Updated on July 18, 2020
By Lice Technician, Chiari Legare
Many people spin their wheels trying to get rid of head lice. LiceDoctors tech, Chiari, grew up in house where this happened regularly. As a tech, she explains what you don’t need to do and what you should do upon uncovering a case of head lice.
As a child growing up with three sisters and a brother, becoming infested with head lice was commonplace. My mother was traumatized every time this unpleasant thing occurred and feared new infestations. It was wise to avoid scratching your scalp for any reason in her presence or you'd find yourself having your hair picked over like a monkey.
When one of us would inevitably become infested with head lice again, the madness would begin. First, my mother would fly into a blind panic and contemplate shaving all our heads. Next, she'd cover our heads in whatever foul liquid she thought best while she raced to the store to buy hundreds of dollars of pesticides. We'd sit for hours in turn while she painstakingly combed our hair and then doused us with pesticides. Then, she'd strip the beds and clean all the linens in the house: curtains, throw rugs, even the lace doilies on the living room end tables. Stuffed animals in our home only lasted as long as it took for a new lice infestation. She would wash and dry them, then decide that lice could have infiltrated them and there was no saving them. She'd double bag them and throw them out. The cats and dogs would be bathed. Every crack and crevice of the home would be cleaned. The walls would be wiped down and then everything would be cleaned again.
All of this would be done with the intensity of someone bailing water from a rapidly sinking boat. For all her hard work, she'd often be rewarded by a persistent case of head lice. She'd redouble her efforts and treat our heads with more pesticides. I shudder to think of how many innocent children have been subjected to these chemicals. None of this is necessary at all: the panicking, the obsessive cleaning, and certainly not the pesticides.
Knowledge is power. If you understand how to properly treat lice, there is no need for panic. First, lice live on the head, not in the house. Lice require the heat and humidity of the human scalp to survive (and also blood, as a source of nourishment). Once a louse has found a home on your head, it doesn’t wander off for a field trip. It stays put, unless it finds a more attractive head. Lice don't infest the house. Their eggs, also known as nits, are glued to the hair shift. If the egg is disturbed and ends up in the environment, it becomes non-viable quickly and will not hatch in the home. Even if it did hatch in the home, the resultant nymph could not move for a week and would die without the warmth of the human scalp. You need not do anything to the house when treating lice but if you simply must, you can wash the bedding and set it aside for a day or so. Any living life would die within that time without a host.
Lice can't live on pets but can survive treatment with pesticides. Just like bacteria become resistant to vaccines, lice become resistant to pesticides. This is not cause for alarm. A safe effective treatment exists which includes a combing regimen with an effective lice comb and application of olive oil. This treatment effectively and safely suffocates lice without any cleaning of the home and without any harmful chemicals.
If you know what to do and how to do it, treating lice is a straightforward process, although it is essential that you remove ALL nits . If you don't know what to do, you can call in the experts at LiceDoctors who will not only treat your head lice problem, but will show you how you can treat it yourself next time. Your lice problem will be resolved and you can breathe a sigh of relief and move on with your life. Call LiceDoctors today at 404-618-0472 for a visit to your home at your convenience.