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!
I was talking to a friend of mine who told me that her daughters school has been sending out notices to parents to be on the watch for head lice.
I felt for her as I remembered the many years I also had to deal with this dreaded pest and the amount of work that I needed to do to get rid of this pests and clean my home!!
In part to help my friend as well as helping others deal with head lice, I thought a blog post was in order!
Let’s talk about head lice -Facts – Treatment – Prevention .
Of course I am not a Doctor ..just a parent who has spent many years dealing with these nasty little critters so everything I am sharing comes from my personal experience as well as doing a lot of research on the topic.
Head Lice Trivia
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!
Head lice have been living with humans for thousands of years, preying on humans all the while. As a matter of fact, mummies discovered in Egypt have been found to have dried up head lice present on their scalps!
Head lice are incapable of jumping, hopping, or flying – They Walk!
Oddly enough, the head louse can only prey on humans. Cats, dogs, and all other forms of animals are immune from the itchy little parasites.
The nit is approximately the size of the tip of a pencil lead and adult lice are commonly the size of a sesame seed.
During World War II, soldiers sported crew cuts to help control head lice in their tight quarters
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!
What other facts are there about Head Lice?
FACT – Head lice are NOT dangerous and they do not spread disease
FACT – 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.
FACT – The itch is caused by an allergic reaction, not to the bite itself, but from the saliva secreted onto the scalp.
FACT – 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.
FACT – Not everyone should be using insecticides to treat Head Lice Infestations.
FACT – 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.
FACT – 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”!
Now that you are more “Educated” Here are some tips to take the bite out Head lice
I have been growing more concerned about new mutated strains of lice that are supposedly resistant to the treatments often used, including all the popular brands of lice shampoos and removers.
A 2014 study found that over 99% of lice that were tested had a mutation that let them survive treatments with insecticides permethrin and pyrethrin, the most common treatments used.
It’s almost saturated with (these genes), which means that people using permethrin and pyrethrin based products will probably have a very hard time controlling the lice,” said Kyong Sup Yoon, associate professor of biological sciences and environmental sciences at Southern Illinois University, who led the research for the current study and the 2014 study. (source)
Thankfully there are a lot of ordinary people as well as professionals who have been experimenting with natural methods of getting rid of head lice and I would like to share a few of the natural methods I have come across.
Let’s talk about some natural ways to get rid of head lice
Salt has desiccation properties, which eradicates head lice.
- ¼ cup of salt
- ¼ cup of vinegar
- Shower cap or towel
- Mix salt and vinegar in an empty spray bottle.
- Spritz entire head until wet.
- Cover with a shower cap or towel and leave for 2 hours.
- Wash hair with shampoo and conditioner.
- Repeat once every three days for best results.
Coconut oil has a lubricating nature which stops lice from moving freely and multiplying.
- Coconut oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Shower cap or towel
- Rinse hair with apple cider vinegar and pat dry.
- Cover scalp with coconut oil.
- Cover with a shower cap or towel and leave overnight.
- In the morning, comb hair to remove dead lice.
- Rinse with shampoo.
- Repeat daily for a week for best results.
- Note: For added results, add a few drops of essential oil to the coconut oil.
Tea Tree Oil and Olive Oil
( This is one recipe that I can say I have seen used with a lot of success)
Both tea tree oil and olive oil prevents lice as they have insecticide properties. This also loosens the hold nits have on the hair and helps to remove them easily.
- Tea tree oil
- Olive oil
- Mix tea tree oil and olive oil.
- Massage into the scalp.
- Leave for 30 – 60 minutes.
- Wash hair twice to completely remove the oil.
- Second time rinse with vinegar to treat the problem.
- Comb hair to remove dead lice.
- Repeat regularly to prevent head lice.
There are other natural remedies including the ones I have on here that came from
Final thoughts about Head Lice
Having your child come home with head lice is not the end of the world and while it may be embarrassing, it is treatable! Educate yourself on how to deal with head lice and my strong recommendation is to avoid pesticides and use the more natural ways to get rid of these pests…
Let’s talk about head lice and work on finding solutions that will work
- Researchers Sequence Genome Of Common Bedbug, Revealing New Ways To Control the Pests (natureworldnews.com)
- What the tiny mites on our faces reveal about our history (businessinsider.com)
- Nit-picking idea scoops top business prize (blogs.nottingham.ac.uk)