Lice are not only uncomfortable for you, but they’re also really annoying to treat. This problem is especially common in children. Here is a full step-by-step guide on how to get rid of mattress lice with the most effective products.
Why is it so hard to treat lice?
It is actually quite difficult to treat lice and it can appear like an overwhelming task. Lice are tiny insects that live in your hair and feed off of the proteins found in human blood.
This problem is very common in children. Almost every child is faced with this problem at least once in their life. Lice may appear in their kindergarten or school.
Here are the ways how lice are transmitted:
- contact with a person who has head lice
- by using infested items of clothing
- sharing towels or other personal belongings with someone who is infected by lice. this includes brushes, sharing combs and hats.
Try to find the source of the infection. if it is a school, kindergarten or other institution, you should contact the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service. Check your school’s or kindergarten lice policy because different districts have different rules about lice treatment.
Also, be sure you check all family members if you find lice in your child. They are very often transmitted to brothers, sisters and even parents of the infected.
Getting rid of mattress lice may not be easy but it can be done if you are persistent enough to treat the affected area several times even after finding no more bugs.
In fact, lice are treatable and it’s not a big deal if you find out that your child has them. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to treat mattress lice.
How can I know that I have lice?
If you have lice, there are a number of signs and symptoms to look for:
- you will see the bugs on your scalp or in their nits attached to hair shafts
- persistent itching. be alert if your child is constantly itching
- children will also experience problems with sleeping. if your child has lice, he is likely to complain about insomnia or not being able to fall asleep.
Can head lice live on mattresses, pillows, sheets,
and other bedding items?
When you treat a mattress for lice, you need to know if the lice insects and lice eggs can live in other parts of your house. The head lice are parasitic insects that feed on human blood and they can’t survive without it. They don’t fly or jump; instead, their main source of transportation is getting inside people’s heads when they are close by. Head lice infestations are extremely popular in children, but adults also often suffer from lice.
But lice actually can live inside pillows, bed sheets, bed linens, mattresses, and other types of fabric because these items trap heat and moisture which is important in helping them survive. They gluing to the threads of clothing just like to hair. The scientists conducted an experiment with pillowcases of 48 people who had head lice. And only 2 pillowcases had alive lice on them. So lice hardly ever live on bedding items, but sometimes they survive. In fact, lice can live on hair ties, hair brushes, plastic bags,
These insects usually hide from the light which is why you will find them close to your pillow or under a sheet. The truth is that a head lice does not need anything except for human.
How long do lice live on the mattress?
According to the latest research, lice live approximately 30 days without feeding on blood. But if they were fed, their life span can be longer.
The Life Cycle Of Lice
The life cycle of the lice has 3 phases: egg, nymph, and adult. They are from 0.3 mm to 0.8 mm in size, oval in shape. They can be white or yellow.
The female lays about two hundred eggs – nits and gluing them to the hair or threads of clothing with a sticky mass that she secretes. Hatching nits takes approximately 1 week (6 to 9 days). After that, the nymphs develop into adults in a few days.
Adult lice are the size of flaxseed and have 6 limbs (each with claws). It has a color ranging from yellow-brown to gray-white. In people with dark hair, adult lice are darker. Females are slightly larger than males and can lay up to 8 nits every day. Adult lice live on an infested person’s head for about 30 days. To survive, adult lice must feed on blood several times a day. That is why the infected person has itching and a desire to comb his head until it bleeds. Without the blood of the lice owner, they will die within 1-2 days.
What can be the consequences of lice
if you just let your child with lice and will not treat them, it can lead to serious health problems, such as:
- numerous wounds that can become infected and fester
- various diseases such as sepsis, staphylococcus, streptococcus, pyoderma
- low self-esteem
- deterioration in the quality of life. It is not very pleasant to experience constant itching, irritability, redness of the skin, and hair loss.
As you can see, there is a number of strong reasons to start killing head lice right away if you discover them.
How to stay Lice-Free: 6 steps
Prevention from lice infestation is to treat your hands after touching a person with an active case of pediculosis. You should also avoid sharing clothing or bed linen as well as hats, caps, towels and scarves.
But what can you do if you are already infected?
Step 1: Hair Care
If your child has long hair, you should keep it up or tied it back in a ponytail to prevent lice from entering. Also, don’t let your child share a hairbrush or hat. Remember that it’s the common way to get lice.
When treating head lice, combine additional measures with recommended medications. This will greatly increase the effectiveness of your treatment. You can simply ask the pharmacy about lice treatment.
