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Kill Head Lice

Summary: Kill head lice. That's the call to action every parent faces when their children bring home these nasty parasites. Learn some steps you can take to fight this problem.

Head lice! Yuck! Words to strike terror into parents and teachers throughout the civilized world. A nasty, itchy sore scalp, often accompanied by deep feelings of shame, torment the small sufferer and his or her family. Head lice pick on children, those friendly, gregarious little people who get up close to each other at school and at play. These pinhead-sized, blood-sucking parasites, reddish-brown in color, can crawl from one head of hair to another. They cause terrible itching, sometimes infection and lay many eggs over the course of a week.

***image2***Head lice love clean hair, so there should be no shame or words like dirty attached to getting an infestation. Over the years, parents have battled with lice and nits, their eggs, which look like tiny little creamy balls. The problem is, head lice have become immune to many chemical lotions, potions and shampoos, so other measures for getting rid of head lice must be taken. Also, parents do not like the idea of repeatedly pouring harsh chemicals or strong insecticides over a child's hair and delicate skin.

Vigilance and natural remedies are the best weapons, along with a good fine-toothed nit comb for combing out the eggs and their mommies. We used to call it a bug-rake when I was a child and the whole school would be treated by the nit-nurse. Happy days! A good supply of hot water for washing clothing, towels and bedding is also a must. They did it in WW1; we can do it with our superior resources and clever washing machines. Fear not.

First line of attack on the little varmints is to make up a solution of essential oils of rose, lemon, geranium, eucalyptus, lavender and tea-tree. Some shopping list, but the last two have antiseptic properties, especially good if bites have become infected from scratching. Be sure to mix these oils in a mild carrier oil such as olive or almond. Rub this into the scalp of every family member and then leave on overnight. In the morning, comb out the nits and dead head lice with the fine-toothed comb. Put a towel around the shoulders to catch the corpses and stop them from landing on clothing. Stop the vicious lice circle. They are tenacious little devils!

Shampoo the hair in a tea-tree oil shampoo and use a leave-in tea-tree oil conditioner. This makes the hair slippery so Mrs. Louse cannot get a grip to lay those eggs.

Another variation of head lice-hunting involves rubbing lavender oil in olive oil into the scalp, then rinsing off with vinegar. Shampoo with an herbal shampoo, then get out the trusty comb and remove the dead bodies and eggs. This is going to be a nightly routine for all the family for at least a week until every last one of them has been exterminated.

Mayonnaise is to said to suffocate the head lice, but if you care to Google this method, you will find a raging debate. Let's face it, what child wants to go to bed with a head full of mayonnaise and a shower cap, smelling like potato salad? Still, there are plenty of people who swear to its effectiveness as a treatment for getting rid of head lice.

It is vitally important to wash all the bedding, clothing, towels and such that the little itchy person had come into contact with. Use water temperatures as hot as the fabrics can take it, then store these items by themselves for a week until the lice are dead, totally kaput.

Severe infection might call for medical intervention, possibly a course of antibiotics, so never hesitate to visit your doctor with this age-old problem. He or she may have even more weapons in the arsenal to aid us in the fight for getting rid of head lice.

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