Saturday, May 6, 2017

Getting Rid of Lice The Non-Chemical Way

I know first-hand the shuddering feeling of ickiness when you discover that your child has lice.  
Lice are a pain in the never-mind-where, but there's no need to resort to dangerous chemicals. The method I'm teaching here catches the adults and nymphs and prevents them from laying more eggs. 
So take a deep breath, and know that you've got this. You are going to need:
  • Lice combs with metal teeth are best. Make sure you have the set that contains two sizes, like this one for example.
  • De-tangling spray, Suave or Johnson & Johnson
  • A black garbage bag. Yes, black. You'll see why later.
  • A roll of toilet paper.
  • A comfortable place to sit, but not in your living room, with it's cushioned couches. A stool, a kitchen chair, or an exercise ball is preferable, where you can put the first four things within easy reach.
  • Either a book or electronic device that the child can read/do while this all takes place. It'll take twenty minutes to a half-hour for long hair. Much shorter for short hair.
First things first: Get your de-lousing station set up, with the black garbage bag spread open near right by where your feet will be when you sit down. Don't sit yet. 

Next, you need to douse your child's head under the shower sprayer, or running tub water...whatever will get your child's head thoroughly wet. (Water temporarily immobilizes lice.) While your child's head is hanging dripping over the tub, loosely wrap a towel, turban style, around their head, to keep the water from drenching them when they stand upright.

Next, move to your de-lousing station. Make sure the child is sitting at your feet in a way that allows you complete access to all their hair. Lower the towel to drape around your child's shoulders while you spritz their hair thoroughly with the de-tangling spray. This accomplishes a couple of things: it makes combing through the hair a non-painful event and it keeps the lice wet and immobilized.

When you have thoroughly sprayed with de-tangler, pick up your roll of toilet paper and tear off a long strip and drap it over your non-dominant leg. This is going to be your comb wiping medium. Next, pick up your largest lice comb, and systematically comb through the hair. Every time you make one pass with the comb, firmly sandwich the comb with end squares of toilet paper, and firmly wipe down the tines. You can open your hand and check for lice in the square of TP you just used to wipe. (Don't worry; they're still dazed by the wet. The white of the paper makes it easy to see the adults and nymphs.) Fold over used square of toilet paper in a way that traps the lice, tear it off your long strip and put it in your garbage bag. Comb through another section. Try to think of your child's head as zones, so that you thoroughly comb through each part of their hair, wiping on a new stretch of toilet paper with each pass. Also remember to keep spritzing with the de-tangler to keep the hair wet and the lice immobile. When you get to the end of the length of toilet paper, pause and get yourself a new long length to drape over your leg.

When you have made a thorough pass with the large comb, which combs out any tangles less painfully and also grabs most adult lice that are currently alive, switch to the smaller lice comb and do the exact same thing as before. (The smaller comb catches the nymphs better.) Don't worry about getting the eggs out. It's impossible (despite what you may have heard), since they are glued on the hair. Using this process, you are waiting for the eggs to hatch to nymphs and combing the nymphs out before they can become breeding adults. So basically every time you do a comb-out, you are capturing all the new nymphs that have grown to the size that can be captured by the teeth of the smallest lice comb.

When you have thoroughly combed through your child's hair using both combs, gather and tightly cinch up your garbage bag and take it outside to sit in the sun. The black of the bag gathers the sun's heat and bakes the lice. But leave it outside all day. And then throw it in an outside garbage can.

Next gather your lice combs and put them in a bowl over which you pour boiling water and let them sit for 10 minutes.

Now you must deal with bedding. During all these days of your child's lice-infestation, wash their bedding (all of it) every day. It's not necessary to use the hot water wash, as long as you use the dryer to dry all the bedding. If you have duvets or things that can't be washed, gather them into a black garbage bag and let them sit for 40 days (tightly bagged) in the garage, to be sure that you are killing all the lice over their hatching and life cycle.

Some people say you only need to do the combing once a day. Me, I'm taking no chances. Do it morning and night and you'll be sure to catch those hatching nymphs before they can mature, breed and make more eggs.  

Continue the comb-out and bed linens washing routine until you have gone a few days without seeing any more nymphs during the comb-out, and you don't see anymore eggs. As long as there are eggs, you must keep up the routine.

Any questions?

No comments:

Post a Comment