Before you apply a remedy, it is a good idea to take off clothing that could get wet or dirty during the procedure. When you are taking lice remedy which is called pediculicide, follow the directions on the package. If the infected person has a hair length longer than the shoulder, you will need two bottles of the product. Follow all label instructions for how long to leave the medicine on your hair and how to rinse it off. Do not treat people who are allergic to the medication. In this case, the best thing is to consult a dermatologist.
Step 2: House Cleaning
You don’t need to wash everything in your house to get rid of lice. But you should treat your bathroom and bedroom in addition to treating your head. Be sure that all items such as hats, combs, brushes, and towels are cleaned thoroughly before using again. Also, you should do wet cleaning at least once in 2 weeks, even if you don’t treat lice with medicine.
At first, remove any loose hair from things that the hair came in contact with. Then you need to get all things that have been in direct contact with the hair and soak it in boiling water or run them through the dryer or a washing machine for several minutes. The temperature must be at least 130 F to kill all lice. This procedure concerns backpacks, hairbrushes, combs, hair accessories, towels, hats, jackets and bed linen.
Step 3: Mattress treatment
The mattress needs a special procedure because lice can stay longer there.
First, remove all linens from the bed and wash or dry them over high heat (at least 130 F). The heat will kill all living lice. Also, remember to wash blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals that your child tends to rest their head-on. Yes, their lovelies should take a ride through the washing machine too. Anything that can’t go to the washing machine, such as pillows, can be put in the freezer for several hours.
After removing and washing clothes from the mattress, you can thoroughly vacuum it and sprinkle it with essential oil. The vacuum helps remove any lice that may have been missed by the washing machine.
If possible, treat the mattress with a chemical-free pesticide. If you can’t find one at your local hardware store, try using diatomaceous earth powder—it actually has anti-louse properties! Just sprinkle it on and let sit overnight before vacuuming.
Step 4: Checking hair
Even if your child didn’t have head-to-head contact with someone with lice, you should check his head for lice and nits. This should be done once a week. Especially check the skin around the ears and the back of the head.
Remember that the easiest way to get rid of lice is to spot them early.
Step 5: Exposure To High Temperature
Lice die at a temperature of 130 F degrees. So you need to expose the hair to that temperature for at least one hour. Make sure you have someone check with a thermometer. Also, you have to wash all your clothes at this temperature and even more. This including linen, hats, backpacks and other clothes.
Also, you need to iron all things thoroughly. Do this with high heat (130 F minimum) and steam. Pay special attention to the seams.
Step 6: Wash Bedding
Wash all bedding in hot water and dry on high heat for at least 30 minutes to kill any live lice or nits. When you treat the lice-infested items with hot steam, eggs are unlikely to hatch. So, dry cleaners can treat carpets and sofas in your house. You don’t need a special detergent to kill lice on bedding, regular detergent is enough.
You already know that you need to treat all lines and mattresses to get rid of lice. But there is another problem. Lice can’t be drowned, even with very long washing. The experiment showed that after 8 hours of being in the water, all the lice were still alive. Sometimes lice are even “playing dead” so you might think they don’t survive.
The only way to kill lice in the washing machine is a sanitize cycle mode. This mode heats the water to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit and it is hot enough to kill lice.
If you treat your mattress and other clothing in a washing machine with a sanitizing cycle, it must be followed by an extra rinse without detergent because soap residue can cause itching after treatment for lice.
Lice die after several minutes of temperatures higher than 130° F. The sanitize cycle usually reaches 165° F so it will kill lice. But what can you do if you don’t have this mode?
The dryer is a really good alternative for a sanitize mode on your washing machine. Lice can not survive high heat. Dry your items at the highest temperature they are allowed to be dried on for 30 minutes. The average dryer gets to 135° F on the high cycle. If you don’t have the time or patience to run an entire cycle for your washing machine, a clothes dryer will also work in getting rid of these pesky parasites. Just be sure not to include any items that can melt!
Important warning before using the dryer: if you have a newer version of the dryer, you may have a built-in “eco-sensor”. Be sure to turn it off. “Eco-sensor” on dryers works so that it automatically turns off the dryer when the laundry is dry enough. This is intended to save energy, but in this situation, it is much more important to kill all lice than to save money on energy bills. So, make sure your Eco Sensor is off and your clothes are in the dryer at high temperature for a full 30 minutes.
Lice sprays on mattresses and headboards may not always kill all lice. There is a risk that you will miss a few and the disease will start again. Plus, they can be very toxic and you will inhale harmful chemicals every night until the spray wears off completely. An optimal way to clean your mattress is to vacuum it. Use attachment or handheld vacuum cleaner.
Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up lice from your mattresses, furniture, carpet, etc. Or you can use a stiff brush for a fine comb on carpets or fabrics that have eggs on them.
To remove lice from your mattress, you will need to purchase a vacuum cleaner of the correct size with a handy hose attachment so that you can reach anywhere in the mattress and suck in all the eggs and nits.
The good spray must include two key components: an insecticide and a residual. Insecticidal sprays should kill lice instantly on contact, which will prevent them from multiplying or laying eggs. Residual is equally important as it provides high effectivity that keeps working even after your treat mattress for 30 days to ensure you don’t have any reoccurrence.
These requirements are met by such 5 sprays:
- MDXconcepts Lavender Oli Organic Lice Killer. That spray has a widespread impact: it’s absolutely organic, natural and non-toxic, MDXconcepts Flint Lice Spray removes Lice on immediate contact, killing the Eggs, Nymphs, and Adults. Due to its organic nature and safe ingredients, the lice killer spray is great to use everywhere in your house. Its 100 percent safe for your children and pets except for the contact of the spray with the body.
- Rid Home Lice, Bedbug, and dust mite spray. This is great lice spray for the home and absolutely safe for your kids. Also, the package contains as many as 4 spray bottles, so it will be enough for you to cover the whole house. It is easy to use and applies to mattresses, bedding and curtains. You need to apply the spray to the infected areas of the house and it will save you not only from head lice but also from dust mites and bedbugs. Moreover, it does not harm animals.
- Lice-Free Home Spray, head lice treat for furniture. A reliable non-toxic brand that has been producing sprays since 1999. Extensive experience in creating lice products makes it one of the best brands you can find. Lice Free Home does not use harmful pesticides in production, instead, it uses a natural ingredient to kill lice. The spray does not stain and smells good.
- Exterminator Choice Lice Defense Repellent Spray. The fighter-approved line of this company is manufactured in the United States. Their product line is made by real fighters who know exactly what they are doing. A nice bonus is that the brand guarantees a 100 percent result. Get the desired effect or get your money back.
- Nix Lice & Bed Bug Killing Spray. The lice spray is safe for water and fabric-safe, safe for pets and children, and effective for up to 4 weeks. It’s easy to use – simply spray on affected areas such as bedding and furniture. No odor, not messy, and does not stain water-safe fabrics or surfaces.
Shampoos are very effective in the range of hair shaft to hair ends. But they don’t treat mattresses. The shampoo is a powerful insecticide that kills on contact and leaves no residue behind to cause re-infestation. It’s safe enough to use every day/
Shampoos treat lice by killing live bugs or eggs. You can buy shampoo at many large retail stores such as Walmart for around $ 11 to treat head lice.
Here out top 7 best shampoos for children:
- RID Lice Killing Shampoo. When parents just want to rid their kids of lice, they turn to RID. It’s been effectively treating lice for more than a decade, and parents find it works. To use, apply the formula to dry hair, rinse, then comb through with a nit comb (which comes with this kit). Then, seven to 10 days later, you repeat the process again to ensure there are no lice left standing. It claims to be 100 percent effective, and while some customer reviews disagree, the majority say it works as promised.
- NIX Ultra 2-in-1 Lice Treatment. While you can shell out big bucks for a professional to delouse your child’s head, fortunately, there are also effective and inexpensive solutions you can use at home, like this one from Nix. It’s powerful enough to kill super lice and eggs, but it’s also pesticide-free and odorless. To use, you apply the solution, let it sit for 15 minutes, shampoo it out, then use a lice removal comb (included) to comb out the nits and lice. It can be a tedious process, but it works.
- Ladibugs One and Done Lice Treatment Kit. When it comes to taking down toddler lice, you want something that’s tough on the critters, but easy on your toddler’s sensitive skin, like these products from Ladibugs. The three-step kit is pesticide-free and made with 96 percent natural ingredients, like essential oils, which are free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and other chemicals. To use, first you apply a serum, then follow with a mouse that’s designed to dissolve the glue of the nits, before you comb them out of the hair.
- Head Hunters Complete Pro Lice Kit. The ingredients in this lice treatment from Head Hunters Naturals are lovely, but they’re bad news for lice. This mix of natural ingredients, including lemon and eucalyptus oils, is designed to tackle lice and super lice and take no prisoners. To use, apply the formula, then rinse it off before coming out the nits and dead lice.
