Julie Lyles Carr: The Nit-ly Update...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Nit-ly Update...

I've been schooled.

In Phthiraptera.

That would be the Latin for lice.

Yummy.

When I posted our little louse adventures last week, so many of you were just amazing, letting me know what to watch out for, methods to try, tips and tricks.

You rock.

You just do.

Pediculosis.

That would be that Latin term describing lice infesting a human host.

Just trying to sharpen up your Trivial Pursuit skills.

So here's what we've learned thus far, just in case you ever need the Octamom Reader Cumulative Lice Knowledge.

1. Lice have a 7-10 day life cycle, meaning that, just because you doused your kid's head in over-the-counter lice shampoo pesticide does not mean that your issues are now over. It's very important to remain vigilant, particularly in that 7-10 day window after the initial treatment, checking for nits (the egg structures of lice that attach themselves to the hair follicle.)

2. Some strains of lice are becoming somewhat resistant to the over-the-counter shampoos used for eliminating them.

3. Nits actually have a saliva that bonds them to human hair like glue. Who knew?

4. Lice typically do not like oils. I used conditioner of the kids' hair to make things a little more unpleasant for the parasites. We topped it off with shower caps to contain all that greasiness.

5. Lice also apparently are opposed to tea tree oil. I've been using a tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner as extra measure.

6. Suburban Correspondent hooked me up to the Cetaphil method--and I do believe it's going to prove to be our winner. Check out this link she sent me. We have used this method and in addition to the fact it's far more gentle on my kids' scalps, it also seems to help dissolve that glue hold nits have on the hair shaft. After just one treatment, we could easily brush the nits from the hair, a huge improvement after nit-picking for two days.

7. We have bagged all ancillary soft textiles in the house, meaning that all throw pillows, extra blankets, and stuffed animals are now contained in plastic bags and secreted away. And the bonus? The house seems far less cluttered. I plan on leaving these items in bags for at least two weeks and may go longer in the interest of extremism.

8. After laundering every necessary item in sight, I'm now daily running sleeping pillows and comforters through the dryer for about 45 minutes.

9. Nit combs are a joke. J-O-K-E.

10. I cut the boys' hair to crew cuts less than a 1/4 inch--and so far, so good. The boys have remained nit free.

11. I was reminded to make sure I thoroughly vacuumed the van. Although fabric to scalp transmission of lice is not considered all that common, it certainly seems like good common sense to clean headrest zones.

12. Apparently the little critters don't like heat--so we've been blow-drying, blow-drying, blow-drying...does 'blow-drying' actually use a hyphen?

So, for the moment, I breathing a tentative sigh of relief. While I'm not yet ready to proclaim Phthiraptera Vanquishment (and, no, I'm not sure 'vanquishment' is a real word...but it should be...), I am hopeful that I can at least claim Containment...which may be half the battle.

Not that I want to get cocky or anything.

Because I'm pretty sure those Lice Fates are a vengeful bunch...


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