What to do When Normal Head Lice Removal Tricks Don't Work

When people follow the advice of well-meaning (but ill-informed) associates regarding head lice removal, it is not uncommon to spend hundreds of dollars on one type of chemical after another with unsatisfactory results. Sometimes the most basic and inexpensive solutions, including old-fashioned “nit-picking,” are actually the best ones, too.

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Head lice removal is something that nearly every parent will have to deal with at some point when their children are between the ages of 3 and 13. It doesn't matter what part of the country you live in or how clean your child's hair may be. Anyone can get head lice. In fact, some studies have shown that lice preferentially attack clean hair because they can get a better grip on each hair shaft. Therefore, if you think you can diligently wash lice away, or spend enough money to get just the right product, you're going to have a long term problem with incomplete louse removal.

Why the best insecticidal soaps are doomed to fail when used alone

Insecticidal soaps, creams, rinses and other topical applications do not address the fundamental problem of nits and very young lice. The nits are too well protected to succumb. Moreover, for the first four days of their lives, the very young lice (called “nymphs”)don't have enough of a nervous system to even be affected by such soaps. Therefore, every time you wash with an insecticide-containing product, you're only killing 70-80% of the lice present. The longest lasting lice infestations tend to rely upon this single means of combating the problem while ignoring the wisdom of manual lice and nit removal.

Removing nits before they hatch

If allowed to re-infest again and again, a child is doomed to repeat the cycle indefinitely unless something else is tried. Because many of the most common over-the-counter (OTC) shampoos come with cheap, plastic combs for lice nit removal, you might think that a quick comb through is sufficient. Not all lice combs are created equal – stainless steel combs do a far better job; they'll last a lifetime and make it easier to spot nits and adults in all their life stages, no matter what color they are.

Getting every last louse

If the infestation has been going on for a very long time, you will need to take some drastic measures when removing the lice from your home. Every surface will need to be very regularly and thoroughly vacuumed, treated with alcohol, bagged up for between 10-14 days and even tossed out for good. Lice do not stray too far from their hosts, but will go off in search of another meal. Therefore, you don't have to worry about them being in the walls or flooring. Nor will your pets need to be treated. Though long-time infestations may be wide-ranging in the number of items they infect, they'll always die of starvation when off a human host for even a few days.

When it comes to taking extra precautions and heroic measures in your battle for ultimate head lice removal, use your time and brains instead of your credit card to tackle the problem once and for all.

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