It was a warm September day. The girls were happy upon their return from school. They were busily doing their homework while the baby was having a snack. I was was sorting through papers and then I found it… the letter. That letter I dread every time school starts.
It began like this:
A case of lice has been reported in your child’s classroom… and goes on to tell you all the informational mumbo jumbo about how to check for and treat lice infestation. Ugh. Great.
I never dealt with lice when I was little, but I have dealt with lice about 10 times the past 7 years. It’s not fun, but I’ve become somewhat of an expert on their detection and removal.
I have tried all sorts of remedies and they all work somewhat, but the best remedy I have found hands down is this product called LiceFreee Spray. It kills the lice with a homeopathic solution containing salt so it is non-toxic and pesticide free. I have been using it for two years and it works every time.
Here are my tips for lice detection and removal.
1. Early Detection
I have found that the sooner I catch the lice the better. This means routine checks of the girls’ heads. Lice can be hard to spot. They look like tiny sesame seeds near the scalp and the eggs are glued to the hair shaft. The live bugs move pretty quickly but you will know it when you see one. The first thing to look for are bite marks around the nape of the neck and on the hair line. Then go through your child’s hair section by section looking for eggs or live bugs. I do quick checks weekly during the school year or more extensive checks daily when there is an outbreak at the school.
2. Live Bugs
If you find live bugs and eggs what do you do next? Well first calm down. You will not need to shave any heads or call really expensive removal experts. I sit my daughter down and let her watch TV and saturate her hair with Licefreee Spray. I divide her hair into sections and then I go through her hair section by section removing all dead lice and nits (eggs) I find with my hands and tweezers. I sometimes use the comb, but I have found my hands and eyes do a better job at finding the lice and removing them.
Licefreee Spray is awesome because you actually don’t even need to rinse it out or comb out the bugs or nits. It just kills them on contact. I prefer to comb them all out because the idea of dead bugs and eggs on my kid’s head is just a tad gross.
3. Home Treatment
Once you have treated everyone in the household who has lice, wash all bedding and put things that cannot be washed into the dryer for 20 minutes. It’s important to wash or dry all hats, barrettes, brushes and combs. For extra good measure I vacuum the whole house and all couches. I also put all stuffed animals in a sealed plastic bag for 2 weeks.
4. Follow Up Checks
After I do the initial treatment with Licefreee Spray I check the entire head daily pulling out any additional dead nits or bugs I find. I do this for about 10-14 days.
5. Follow Up Treatments
It is advised that 7 days after your initial treatment you do another Licefreee Spray treatment in order to catch any nits that may have survived and hatched.
6. Advice For When Your Child Won’t Cooperate
Sitting and having your head checked for lice is not fun. Understandably my daughters have both had it up to here with getting lice or their mom inspecting their heads for lice. I’ve developed a few tricks to get them to cooperate.
- Check without them knowing you are checking.
I started asking my daughter if she wanted her hair blow dried or braided. This allowed me to systematically check her whole head while taking my time “doing her hair.”
One afternoon we did tons of braids. On another day a full blowout and waterfall braid.
- Let them watch excessive TV or do some other normally forbidden activity while you check or treat lice.
Ice Cream on a school night? 2 hours of Johnny Test? Pretty much anything goes to get her to sit in the chair as long as it takes to check and remove the lice.
- Hug checks.
When I am giving a hug I will secretly look around for any crawlers. I actually discovered lice one year this way.
I hate dealing with lice, but I have found it’s not that big of a deal and as long as we do our regular routine of removal and follow up checks we don’t get repeated infestations.
Do you have any additional tips for lice removal? Any key tricks I missed?
This post was sponsored by Licefreee Spray in collaboration with the One2One Network. I was so happy when they reached out to work with me because I am a dedicated LiceFreee supporter and it’s the only lice treatment product we use. It is easy, affordable and effective, but it’s also safe to use without toxic chemicals. One tip though, when you spray it, instruct your child to keep their eyes and mouth closed as it can irritate the membranes a bit. You can find Licefreee Spray at Walgreens, Walmart and other regional chains. Here is a link for a 2$ coupon. It’s really great to have on hand just in case a letter comes home and you find some bugs.