How to Sterilize Against Pinworm Eggs

Pinworms are also known as enterobius vermicularis. They are common parasites that live in humans. The infection can be treated with medication, but it's also important to sterilize objects and surfaces that may be contaminated with parasites. Pinworm eggs can live for up to two weeks under the right conditions. If you or someone in your household has been infected, following these steps can help prevent the parasites from infecting others.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Wash your hands with warm soapy water several times a day, especially after using the restroom and before handling food. Make sure to clean under your fingernails.

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Keep linens and carpets clean. Pinworm eggs can live in dust and human dander. Vacuum carpets, rugs and drapes should be washed regularly. Change sheets and other bedding daily.

Sterilize common surfaces and objects touched by the infected party with diluted bleach. Mix ¾ cup bleach with 1 gallon of water to create a cleaning solution. While wearing gloves, wipe down areas that may be contaminated. These areas may include counter tops, stair railings, bathroom fixtures and door knobs. After sterilizing toys, rinse them with warm water. Allow them to dry before returning to storage place.

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Create an unfriendly environment for pinworm eggs. Pinworm eggs like cool, dark and damp places. Keep your home warm; run a dehumidifier if possible. Pinworm eggs are sensitive to light. Keep your blinds open as well.


Pinworms most commonly infect small children. If your child is infected or has been exposed, make sure he washes his hands often and avoid biting his fingernails.


It's possible to be re-infected after the initial outbreak of pinworms. Even if the original symptoms are gone, continuing to execute the above sterilization steps for several weeks after the initial outbreak can help prevent re-contamination.