It’s one thing to employ proper headlice treatments when an outbreak occurs, but what about the cleanup? As with most pests, head lice cannot survive extreme heat. So, the best course of action in cleaning them out of your home is to dry everything that you can fit into your clothes dryer. This is great for stuffed animals, rag dolls, bedding, pillows, all sorts of clothing including towels, washcloths, etc. A timed cycle of around 15-30 minutes should do the trick.
I’m sure you have heard the suggestion that putting your clothing or stuffed animals into sealed plastic bags will suffocate head lice. This is not the case. More likely, by putting them into plastic bags the lice die of starvation. But there is a chance that doing this will not kill the lice and therefore a re-infestation can occur. This is not the case with putting articles into a high heat dryer for 30 minutes.
Obviously not everything will fit in your dryer. So, for things like carpeting and furniture, it’s best to vacuum everything thoroughly. Be sure to throw away the vacuum bag inside a sealed garbage sack, or empty the debris container for bagless vacuums, and remove it completely from your house. An outside garbage can is best.
There is no need to vacuum for 30 minutes in one concentrated area of course. A few times over the area will do fine.
You may also want to try creating your own “natural” repellent spray that can be made by using an average sized plastic spray bottle with about 20 drops of 100% Tea Tree Oil and water. Lice, among other pests such as ticks and mosquitoes, do not like the smell of Tea Tree Oil, and so it is a terrific choice for a repellent.
Once you have your mixture, simply begin spraying it on your furniture and carpeting. You needn’t over-spray and completely saturate your furniture. Lightly spraying will do the trick.
Of course, while this guide is for “natural” remedies, if you still feel unsafe about the conditions of your household items where lice can survive for a few days, then you can use a de-licing spray. But this is solely at your discretion. Vacuuming should work just as well. I hope these tips will help you in the future should you find an outbreak in your family.