How to Kill Fleas, Lice & Ticks

Fleas and lice are very small insects that feed off a tiny amount of blood on humans and animals. Ticks are larger insects that burrow in human and animal skin and feed off their blood. Fleas and lice can both infest your home, living on your furniture and in your carpet.

Ticks can infest your yard and be carried into your home on their human or animal host. Killing these pests in your home, yard and on your body takes persistence.

Kill lice in your hair with a non-prescription, over the counter shampoo that is formulated to kill lice. Make sure to follow the directions completely on the shampoo bottle. Look for the active ingredients in the shampoo to be either pyrethrin or permethrin, according to the CDC. After shampooing, comb your hair with a comb made to remove lice and their nits. Put on clean clothes. Everyone in the household should be treated as if they have lice as well, so that you do not reinfect other household members.

Wash all clothing, bedding and towels used in the last two days in hot water to kill lice, fleas and ticks. Put items in the dryer on high temperature until dry. Any items that can't be put into the washing machine or dryer, such as teddy bears, should be put in an airtight bag for three days.

Vacuum your carpet, drapes, couch and chairs in your entire house to kill fleas and lice. For fleas, sprinkle a flea insecticide powder on the carpet before you vacuum so they will die in the vacuum bag instead of climbing back out. Vacuum the carpet everyday for fleas to kill any new fleas and emerging larvae. If fleas are persistent, you may use an indoor insecticide spray or call a pest control company to exterminate them.

Remove a tick when you find it burrowed into skin by using tweezers to pull it out very slowly. Do not break the head off in the skin. To make this process easier, rub the tick with mineral oil while it is still in the skin and it may back out of the skin on its own. Kill the tick by putting it into a jar of rubbing alcohol.

Kill ticks and fleas in your yard by mowing the grass and weeds. Spray your yard with an insecticide that kills ticks. Ticks usually do not come indoors unless they are attached to a person, animal or clothing.

For pets, use a flea and tick collar for a up to a week. Bathe your pets to remove fleas, using an insecticide shampoo. Brush and comb your pets' fur to remove fleas and ticks.