It’s that time of the year again: the kids are back to school. And although this may bring many parents great joy, there can still be some cause for concern. By that we mean your children could be susceptible to one of the most common school-related infestations in the United States: lice.
Lice have a long history of being a nuisance, tracing back all the way to ancient humans, whose migration patterns can be determined today by analyzing the DNA of female lice. This year, approximately 10-12 million Americans will become infested with lice, and more than 80% of all schools in the US will have a lice outbreak. That’s a lot!
So what do you do if your child brings lice home? The solutions can be fairly simple. Lice cannot survive off the scalp for more than 48 hours, so you want to acquire a lice shampoo (avoid poisonous lice sprays) and begin washing everything that came in contact with the infested person. Throw all clothes, sheets, pillow cases, etc. into the wash on the hot cycle, and make sure to clean and sanitize all combs, brushes, hair bands and other hair accessories in hot water.
Once you’ve isolated the infested individual and their belongings, you’ll want to keep others away until you’re sure the lice have been eliminated. If a child at your school has been identified to have lice, make sure your children keep their distance from the affected child and any of his or her belongings that could still be spreading the lice. In these situations, vigilance is key.
At Suburban Pest Control, we don’t directly treat lice infestations, but we can inspect your home to determine whether or not your efforts to eliminate them have been completely effective. A thorough inspection can help to ensure that the lice won’t “reappear.”
For more information about lice and what to do if they enter your home, the CDC offers some informative information on the subject.