How to Get Rid of Lice

How to Get Rid of Lice

Lice are pests that can live in your hair and feed off your scalp. Follow these easy steps to get rid of Lice.


Life cycle

Life Cycle

A female louse may lay up to 10 eggs in a day which will hatch within about week. The adult lice can live up to month on a person heads and may reproduce continuously throughout the year because of the body temperature of its host keeping them alive.



A female louse may deposit up to 10 eggs in 24 hours. They attach their eggs to the base of the hair near the scalp which makes removing very difficult. Eggs take about 7-10 days to hatch.

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The egg hatches to release a nymph. A nymph looks like an adult lice, but is about the size of a pinhead. Nymphs mature after three molts and will become adults in about 7 days after hatching.



Adult head lice are roughly 2–3 mm long. Head lice infest the head and neck and attach their eggs to the base of the hair. Lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly.

Where Lice Live

Lice and lice eggs are found on human scalps. Eggs require the warmth of the scalp for incubation purposes in order to hatch. Once they’ve hatched lice remain on the head to feed, getting their nourishment from human blood.

How Lice Cause Harm

Lice live in the hair on your head and feed off the blood from your scalp. People who are infested will often have extreme scalp itchiness, a feeling of something crawling on their scalp, and often sores and scabs from scratching. It is easiest to determine if you have lice by finding the eggs. Adults move quickly, making detection hard, but the eggs will be stuck to your hair and resemble dandruff. Head lice are very contagious so if one person in your household has lice most likely they will spread to others quickly.

How to Get Rid of Lice

Follow this step-by-step approach to getting lice out of your hair and bedding.

PestTreatment Temperature How long before they die
Ants120°F5 mins
Bed Bugs115°F7 mins
Cockroaches130°F7 mins
Dust Mites140°F8 mins
Fleas140°F10 mins
Termites125°F10 mins
Scabies122°F10 mins
Lice130°F30 mins
Moths120°F30 mins
Carpet Beetles120°F30 mins
PestTreatment Temperature How long before they die
Lice130°F30 mins
Step 1-Heat Treat


Step 1 – Use extreme temperatures to get rid of lice quickly

Lice are easily destroyed with the use of a ZappBug heating unit. Place the infested (or possibility infested) items such as bedding, children’s backpack, brushes and combs, car seats, hats and clothing into the unit. Once the temperature probe reads 130 degrees Fahrenheit just heat treat for an hour and a half to kill all lice and eggs.

  • Lice die at 130 degrees in 30mins (we recommend treating for an hour and half to be sure all are dead)
  • You can place all your delicate belongings, including those that can’t be washed, into the unit
  • Easy to treat backpacks and other house hold items
  • If you have our larger ZappBug Room you will be able to heat treat larger furniture such as couches and beds
Step 2 - Treat your Hair

You will need to treat the hair/scalp

To kill lice at the source, you will want to use a lice treatment solution that contains pediculicide, the main ingredient that kills lice. Our customers recommend Licefree Spray. Or for a chemical free approach see our guide to treating bugs with diatomaceous earth – Step 4 here.

Step 3 - Comb your hair

Nitpicking and combing

Careful combing and nitpicking is a must and works best in conjunction with all other treatments. Comb hair section by section with a special lice comb (you can buy one at most drugstores or on Amazon) to remove lice and eggs (nits). If necessary use your fingers to pull any nits out of the hair as you comb, making sure to dispose of them carefully.

Step 4 - Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is very good at controlling lice and a great alternative to chemical treatments

  1. Fit a t-shirt or shower cap (cut a small hole in the top to place DE in) over the hair, so that the collar seals around the scalp.
  2. Apply diatomaceous earth to their hair. Make sure to minimize the spread of dust.
  3. Close the t-shirt/shower cap and massage the diatomaceous earth into the hair and scalp.
  4. Leave the diatomaceous earth on overnight. The lice turn white with diatomaceous earth and become more visible.
  5. Shampoo it out the next day, then comb/nitpick any lice on the head.
  6. Repeat this treatment once a week for 3 weeks to make sure that any new eggs that hatch after the first treatment are killed.


Learn more about how heat treatment works by visiting our products page and viewing our treatment video. You will see how easy it is to use our ZappBug heating units, and why heat treatment is the best way to get rid of lice and their eggs quickly and effectively.

Prevent Lice Infestations and re-infestations

  • Heat treat any clothing, hats, bedding, towels, stuffed animals and other objects purchased at yard sales or used clothing stores.
  • Clean items that have been in recent contact with the infected family members’ heads
  • Don’t share combs, brushes, barrettes, hats, scarves or pillows
  • Soak combs and brushes in really hot water or place in Zappbug unit
  • Vacuum floors, pillows, upholstered furniture and car seats
  • Keep long hair in a tight ponytail or braid