Spring Cleaning:: Lice and How to Deal With It! | Organizing Made Fun: Spring Cleaning:: Lice and How to Deal With It!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Cleaning:: Lice and How to Deal With It!

This is not a pretty subject, but chances are that you and/or one of your children will either GET lice or will have been around someone who got it. Trust me, lice does not discriminate - and actually prefer clean hair, not dirty hair! We've had it in our household - about a year and a half ago. Our church/area here seems to have suddenly had an outbreak of lice among the children - which, of course, spreads to us Mommies - cause we love to snuggle our kiddos. This time, so far, we have escaped it. My best friend, Ardena, has graciously written up all kinds of information for you to learn how to rid lice in your hair and home. She and her family had quite the battle for a couple of months with this "super lice" and I asked her to write down what she did to finally rid their home of it. 

Pin this! You never know if you or your child could get this and you want to be prepared!! How to Get Rid of Lice - OrganizingMadeFun.com

“My child has what???”

That dreaded discovery, your child has lice. Makes my head itch and my skin crawl just thinking about it. Then, that next dreaded discovery..... “I have it too!!!! Ugh!!!”

Don't panic. This is a natural response for many of us when it comes to bugs in our hair and home, especially when we strive to keep our environment clean and healthy.

Also, please don't be casual about it and think it isn't a big deal. Lice WILL spread like wildfire! Protect others by making sure you are rid of lice and nits before coming in contact with anyone. And, be compassionate. Working together and sharing ideas and solutions that may have worked for you or others will go further than blame and ridicule.

Make calls to all you have come in contact with: Schools, churches, clubs, etc. I know this is completely humiliating, but it's the very loving thing to do. Early detection makes this a whole lot easier to get rid of. If you get an angry response, accept it with grace.

Identifying symptoms:

Inspect in full sunlight or a well lit room. Hold hair up in sections and look through the strands of hair. Lice will hide parallel with the hair shaft. Also look for for the following:

What are the symptoms of lice? OrganizingMadeFun.com

Link for egg/nit pictures go HERE. {Because I want to spare you of having to look at them on my blog!}

Lice cannot be diagnosed through internet pictures. Identifying and diagnosing lice can only be done with personal, close inspection of child's head.

Where to look:

'Hot Spots' are usually behind the ears, nape of the neck, and on the crown of the head. The lice will choose the most favorable spot on your head to incubate their eggs ensuring successful hatchings....... I pause for a moment to recover from being completely grossed out..... So don't limit your head check to the 'textbook' spots.

Don't confuse hair debris for nits. Dandruff, Desquamated Epithelial Cells (DEC) plugs, and hair casts can be found on most people and are often confused for nits. How do you tell the difference? A nit will pop when you crush it while the DEC plug will crumble and dandruff will typically fall when blown or tapped. Also, lice eggs are glued onto the shaft. There will be some drag when trying to slide it off the hair shaft, while a DEC plug will glide off easily.

Lice eradication is a process of reduction. YOU MUST DO SOMETHING EVERYDAY FOR AT LEAST THE FIRST 12 DAYS OF INFECTION. the every 7-10 day concept will only lead to prolonging the process and may cause possible re-infestation.


Try to organize your treatments and house maintenance so that you can get to bed at a decent hour. A sleepy mommy, squirmy children, and persistent bugs are a recipe for disaster. Try to get your necessary sleep so you feel well rested to conquer those beastly lice and not become beastly yourself.

Don't grow weary. If you find a bug the next day that managed to escape your 1 hour combing session the night before, just kill it and keep going.

When do I know that I'm done?

Don't let your guard down. From the first day you find no nits or bugs, continue checking and combing every other day for 10-12 days just to make sure they're gone. It would be a huge bummer to find out you missed one it and then discover it after it has caused some serious damage. If after 12 days of nit picking and combing it is safe to assume you are done. Continue to check once a week for general maintenance.

Store-bought, all natural lice remedies :: OrganizingMadeFun.com

Here are the many variations of treatments that have been proven effective in eradicating lice in a recent outbreak at our church.

- QuitNits - all natural boxed product that can be found at your local health food store, drug store, and online at Amazon {much less than at the store}. This claims to kill all lice and nits. It does kill the lice but may not kill all of the nits. You will need to following up with daily combings and nit picking. If desired retreat with QuitNits 4 days later. {From Becky: This is what we used and really liked}.

- Terminator Lice Comb – Can be found at Ulta and Amazon. What I like best about this comb is that unlike other combs, this didn't snag my child's hair. The tines are serrated so that it catches debris and nits and cuts through the lice.

- LiceFreee – Can be found at Walgreens and Amazon. This is a salt and benzyl alcohol based product. This works wonderfully! Just spray saturating hair and go. No mess, no salt streaks. May need to follow-up with a second application. Be sure to nit pick and use a lice comb in between treatments.

- LiceMD – Can be found at K-Mart, Walgreens, and Amazon. Silicone based product. A bit messy, but very effective. Requires combing to aid in the process of eliminating lice and eggs.

Home-made, all natural lice remedies :: OrganizingMadeFun.com

- Apple cider vinegar, water, and conditioner – Soak head with warm apple cider vinegar for 1 hour wearing a showering cap. Add conditioner and a little water and comb through hair with a regular comb to release any tangles. Once tangle free, section hair and comb with lice comb wiping or rinsing comb after each stroke. This should be done twice a day if possible.

- Salt, water, witch hazel- This will kill the lice on contact – but not as effective as LiceFreee.