- Lice Clinics of America Lice Treatment Kit. For a complete kit, parents rave about this one from Lice Clinics of America. It comes with everything you need to get rid of lice and keep them from coming back. It comes with lice-killing gel, an applicator, and a nit comb. It also comes with a conditioning lice prevention spray so that you (hopefully) never need to kill lice again. As tough as the formula is on lice, it’s otherwise gentle, containing only non-toxic ingredients. As for the smell, the gel is scented with fresh pear blossoms while the conditioning spray is scented with mint.
- LiceLogic Clear & Free Shampoo. This lice treatment comes in shampoo form. To use, you wash hair like you would any shampoo, but instead of rinsing it out, let it sit for 15 minutes, then comb out the nits with lice comb and rinse the hair. You can also use it daily as a preventative measure to keep lice at bay. The formula is non-toxic and pesticide-free, and it’s infused with peppermint oil, so it has a fresh, minty scent.
- Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Lice Shampoo & Conditioner. This shampoo and conditioner from Fairy Tales won’t kill existing nits and lice, but it will help keep them away. Parents swear by these products, which are clinically proven to work. The scent is a yummy blend of organic rosemary, citronella, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and geranium oils, and the formula is safe enough for kids to use every day. It’s free of sulfates, toxins, and other harmful ingredients. It also helps keep the scalp moisturized and hair tangle-free with jojoba, aloe, and chamomile.
Sticky lint roller
Removing nits from clothing is a tedious process that requires picking them out one by one using tweezers or an eyelash comb. You will want to use a sticky lint roller.
For those that don’t have a handheld vacuum or hose attachment, you can adequately clean your mattress and headboard with a sticky tape lint roller. We recommend using a lint roller, which can be purchased at most grocery stores or discount retailers.
Еhey cost from about $ 1 to $ 10 so this is one of the cheapest lice control agents.
Preventative Lice Laundry Detergent
Among other products on the market, one of the most effective is Preventative Lice Laundry Detergent. This product has been formulated to treat clothing and bedding for head lice by killing any live bugs found within your child’s wardrobe or sheets.
The one I recommend is called Kleen-Free Naturally by Ginesis. Kleen-Free is an all-purpose cleaner that can be added to your laundry to kill head lice. It uses the power of natural enzymes that break down the exoskeleton of lice and kills them “No More Nits” and can be purchased online.
There are so many essential oils that are naturally anti-parasitic that can be used to treat head lice. The most popular are:
- peppermint oil
- eucalyptus oil
- tea tree oils
Peppermint Oil works by killing live bugs within the hair while Eucalyptus Oil has insecticidal properties which make it a great treatment for head lice.
You can find those oils in any pharmacy or you can order them online.
It is important to treat your mattress when you treat head lice with essential oil in order to prevent it from coming back again. If the problem persists, consult a doctor for further testing and possible treatment of an allergy or infection that can be causing problems in children’s hair.
Be sure to test the oil on a small area of your skin. This will help to avoid an allergic reaction. Also, treat your hair with essential oils for at least several hours before rinsing it out.
Although this method is proven to be effective, you can also consider other treatment options that are available in the market today. There are many commercial products that treat head lice effectively.
Everyone has at least one hairbrush at home. This is because they can be an ideal hiding place for these parasites. People with long hair need at least two brushes, one regular and one electric brush. Keep in mind that both types should be frequently disinfected using saltwater or rubbing alcohol solution. Hairbrushes are very important for people who want to treat their hair and stay well-groomed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use kerosene, gasoline, dichlorvos to get rid of lice
Never use these extreme methods of treatment. It is not meant for human skin and can be very dangerous! Especially don’t use this for children.
In the 21st century, you have a huge arsenal to fight head lice. You can choose any product you like best. And it will be 100 percent professional and save for your health.
Can you get head lice from a hotel bed?
If there was an infested person in your room, then most likely they remained on the linen. There may also be bugs and dust mites. Of course, if the hotel changes the sheets and does a thorough cleaning of the hotel room, you will definitely not get infected. But how can you be sure that they are cleaning up there? However, this infestation can still happen, so you should read reviews before checking into the hotel and check your bed for lice before laying your head down.
Does regular laundry detergent kill lice?
You don’t need to buy a special anti-lice detergent because they die at 130 F. If your washer or dryer can handle that temperature, that’s enough to get rid of the nits. But if not, you should buy a special detergent. You can also add an extra rinse. This will increase the chance that there will be no lice on things.
Head lice are a big problem for children. However it can affect anyone at any age, just remember to treat everything that may have been exposed to the bugs after you get rid of them because if one bug survived they will still be able to reproduce and infest your home again. Follow our tips and get rid of lice!