Head Lice Treatment
Summary: A head louse treatment is required to eliminate head lice. Head lice need a living host to survive, so pest control treatments are not required. Treat the person carrying the lice with a head lice treatment and you will fix the problem.
Pest control companies frequently get calls from stressed out school principals demanding immediate treatments to quell an outbreak of head lice, be it head or pubic lice. A knowledgeable pest control professional knows that no pest control treatment is required because head lice are not living in the surrounding environment of the living quarters. Lice are living and thriving by taking blood meals from the human host. Spraying baseboards, shelves and other areas where ants and roaches hide will do nothing to eliminate an outbreak of head lice.
Numerous steps are required to eliminate the lice starting with vacuuming around beds to pick up nits attached to hairs that have fallen from the human host. Head lice do not survive long after falling off a person and without a human host they cannot feed. So, you do not need to spend a lot of time or money on housecleaning activities, but you should vacuum. Placing bed sheets in a hot dryer for a half hour an effective treatment method. You only need be concerned about items and surfaces that have had recent contact with affected people. Dry clean clothing that cannot be washed. Soak combs and brushes in Lysol or boil them if the hot water does will do them no harm.
Manually checking a person is extremely important. Lice are fast and will run from the light when you are checking infested hair. Sometimes, two people are required to check to allow both sides of the head to be scrutinized at once. Use a nit comb to remove nits and dip it in water often to clean it. Use a magnifier and tweezers to facilitate removal. Continue to check hair daily until no more nits are found.
There are many products on the market that claim to eliminate nits. Some people report better results than others and often the results are directly related to how well label instructions are followed and the expectations of the individual user. All commercially available lice shampoos and cream products contain pesticides, but some are more toxic than others. Prescriptions containing the chemical Lindane are among the most risky. The health community warns that if a person continues to be infested with lice after using one of these treatments, discontinue use of the product and do not try to use another product in hopes of eliminating the lice. Some people should never be exposed to pesticide shampoos including pregnant or nursing women, people with asthma, epilepsy, pre-existing medical conditions or open wounds.
If you insist on using a lice shampoo never leave the product on the head longer than directed by the label. Avoid products containing the pesticide Lindane. Keep products out of eyes and never use one of these products on babies. These shampoos do not prevent head lice so do not use them as a preventative measure.
To prevent reinfestation teach children to avoid activities likely to spread lice such as head-to-head contact during sports or slumber parties. Do not share clothing, combs, brushes or towels. Do not use beds, pillows, carpets or couches of infected people. Children often are re-infested from a playmate. If your child is infested, discuss it with parents of the children your child plays with. Treating all infested children at the same time will help prevent reinfestation.