Today I received an email from the kids’ school that said there is lice in Ava’s classroom.. Two things ran through my head quickly:
- Time to get the special $25 lice/nit comb out and do some combing through very thick red hair
- It isn’t too late to pack a bag and book a ticket to Mexico where I will remain in hiding until the lice epidemic is over.
Have you heard of the lice superbug? You know, the one that is impervious to those gross over-the-counter chemical products that you shampoo into your kids’ hair and the chemicals kill the nits? Well I have and I am hoping I will not be dealing with four heads filled with super-lice over the next week.
In honor of the lice announcement I received from school today, I am re-running my post from a few years ago all about lice. Please read it because there is actually some wisdom about preventing lice and getting rid of nits.
Lice Is Not Nice
September 18, 2013
My days of lunching and shopping came to an abrupt end last week. Intense motherhood set in. You know, those times when you deal with diarrhea and throw up, injuries and illnesses.
Yep, I am going there.
Myself and my four children have had lice since we discovered it last Tuesday. Previous to that, I had been complaining to Chris about how badly my head was itching. It was driving me crazy. Never in a million years did I think I had lice.
I am now kind of an expert on lice.
It all started last Tuesday when the school called me to tell me that Violet was itching her head and complaining about how itchy it was. They looked and couldn’t find any nits. Nits are the tiny eggs that lice hatch, which attach to an individual hair follicle.
Later that day after school Violet came up to me and told me that she had found a bug in her hair.
I took it and we looked at it under Ava’s microscope. What I saw under that microscope should be kept in my own secret vault of disgusting visual memories that I never wish to open again. But I do like to share in my blog. What I saw was a tan transparent bug with disgusting legs and a mouth. The most disgusting part was that I could see Violet’s blood running up and down its body. I didn’t need to see that.
So Ava taped it to a slide and labeled it lice. She now has a lice slide.
Since then, we have discovered lice on everyone but Chris.
I have spent an entire week trying to get rid of the disgusting blood sucking insects.
First Chris spent about $100 on this over the counter product called RID, which is supposed to kill all the lice and nits. It took hours to complete the four step lice removal program on all six of us. It took me three days to wash all the clothes, towels, sheets, and rugs in the house.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that if you dedicate all this time to get rid of lice, you will actually succeed on your first go around. Oh no. There are nits. It is all about the nits. When these minuscule eggs hatch, the entire horrific process of lice reproduction starts over.
Here are my three pieces of advice about getting rid of lice:
1. Go strand by strand, section by section in each child’s hair and remove each nit by hand. Nits have a glue that they use to stick on the hair follicle. The brushes that come in the kits aren’t small enough to get the nits to come off the hair follicle.
2. Lice hate oil. Olive oil, tea tree oil, coconut oil. Get it in sprays, gels, shampoo and conditioners. I lathered our hair up with coconut oil and put a shower cap over it and we all slept on it all night. We bought Fairytale Shampoo and Conditioner (available at Ulta) that uses natural oils to repel lice. My awesome friend Sarah made me a spray bottle with water and tea tree oil to spray in our hair every morning.
3. Spend more time trying to find and destroy nits, and less time washing everything you can get your hands on. At one point I thought I may go crazy wondering if I should wash the car seats or the bean bag, or if any infested clothes touched other clothes and now there are lice on them. The truth is that if lice don’t have a human to suck blood from, the will die.
Facts About Lice:
1. Lice prey on clean hair that isn’t oily.
2. It is said that lice have become immune to a lot of the products or medicines developed to kill them.
3. The life cycle of a louse is 30 days
4. A louse is a singular term for lice, not just a big mother effer like I previously thought.
5. Lice only like human blood. Therefore, they carry no diseases and for the most part, cause us no real harm. You will not find lice on your family pet.
The really unfortunate thing about the lice was that Ava must have had it at her birthday party because now half of the kids who came to her party also have lice. I told her in the thank you cards she should write, “thank you so much for coming to my party. Sorry I gave you lice.” She said no to that.
This is our first day lice/nit free and it feels so liberating.
If you have any questions about lice, you can ask me and I probably have the answer. The kids’ school administration said that next time they have a lice outbreak they may use me as a consultant. I’m so talented.
Right now you are probably itching your head, or perhaps you feel something crawling in your hair. Sympathy symptoms.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.