How to spray furniture for lice

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Head lice burrow, not only into your scalp and hair, but also into the fibres of your carpet and furniture. They also lay eggs in these areas, which make getting rid of head lice difficult. Even if you treat your hair, lice that have infected your bedding and furniture will continue to reinfect you.

You can use a spray to kill lice and their eggs on your furniture. You can purchase traditional sprays, or less toxic natural lice sprays. You can also make lice sprays that are cheaper, and often less toxic, than store sprays.

Remove any covers from your furniture. Sheets, arm rest covers, blankets and sofa covers should be removed and thrown into the washer, if they're machine washable. Items that aren't machine washable should be taken to a dry cleaner's.

Place machine washable items in the dryer for 30 minutes. When drying is complete, set your washing machine to the 'hot' setting and wash the items for a complete cycle. Then place them back in the dryer again.

Buy or make a lice disinfectant spray specifically formulated for furniture and bedding. Don't use products that are designed to get rid of body lice.

Vacuum all pieces of furniture, including your mattress. After vacuuming, remove and discard your vacuum bag, or empty out the plastic canister in an outside garbage can. Repeat vacuuming for at least the next three days, to suck up all lice that burrowed in the upholstery fibres.

Mix an anti-lice solution using bleach. This is suitable only for furniture that won't be damaged by bleach. Pour 29.6ml of bleach into an empty spray bottle. Add 284gr of hot water to the bleach-filled spray bottle. Screw the top on the spray bottle, then shake it to mix the water and bleach together. Fill another spray bottle with hot water to rinse the bleach solution from your furniture.

Create an alternative solution using natural oils that won't harm most fibres. Mix 3 tablespoons of pure olive carrier oil or pure coconut carrier oil, 1 teaspoon of tea tree essential oil, 1 teaspoon of rosemary essential oil, 1 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil, 1 teaspoon of lavender essential oil and 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus essential oil in a spray bottle. If the solution seems too thick to be applied using the spray bottle, thin it out by adding a little water.

Purchase a traditional or natural lice spray, if you don't want to mix your own. Traditional lice sprays are considered toxic and can negatively affect air quality. There are natural lice spray solutions that can be purchased online (see Resources).

Hold the spray bottle or dispenser over your furniture.

Spray the solution in a spot on the furniture that isn't easy to see, such as the back of the furniture or underneath the leg. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes; verify that it doesn't discolour the fabrics or material. If it does, you may want to try an alternative solution.

Saturate the furniture with the solution to kill the lice and eggs.

Allow the solution to dry. Then re-vacuum the furniture. Reapply the solution two or three more times to get deep into all of your furniture fabric fibres.