Dealing with Lice

Here's how to get rid of lice.

Lice are small insects that live on the hair and scalp of humans and feed on blood. Lice can spread as long as lice or eggs remain alive on the infested person or clothing, but they are unable to survive off the body for more than 48 hours. Items that have been infected with lice should be contained in a plastic bag for 48 hours before cleaning.

Clean washable items in water at 140 degrees Fahrenheit and tumble dry for 20 minutes in a hot dryer. Clean drycleanable items on a normal cycle and tumble dry. Items that cannot be washed or drycleaned should be contained in a plastic bag for 10 days. The agitation and heat of cleaning will take care of any eggs (nits) that may have come in contact with the items.

Household items such as rugs, pillows, and upholstered furniture should be vacuumed.

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