½ cup of hot water in a bowl
2 TB sea salt
mix until salt is dissolved – make sure salt is dissolved or it will clog the spray bottle
1/8 cup witch hazel

Mix and pour into spray bottle. Apply to head leaving on for 2 hours using a shower cap to keep product moist in hair or spray and let hair dry naturally. When this product begins to dry it will leave white streaks in the hair from the salt, so I wouldn't recommend leaving the house if you feel this would cause embarrassment.

Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade ONLY!! – This will kill lice. Using an old t-shirt, pull it over your head as thought you are putting it on except you will not be pulling your arms through. Gather the t-shirt around your hair line and hold while dusting the head with the powder. This will protect you or your child from breathing the dust or getting into their eyes. I would not recommend using this for younger children as they are a bit unpredictable.

Home-made, not so natural lice remedies :: OrganizingMadeFun.com

- Not so natural treatment, but very effective in eradicating lice:

Original gold colored Listerine, Apple Cider Vinegar, Denorex, cheap white conditioner like Suave Coconut – I know this sounds crazy but it really works!

Either pour or spray Listerine onto head saturating from root to end of hair shaft. If you choose to spray, do so outside or have child hold a cloth over face to protect them from the fumes of the mouthwash. Place a shower cap on head and let soak for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, apply warm apple cider vinegar and soak for another hour wearing the shower cap.

After the final hour is up, apply conditioner to ends of hair. Comb out tangles then use a lice comb to comb out any dead lice or nits. Be sure to wipe or rinse comb after each swipe of the hair. Once hair is combed wash with Denorex. Let the shampoo sit on hair for about 2 minutes before rinsing off. Apply a leave in conditioner supplemented with essential oils to help repel lice. Blow dry hair on high heat after each treatment.

Lice repellent leave in conditioner – use any conditioner that you prefer and some or all of the following essential oils:

6 oz spray bottle
2 TB Conditioner – I recommend Fairy Tales Conditioner.
5 drops Neem
5 drops Eucalyptus –
5 drops Rosemary
5 drops Lavender
5 drops Melaleuca/Tea Tree Oil {These are the same oil called two different things.}
5 drops Peppermint
5 drops Purification Blend

Fill to top with water leaving room for spray nozzle. Shake and spray on head. Pull back in ponytail or bun and let dry naturally. You can increase the amount of essential oils if you'd like. I used 10 drops each and found this to be very effective.

For night treatment I never recommend placing a shower cap on the child's head. I do not want to risk suffocation because I'm trying to rid my home of lice.

For night treatment combine 4TB coconut oil, 5 drops of Neem oil, and 5 drops of Melaleuca oil (Tea Tree) and massage into hair roots. Place a thick towel double folded on pillow and sleep with this mixture, washing it out in the morning.

If you choose to use this combination during the day, allow to soak for at least 8 hours using a shower cap or cellophane to keep head moist. Then comb with a nit comb and wash and blow dry using the hottest setting on dryer.

These three oils are not only repellents, but the tea tree is also a natural pesticide. It causes gut rupture in lice and will kill most lice eggs before they hatch. (See link HERE)

If you choose to go directly to pesticides, such as Nix or RID, follow box exactly as these can be harmful to both you and your loved one being treated. I have not found one person that found these products to be 100% successful. Most of those I've asked said that even after 3 treatments their children still had lice. Harvard School of Medicine did a study showing that these bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to OTC treatments.

This video clip was very educational. It is an infomercial, but filled with helpful tips.

Link to combing techniques:

Wash all linens, towels, and clothing in hot water and dry on the hottest setting in your clothes dryer. Vacuum carpets and all upholstery that can't be bagged or placed in the dryer, bag all cloth toys you are unable to throw in dryer, bag all small area rugs or wash daily, and bag or wash all seat cushions.

Finally do regular lice checks. People respond differently at the mention of lice, from the “EEEEKKKK!” response all the way to the “kay sera sera” response. The later response scares me the most, because if you don't do anything to protect yourself it could potentially lead to the further spread of lice. Don't live in fear, but think about how many people will be infected by you before you figure out you've got them. When there is mention of a lice outbreak do what you can to protect yourself from infection so that you are then protecting others. If you've done all you can and it still happens, start with..... 'don't panic' and go from there.

Also, some of these products are better prices on Amazon -- I have put in referral links - than at the natural stores or drugstore and it would be a good idea for you to keep them on hand, just in case! 

I realize this is long, but PIN this for future reference or send to your child's school or your church or gym {for gymnastics - this is where I believe my daughter picked it up} to keep for reference. You just never know - seriously, you don't. The best thing you can do is be prepared! AND, if you DO get it, please don't be ashamed and embarrassed -- TELL everyone so it can be stopped!! Wouldn't you have liked to know where you got it from and them tell you? 

Pin It

 **I have a few affiliate links in this post - this does not mean you pay a dime more for the product when you purchase through my link. It just means I made it easier for you to find what you might like, so I make a few cents if you purchase. I SO SO SO appreciate when you support Organizing Made Fun. Thank you!!**

 Like what you see here? Consider becoming a follower or subscribe via email! Are you an Organized Reader? I'd love to see your organized space. Email me HERE and show me your space to possibly be featured as one of my Organized Readers.

  Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Check
Connect with me:
Follow OrganizeMadeFun on Twitter Follow Me on Pinterest http://www.buttonshut.com
Google Plus for OMF beckyb_omf Bloglovin’ OMF OMF Facebook page