I understand that it isn’t an issue of hygiene or cleanliness. I understand that it can happen to anyone.
But why, oh why, does it keep hitting my family? Since school started, one of my kids has had it once, one kid has had it twice, and one kid has had it 3 times!
I know, it’s going around the school and lots of kids are coming down with it. But I’m sick of the routine. Wash the sheets, towels, clothes, jackets, stuffed animals, pillows, and everything else. Put that smelly shampoo in the kid’s hair and let it sit for 10 minutes. Spray the couch, car seat, chairs, etc with that lice-killing spray. The whole process takes hours and I"M SICK OF IT!!!
Try eucalyptus oil instead of the chemical shampoo you get from the drug store. My kids went through a bout of it as did everyone in their school and this was the only thing that stopped them for good.
I found it at a health food store in a little brown bottle, but I’ve also heard that peppermint oil works just as well. I think the little buggers become immune to the shampoo after a treatment or two, but this stuff really knocked them out.
Dirty Jobs featured a sort of salon where mostly manual removal was used.That got me to thinking and lo and behold there’s at least one such service in your area.http://www.licedoctors.com/arizona-head-lice-treatment.html No idea of the price, etc., though. Some places even come in and treat the home as well.
I teach; so I saw this getting worse and worse years ago, but it’s amazing (and concerning) what a growth industry this has become. Good luck!
You’ve got my sympathies. Back in elementary and middle school I’d get them every year, and it sucked. My family probably spent $500 on RID during those years.
I don’t recall my mom ever spraying the furniture or washing our stuffed animals, are you sure that’s a necessary step? Not that I blame you for doing it, mind you. I’d seal my house and fill it with boiling water if it wouldn’t destroy everything just to get rid of them.
It’s not so much the incredibly large number of lice we found infesting our unsuspecting daughter’s scalp this year that concerns us, as their apparent size. It may be my imagination, but they seem to be a bit bigger this year.
But, seriously, we’ve found the best treatment for lice is a home-made tea tree & olive oil hair conditioner, applied weekly x 3 weeks (lice have a 7 to 10 day lifecycle and you have to account for the nits), coupled with hot washing/drying clothes and bed sheets.
Oh, I hate lice. I’m old enough to have had them before they had products like RID. Or it was too expensive for us.
Back in my youth, the way we treated them was a dousing of gasoline or kerosene on the head, then wrap your head in a towel for hours. It burned a bit and you stank. Then out came that nasty comb for hours of torture on an already sore scalp.
I still remember the name of the girl that gave them to me. Gretchen, I’m shaking my fist at you!
Palo Verde - A co-worker had an issue where her child was constantly being reinfected with lice. The issue was one kid in her class. The other kid’s parents would get the notice of the kid having lice, but not follow the protocol to ger rid of them. The kids that sat around this kid kept getting reinfested. Finally she told the teacher that she either needed to move her daughter to the other side of the classroom, or to a new room altogether. That stopped it.
My daughter had a really bad infestation last year. The store-bought lice removal shampoo kit did pretty much nothing. I found one of those removal services like the one linked up-thread and took her in. It was worth every penny.
Things I learned from our experience: First of all, a lot of lice are resistant to the chemicals in the commercial shampoos these days. You really have to get in there and manually remove all of the lice and nits. Also, you have to keep doing this every couple of days or so for at least a week and maybe longer, because you’re going to miss some of the nits the first few times. They start out microscopically small and then grow, so you have to keep going back to make sure they’re not just maturing into adult lice, which means you have to start all over again.
The plastic combs that come with the lice kits are useless. Get this instead. Make sure the child’s hair is recently washed and conditioned because it will make the hair easier to comb through. Get a bright light and train it on the scalp. Go through the hair section by section, combing through with the metal comb and wiping it on a clean paper towel after each comb-through. (So you can see if you’re getting lice/nits out.)
It’s a pain in the ass but it’s the only way to do it.
Well, anecdotaly, tea tree oil has been the best ingredient I’ve found to kill live adult lice. Not to nit-pick, but that is only half the battle—you’ve got to also eliminate the lice eggs, or nits, to be assured the next generation won’t re-infest after you’ve killed the adults…and this usually requires nit-picking. But, be on your toes, the hardy nits are cunning and elusive. You could almost say they are nit-wits.
My kids’ doctor prefers Nix over Rid, although I’m not sure why. When we went through our 3rd round with no end in sight, I called the doctor’s office and said, Look, I’ve done it ALL. My kids are now sleeping on airbeds, and I’ve emptied their dressers of their WINTER clothes and treated them and we still. have. LICE.
She prescribed an antibiotic–Bactrim, I think–which as a side effect kills parasites. Worked like a charm, thank goodness.
I wish they did, I have no idea why, but insects like fleas and mosquitos look upon me as some fantastic gourmet buffet for them. mrAru and our roomie can sit out on the damned deck all freaking night, I go out for 2 minutes and I come in looking like I was the arm in that damned Off Skintastic commercial :mad:
Apparently some people just taste delicious to Things That Bite. I’m one, my father is one, and the Things avoid my mother completely. My mother, of course, always wanted to sit outside on summer evenings, and proclaimed that she’d bought citronella candles. Ha. My father and I are so very tasty that the Things will not care about the citronella.
Tea tree oil is not a means of killing lice; its (anecdotal) effect is that it repels them from settling on that person’s hair. Various other suggestions, such as mayonnaise, olive oil, etc. are not there to kill the lice so much as to stun them into immobility, allowing you to comb them out.
And that’s the biggie - combing and nit-picking are actually the most effective weapons. The insecticide shampoos are not recommended for repeated applications, and the net effect is that we are accelerating the evolution of insecticide-resistant lice.
It frustrates the snot out of me that schools can insist that your child be kept from school because of a hatched nit that is on the end of their hair. It’s the white ones 4mm from the scalp that are unhatched that you need to worry about; the brown ones are the broken egg shell that are still glued to the hair. That doesn’t mean you have lice; it means you’ve had them.
We’ve had many infestations over the years - fleas, lice, pinworms, clothes’ moths, rats, mice… Of all of them, I hate lice the most. Thank Og we’ve never had bedbugs!!
With a paucity of clinical trials, I think the jury is still out, but at least a couple of studies show tea tree oil to have not only repellant properties against head lice, but also demonstrate insecticidal activity, by way of antiacetylcholinesterase activity. However, with –cidal activity only against live lice, you still have to deal with the nits using mechanical methods (heat, nit-picking/combing).
Lice went around and around my kids’ class from about Grade 2 to Grade 6. Drove me nuts how it seemed like no one cared. I used to wonder how a severe case could go unnoticed by a parent until one summer, I completely missed an infestation. Took forever to get rid of. The comb mentioned upthread by Mrswhatsit is the only one I ever found that works. People thought it was over the top but I bought a craft magnifying light because I’m as blind as a bat and most of the time couldn’t tell nits from a case a dandruff. After that, I don’t think one litter critter got missed!