Pinworms are mildly contiguous. People become infected when they touch contaminated surfaces, like toilets, bathroom fixtures, toys and countertops. If you put your hands in your mouth or eat without washing your hands, a pinworm infection can occur. The tiny worms make their way into your intestines and lay eggs. Eventually, this will make the rectum itchy. And when the person scratches the itchy area and touches a surface, it spreads pinworms again. Using hot water and a mild soap to wash your home will help prevent re-infestation.
Wash your family's clothing in hot water. Pinworms can be transferred from infected clothing to a new host. Or, once your child is treated, she might become infected if her clothing isn't washed. Use a regular laundry detergent with hot water. Wash all bedding, pillowcases and other clothing items, as well. Use disposable gloves when washing the items to prevent infestation.
Pinworms and their eggs can live on most surfaces. Clean all surfaces in your home with the hottest water you can tolerate and a mild soap. Also, wash the walls in the infected area. Clean common areas, such as toilets, showers and baths. Continue to clean these surfaces until the infestation is completely gone.
You'll also need to clean your carpet. First, vacuum it. Keep gloves on your hands, and empty the contents of the vacuum bag into an outside trash can. Then, use a carpet shampooer to clean your carpet. Like with other surfaces, simply use the hottest water you can tolerate and a carpet cleaner. Or, you can use hot water and vinegar. After using the carpet cleaner, soak the removable parts of the carpet cleaning machine in hot water and dishwasher detergent.
Keep your nails short. Long nails increase your risk for getting pinworms because pinworm eggs get caught under your fingernails, explains MayoClinic.com. In addition, always wash your hands with hot water and soap before eating. If you've touched pinworms, this will prevent ingestion. If you have a child, encourage her to keep her hands away from her mouth. This reduces the chances of contracting a pinworm infestation.