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All about preventing lice……

How do I prevent a re-infestation of lice?

Treating your home environment after a lice infestation is very important. While lice don’t prefer to live off a human head, and can’t live off a human head for more than 2 days, they can fall off the head into your environment. A lost louse is just waiting for a head to come by so that it can find its next meal. Some sources say that a female louse will lay its eggs off a head 5 minutes after landing there. While she would certainly prefer to lay her eggs on a strand of hair near a food source, it is not unreasonable for her to lay them elsewhere if she feels that it is a survival technique. Other sources claim that if given the choice, 80% of lice will lay eggs on human hair, but as many as 20% actually prefer flannel.

Either way, while lice in the environment are not the primary way that someone would get infested, it can happen. In addition to the suggestions here, Nit Nabbers has Home Environment Treatment products available for purchase if you are interested in the extra level of protection.

Should I have my rugs steam cleaned?

Vacuuming is treatment enough for rugs and floors. Pay special attention to the area around the bed, bathroom floors and mats, and places where you, or we, have performed head lice treatments. You should also vacuum furniture and car seats where an infested person has been sitting.

How often should I wash sheets?

If you are not going to treat the head itself, don’t worry about the sheets! However, once Nit Nabbers has successfully removed all lice and nits from your child’s hair, you will want to wash the bed sheets thoroughly. Sheets should be washed in hot water, if possible, and dried on regular to high heat for at least 30 minutes.

Do I need to wash all my clothes?

You only need to wash clothes that have been worn during the time that you have had lice. Clothes should be washed in hot water, if possible, and/or dried on regular to high heat for at least 30 minutes.

What should I do with jackets, hats, pillows or things that I don’t want to wash?

Anything that can be put in the dryer should be tumbled on regular to high heat for at least 30 minutes.

How about items that can’t be washed or put in the dryer, like a wool sweater or stuffed animals?

Items that can’t be washed or dried can be sealed in a plastic bag and/or stored out of the way for at least 2 days. This allows enough time for the live bugs to die(24 – 48 hours.)

What do I do with brushes and hair barrettes?

Anything made of plastic, such as combs and barrettes, can be washed with soap and warm water.  Brushes, or anything containing loose strands of hair, should be stored in the freezer for at least 8 hours to kill any living lice.

How do I prevent my child from becoming re-infected at school or camp?

Teach your children about lice and how to prevent catching them. Girls should wear their hair up, or tied back, in a braided ponytail or bun when they are in a group setting. Ideally, there should be no loose hair hanging away from the head. As an extra precaution, use products that naturally repel head lice. Nit Nabbers has preventative hair care products available for purchase.

Also, instruct your children never to use someone else’s brush, barrettes, or hat. Even winter coats and scarves should not be shared. Girls should also try to prevent head-to-head contact with their friends during play, but let’s face it… girls will be girls!

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