Head Lice – Facts – Treatment – Prevention

Head Lice – the topic the no one wants to talk about and a topic the will literally have you scratching your head at the mere thought of the nasty little critters! cheap priligy

m>Did you know  

The average speed of a louse is 3.75 inches per minute To help give you a perspective that means this pest can travel o 18.75 feet in one hour, and about 450 feet per day. Think about that in terms of being longer than a football field!

image of Lucus Oil Stadium

Head lice are used in Archaeogenetics. The mitochondrial DNA of female lice can be isolated and used to determine migration patterns of ancient humans.

image of two skulls one of modern man and Homo neanderthalensis

Head lice are incapable of jumping, hopping, or flying – They Walk!

image of head lice walking

Head lice have been with us since we humans first walked out of Africa some 100,000 years ago on our journey to populate the globe.

image of cavemen

The nit is approximately the size of the tip of a pencil lead and adult lice are commonly the size of a sesame seed.

image of sesame seeds

During World War II, soldiers sported crew cuts to help control head lice in their tight quarters

image of crew cut that military sport

In earlier times, “lap” dogs were kept to attract fleas and other parasites off their owners. Little did they know that head lice have no interest in dogs!

image of lap dog with parasites playing a game on its head

What other facts are there about Head Lice?

image of life cycle of head lice     The fact is – Head lice are NOT dangerous and they do not spread disease. The fact is- Having head lice does not mean that you or your family are dirty. In fact it has been shown that head lice seem to like clean hair, probably because they can adhere to the hair shaft. Of course this does not mean that you or your family should not be clean, if nothing else it would get very smelly The fact is – The itch is caused by an allergic reaction, not to the bite itself, but from the saliva secreted onto the scalp. The fact is – It takes a month for a nit to become a fully grown adult although it only takes 7-10 days for the nit to hatch into a baby louse or nymph. About seven days later, they can lay eggs again. The fact is – Not everyone should be using insecticides to treat Head Lice Infestations. There are scientific sources advising against using these methods if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Read the article Head Lice Treatment Warning: Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Insecticides from Planet Nitwitz to find out all about it. The fact is – and this is scary – the genes of these little pests have been mutating and becoming resistant to the main insecticides that are used in the traditionally common treatments for head lice. The Fact is – Instead of avoiding talking about head lice, we need to do A LOT MORE TALKING about this problem and join together to fight this “pestilent”!   image of life cycle of head lice   Now that you are more “Educated” Here are some tips to take the bite out Head lice   1. The Wet-Comb Method I have to tell you that the success of this method means diligence and being “nit picky” for it to work at all!

  • Wash the hair using ordinary shampoo and apply ample conditioner, before using a wide-toothed comb to straighten and untangle the hair.
  • Once the comb moves freely through the hair without dragging, switch to the louse detection comb. Make sure that the teeth of the comb slot into the hair at the roots with the bevel-edge of the teeth lightly touching the scalp.
  • Draw the comb down to the ends of the hair with every stroke and check the comb for lice.
  • Remove lice by wiping or rinsing the comb( in alcohol)
  • Work methodically through the hair section by section so that the head of hair is combed through.
  • Rinse out the conditioner and repeat the combing procedure in the wet hair.
oh and how do you clean the nit comb after use? Soak the nit comb in ammonia and soapy water for 15 minutes or boil metal combs for 15 minutes. You can use dental floss or an old toothbrush to remove stuck-in debris from the comb.
2. Alternative Shampoos
Many people are turning to home remedies for the treatment of head lice and I found this information:
The Packard Children’s Health
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Services Pediatric Hotline recommends adding 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil and 1 teaspoon of rosemary or eucalyptus oil to regular shampoo to kill lice. After lathering, leave the shampoo on for 30 minutes under a shower cap, then wash your hair with regular shampoo two or three times to remove the oils. Dr. Alan Greene ( a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine and Attending Pediatrician at Packard Children’s Hospital) also recommends tea tree oil shampoo as a natural treatment to kill and prevent lice.

3 Hair Dryer method
I have also heard about using a hot blow-dryer for 15 minutes, morning and evening, with thorough nit combing. Research shows that hot air is at least partly effective in the treatment of head lice (Pediatrics, November 2006). The heat helps to kill the nits and adult lice, but the combing is essential to the process. A warning though… this type of treatment should not be combined with the over-the-counter treatment since those chemicals are deactivated by the heat of the blow-dryer.
( if you have another method that works then leave a comment and share your tip!)
what else should you be doing?
It’s not enough to treat the hair for head lice,you need to do all you need to create a “head lice treatment prevention plan” for your home and it means being organized and being very thorough.   First things first… If your child lives in a “separated” home, both parents need to work together to fight this problem. You would be surprised how many don’t! I know you are feeling embarrassed about your child having head lice, but for goodness sakes talk to all the parents who have been in contact with the child, whether they were at someone elses home or whether your child had friends over for a “play date” or sleep over in your home. Again you would be surprised how many people don’t. Here is a handy check list for your convenience
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to mark off when doing preventive measures against Head Lice   Check List wash coats,clothing and bedding in hot water and dry in high heat for at least 30 minutes. If you share space for hanging coats, clothes etc with other members of the family then wash everything. vacuum mattresses, carpets,curtain couches ( especially where the child has laid their heads) and concentrate your efforts on the crevices of sofas and mattresses. If any stuffed animals can not be washed or dry cleaned, then bag them up in trash bags and seal them very tight. Keep them closed for at least two weeks to make sure that the nits and the lice are dead. Wash surfaces of the home with equal parts of vinegar and water with a couple of drops of tea tree oil in a clean spray bottle. As with anything, spray on small area ( that will not be noticeable) to make sure that the solution won’t damage fabrics or finishes. Wash everyone’s hair brushes, combs and accessories ( kids have a habit of using what ever they can find) This can be done a few ways: - soak everything in rubbing alcohol for an hour - wash in the dishwasher - wash with a medicated shampoo - wash and soak in Lysol for an hour Vacuum your car upholstery and wash the surfaces with the solution mentioned above.   I truly hope that this post will be of use to all of you, the fact is head lice epidemics are on the increase and we all need to do our part to help each other get rid of these nasty pets…now that I have finished .. I need to have a good shower— for some reason I feel a bit creepy crawly…lol!        

   

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2 Responses to “Head Lice – Facts – Treatment – Prevention”

  1. These are some great tips. A lot more then what I would have done and to be honest, I most likely still have lice all over the furniture and throughout the children’s belongings.

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