For thousands of people in the USA each year, receiving a call like this is a reality. Typically, the school nurse checks all the little heads coming back to school after a long, carefree summer.
Once she/he finds lice, all the parents must be notified, "Ah, Mrs. Frotutus, your child has..............pediculosis!"
Every parent is struck with horror at the thought that their clean, innocent, well-groomed, well-mannered child might have picked up lice from one of those other, ahem, not so clean children.
When they find that their child has indeed become a host to these pesky pests, they panic!
What many people don't know is that lice are more inclined to make their home on a clean head than a dirty one. They care not a whit about the race, religion or socio-economic status of their host. All they want is a warm meal three or four times a day.
Lice do not jump, burrow or fly. They do not live on animals or on any part of the human other than their head. Once off the human head, lice can only live from 24-48 hours.
Head lice do not carry disease.
Adults lay up to eight eggs a day. These eggs develop into nymphs who grow up within a week to begin laying their own eggs. Therefore, early detection and treatment is quite smart.
While OTC treatments can be effective, lice are becoming more resistant to the toxic ingredients in these products. The Harvard School of Public Health sates that, "Head lice in the United States are resistant to Permethrin and Lindane."
Applying these pesticides may not kill the lice and their eggs. Yet, according to the National Pediculosis Association, "Seizures, behavioral changes, Attention Deficit Disorders, cancer, skin diseases and even death have been reported to the National Pediculosis Association's registry by people who have used chemical treatments(such as RID and NIX) to get rid of head lice or scabies." They advise parents to discontinue the use of head lice pesticides, citing "manual removal" as the best option.
There is much more I could tell you about this fascinating subject, but if you would be interested in learning more or having one of our technicians come into your home to do a thorough treatment using safe, non-toxic products along with manual removal, just give us a shout!