*Updated January 2020
In all the years of raising 3 kids in public schools, somehow, miraculously, we had never suffered a lice infestation. However, ONE summer we got hit hard and after thinking about it, I realized that this was the first year my kids started sleeping-over at other kid’s houses. My daughter especially, slept over at many different friends’ houses and often did not take her own pillow or bedding.
When a lice notice came home from school (we typically get 3-4 lice notices per year) and I checked the kids as I normally do, I found my daughter’s head teeming with lice! What was really bizarre is that she had felt nothing, no itching whatsoever! My 2 boys also had lice – but nowhere near as much. AND so did I!!!! Gahhhhhh!!!
P.S. If your head is starting to feel itchy reading this, that’s normal. I’m starting to feel crawly writing it. 🙂
My husband, who shaves his head, escaped unscathed. But of course, ALL bedding etc. still needed to be treated.
I had heard so many horror stories from parents who’ve been plagued by continual laundry and lice treatments for up to THREE WEEKS before they could wipe out the infestation, so the first thing I did was consult with my friend Lori – who has 4 kids and has been through 3 infestations – and she gave me the complete list on everything I needed to do. She seriously shortcut my learning curve – thanks Lo!
And now I’m going to share exactly what I did – with step-by-step instructions for you, if you ever encounter this plague. Let’s start with a few important facts.
Important Lice Facts
1. About 99% of lice/nits are unaffected by current pesticides (i.e. commercial lice shampoos and chemical treatments) as lice (like bacteria) have evolved to be immune. Read that again, and don’t waste your time or money!
2. Once lice are off the blood host (you or your pet), they only live 1-2 days.
3. Lice can survive without oxygen for up to 8 hours, so just immersing in water doesn’t cut it. I actually tested this for 5 minutes and yes, the suckers kept moving around under the water!
Now I know from eradicating intestinal infection, or viral infections, that you need to to hit these pathogens hard and fast. You cannot give them time to recover or regroup or they surge back stronger. These are the times to apply one of my favorite maxims: Go hard or go home!
Combined with a few hours of frantic research and my own storehouse of herbal knowledge, here’s what I did to clear my home, myself, and my boys of lice within 24-48 hours. My other child (sleepover queen) had the worst infestation (200 eggs and 8 live critters) and took 3 days to clear completely.
And of course, I did a 7 day check and a 14 day check to make sure we had indeed eradicated all the lice at every stage of their life cycle and that we all remained clear. Success!
Okay, ready? Here’s what you need to do…
Jini’s Whirlwind Lice Eradication Strategy
Time is of the essence, so after reading through the regimen below. You’ll appreciate this handy list to assemble all the items in one trip that you’ll need to clear your home and hair of the lice infestation.
- Garbage bags
- Spray bottle
- Tea Tree oil
- Wild Oregano oil
- Olive oil
- Diatomaceous earth
- Professional Nit Comb
- Normal Shampoo and Conditioner
- Discount pill