. These parasites could also make their way into shower towels, hats, scarfs, and your clothes.

All of the stuff that needs to be cleaned needs to be cleaned at high heat. Lice die off if they are exposed to heat higher than 128.3 Fahrenheit. The motto goes, if it touched the head or skin, then it needs to be heat blasted.

Yes, there are going to be times you won’t be able to clean some items. If you do have to deal with items like this, just go ahead and quarantine the items inside a plastic bag. Make sure the bag is completely sealed, and put it away for at least two weeks to make sure any lice or eggs die off.

Vacuum and Spray Everything

The vacuum is going to become your best friend during this time. You need a powerful vacuum that you are going to be using on everything you can’t wash. These things can easily crawl off your loved one and make their way onto your sofa, upholstery, or even your rugs. You have to imagine that all of these areas could have been infected. Use your vacuum to clean up every day to make sure that if any of these pests are there they don’t stay long enough to jump onto another host.

You should vacuum any surface with fibers, which includes things like rugs or sofas. Hair strands could have fallen on these surfaces and may have active lice eggs attached to them.

Shampoo & Comb Hair with the Right Comb

There is special shampoo and combs available for dealing with lice. I’ve included a few available below that can be shipped next day. While there are over the counter shampoos available, you may want to consult with your doctor to obtain a medicated solution as well.

Recommended ProductsWhere to Buy
DoMyOwn Lice ControlTry this Product
Hair Genies Lice CombTry this Product
LiceLogic Lice Prevention KitTry this Product

Prevent Further Spread

You must tell anyone who could have come in contact with the lice about the issue, such as teachers, coworkers and friends. You don’t want your children’s friends or classmates to go through what you’re going through. It might be a hard subject to bring up, but it’s very important so do not delay.

Hopefully, this is the only time your household has to deal with lice. They are persistent and strong parasites that don’t die off without a real fight.

Matt Cochrell

Hi, my name is Matt Cochrell and I am a real estate broker in the state of Ohio. I operate a network of sites designed to help home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners make better decisions. This site is dedicated to information regarding the damage pests can cause to your home and family.

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