In addition to treating head lice and eggs on a child's hair and scalp, parents should treat objects that may harbor the small parasitic bugs. The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends:
•Exposing lice and nits to temperatures above 125 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes is lethal. Most personal articles of clothing and bedding can be disinfested by machine washing in hot water or machine drying for at least 20 minutes using the hot cycle. Be sure to allow time between loads for water to reheat to the proper temperature.
•Place nonwashable personal articles of clothing or bedding in the dryer on high heat for at least 20 minutes, dry clean, or seal nonwashable fabrics in a plastic bag for a minimum of 10 days.
•Place combs and brushes in a pan of water and heat on a stove to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. If heating may damage combs or brushes, soak them for one hour in a phenol solution, such as Lysol. To prevent the spread of head lice, do not share combs, brushes, hats, coats, towels or other articles that come in contact with the head, neck and shoulders.
•Thoroughly vacuum or clean car seats, bus seats, and individual infant and car seats according to manufacturer's directions.
•Fumigating rooms and using insecticidal sprays on furniture and carpets are not recommended to kill head lice; thorough vacuuming of houses and rooms inhabited by infested persons is sufficient