The Hughes Home has another lice infestation.
I want to take the time to thank all the careless parents who can't be bothered with treating their kids PROPERLY and EFFECTIVELY.
I also want to thank my son's teacher for rushing the school nurse during an inspection of my son's head. Under pressure from the teacher, the nurse rushed and MISSED lice that my wife discovered in his hair.
The size of Buicks, to borrow a Woody Allen line.
They were so big, you could see their eyes. You could see their legs wiggling as you killed them. That's pretty darned big for lice.
We were BEYOND upset.
Our local schools have been severely hit by lice the past couple of years in particular. I post on Facebook and see that parents all over the country are struggling with lice epidemics, too.
Contrary to what people have been telling me on "lice threads" on Facebook, over the counter shampoos HAVE been effective in killing the buggers.
But where any parents FAIL is in the RE-APPLICATION in 10 days. You HAVE TO RE-APPLY or you are almost guaranteeing a re-infestation.
Then the fun begins all over again.
After the first exposure to lice, we went really medieval--nuking dozens of loads of laundry (not a lot of fun even for a small family let alone the Hughes Bunch of 8) and baking them at the highest dryer settings.
This time we have found that even just putting bedding and pillows in the dryer on the highest temps (bypassing the wash) is effective at killing the lice.
I think part of the problem is that parents (and maybe even teachers) are under the misconception that lice are easily seen on the scalp. They are NOT. I am willing to bet my house that most parents (tired, pre-occupied, and lazy) do a quick and easy look at their child's head and seeing nothing, conclude their little darling is free and clear.
Get a nit comb (the metal ones are more expensive but much better than the cheapo plastic ones that come with some kits) and run it through your kid's hair like you would a flea comb on your pet. THAT'S when you see them. Prepare to be GROSSED OUT, too.
Tea tree oil shampoos are awesome repellants. Lice apparently hate the smell of tea tree and rosemary.
I just got back from the hardware store with some bug bombs that kill LICE along with fleas, bedbugs, etc.
With 6 kids, this is far more realistic a method of eradicating the buggers (the lice, not the kids) while they are at school (the kids, not the lice) than spending hours in each room.
So we are going to set them off and take off for a couple of hours. I'd hate to be any lingering lice in our home.
Don't worry. We are taking the pets with us.
Remember that GIANT wolf spider I ran into in our garage last year? Well, a similar bug bomb we set off shriveled that guy up pretty good.
So between the treatments and shampoos and hot laundry and pesticides, I think we will be ok.
But if you are a parent out there, PLEASE be cautious and responsible. We are having more lice outbreaks the last 2 years than I saw in all my years in grade school and high school. DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE!!
And if you are a school nurse, PLEASE realize that you are MISSING even the biggest lice in some of the children's hair!!
Imagine if we had just taken her at her word that our son was clear? It could have made the problem that much worse.
Lice are evidence that God has a sense of humor--or a mean streak. What the heck IS their purpose in the greater scheme of things?? Sucking the blood from your scalp and taking over your whole house or school? Driving moms and dads to drink?
Maybe God owns tea tree shampoo stock.