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head lice!

 
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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It's been years since I've had to deal with these buggers. The last thing I want to do is to soak my kid's head in poison, and from what I read the new generation of louse is resistant to the old poisons anyway.

If I recall correctly, the last time we got rid of them by soaking the head with oil and then meticulously combing each head for days (weeks?) on end.

Is there a better way? Shall I shave the lot of them bald? Sigh.
 
Posts: 3373
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Bald works, but is rather traumatic for girls...

My EO book has a long list for lice: Tea tree, eucalyptus, black cumin, lavender, lemongrass, patchouli, thyme, rosemary, ravintsara

massage into hair and scalp, especially hairline of the neck, and leave on overnight. Wash all bedding in hot water.

 
pollinator
Posts: 2279
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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When our little boy brought them home from nursery and shared them with the family I used a product called "Full Marks Solution". It is an oil based treatment - not a pesticide - that you apply to dry hair. It works by physically sucking the moisture out of the lice and eggs. This is similar to the way DE works on fleas - damage the carapace and they rapidly dry out and die. It was highly effective and had no odour at all.

The oils in it are, I think, synthetic but pretty much benign.

Follow up treatment with a metal nit comb to remove the debris and any remaining eggs.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
78
forest garden fungi trees books chicken bee
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I was hoping to hear that there was an easy DE solution. I guess there's nothing to replace nit picking.
 
Michael Cox
pollinator
Posts: 2279
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I'd be worried about the inhalation risks of using DE on hair/near the face. Some googling suggests that it does eventually work but needs multiple treatment spread over an extended period, combined with frequent combing with the nit comb. I'd struggle to get my 2 year old to tolerate that.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
78
forest garden fungi trees books chicken bee
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Yeah, that's the worry with DE. Dusty!

Plus, even if it kills the bugs, the nits can keep hatching. I'm getting into the groove of combing now. It's satisfying in a monkey sort of way.
 
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Posts: 1675
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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I've always wondered if lying in a hot bath with your whole scalp underwater and just your face above, for like five minutes, would drown lice. And nits? Of course, rubbing gently with your fingertips to make sure that there are no little bubbles.
 
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I've found neem oil works better than anything. And apparently apple cider vinegar gets the eggs to detach from hair, but if your hair is coated in neem oil anyways then they are not going to last long. And of course combing!
 
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