Lice is more prevalent than ever and with schools moving away from nit-free policies and notification of cases in the classroom, we don’t anticipate it slowing down anytime soon. Parents typically want to know three things: (1) How do I PREVENT lice? (2) How do I IDENTIFY lice? (3) How do I GET RID of lice?
Things you can do to prevent lice
Teach your child that their personal space includes their head. Approximately 98% of cases are spread via head-to-head contact.
Use preventative products. Mint essential oils have been shown to be most effective in repelling lice. Tea tree oil is not recommended for treating head lice in children.
Children with long hair should wear their hair up.
Check your children with the Nitorious B.U.G. Terminator Comb weekly. Check them more frequently if they have been exposed to a
What to look for?
Home Head Checks
There are a few characteristic traits that separate the nits from the nots:
Nits are ALWAYS the same size and shape – a tear-drop shape, approximately the size of
a poppy seed.
Nits NEVER wrap completely around the hair strand. They hang off just one side of the hair, often making them invisible from different angles. Turn that hair around and see if you can see the suspected speck from every side.
Nits are NEVER milky white; they have a shiny quality to them and can range in color from nearly clear to almost black.
Nits CANNOT be easily blown or slid off the strand. They are glued to the strand and it takes the scrape of a fingernail or a nit comb to force them off the hair.
What if you (gulp) discover true nits, or even some bugs?!!? Stay away from Google.
Are home remedies and over-the-counter treatments effective? It is estimated that up to 95% of at-home treatments fail the first time around.
What does work? The most effective treatment involves the use of a metal nit comb (not the flimsy plastic one that comes with the over-the-counter treatment shampoo). Diligent combing and nit-picking, repeated over the course of the entire two week egg-laying / incubation cycle will result in success. Be sure to check all members of the household, but only spend time treating those who actively have lice. Don’t forget to tell those you have been in contact with about your unwanted guests – you don’t want it back!
What about the house? The best news is lice inhabit humans, not houses. Lice are only able to survive approximately 24 hours off of a host head. There is no need to bag stuffed animals, pillows, or blankets, as we once thought necessary. Basic housekeeping is sufficient: change the bed linens and bath towels, vacuum floor and couches, put stuffed animals into a corner or closet overnight, lint roll upholstered car seats, and pour yourself a soothing beverage to keep you company while you spend ALL your time picking bugs and nits from the head!
Don’t have the time or courage to tackle this on your own? No shame in calling professional nit-pickers like Nitorious B.U.G. LLC in Green Bay because if you don’t have the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it again?
About the Author…
It was a typical Monday morning as I snuggled my daughter on the couch, mentally preparing for the impending chaos that goes with getting the three kids out the door to school. One last kiss on her head, and 7-year-old Trinity found herself abruptly thrust onto the floor – “Mommy found bugs in your hair!” The next 24 hours involved seventeen loads of laundry, five rounds of painstaking nit-picking through her hair with a tweezers, and more harmful pesticides than I care to admit. Once the fumes cleared, and we were officially lice-free, I began talking with other moms and teachers about our experience. It quickly became apparent that parents need help, and I realized that I could be part of the solution! Thus, the idea for my lice treatment clinic, Nitorious B.U.G. LLC was hatched.
Having treated hundreds of cases of headlice since opening our doors in August 2016, we have learned a lot, and we love sharing those learnings with families throughout the region.
Co-Owner, Nitorious B.U.G.
812 S Fisk Street, Suite 212
Green Bay, Wisconsin
This article first appeared in Sprout Fox Cities Family Magazine in September 2017. Read the full issue here.