If You Don’t Like Reading About Creepy Crawlies, Then Move Along, Nothing to Read Here

Lice. It was only a matter of time before it came to our house. We have had notes coming home from the school almost daily this spring, saying that one or both of our children had been exposed to these critters. It has become my habit to look through my daughters’ hair frequently during a quiet moment, though in all honesty I never truly expected to find anything. Denial? Delusional? I can’t think of the right word for it, but whatever the word is, I had it. So on Thursday as we were waiting for 7yo B’s piano lesson, I took a look at her head. What? What was that? Must have just been a little fly or something. I’ll check it out properly when we get home, but I’m sure it’s nothing.

I even waited until after dinner before taking her out onto the porch where the light was best to take another look. I found little beige-coloured oval-shaped things attached to some of her hairs. And more of them. And then I found another bug. And then I uttered a four letter word starting with F right in front of both of my children. It just came out, and I don’t care, I still say it was warranted. After apologizing and explaining that sometimes these words just slip out, I quickly put together my plan of action. My neighbour had told me that they had used the Robi comb when lice hit their house. This little gadget runs on a AA battery and zaps the adult bugs and hatchlings too, and my neighbour had told me we could borrow it any time we needed it. I sent older daughter over to pick it up. Then I thought about chemical treatments, but from everything I had read, these don’t actually kill the nits anyway, so I decided to see if we could manage this without chemicals. I’m not opposed to using chemicals in principle, but in this case I didn’t see the benefits in using them, so we decided to try without.

Using the Robi, I was able to find and zap three live bugs in B’s hair, and then after Tony returned from the store with a good metal comb, I spent two hours going through her hair pulling out nits. There were quite a few of those. Older daughter showed no signs of anything crittery, and Tony and I checked each other and we were OK too. While I was combing and picking B‘s hair, Tony was washing bedding, bagging up stuffed animals, and he even headed out to buy new pillows. Afterwards he remade the beds with fresh everything. I was strangely calm about the whole thing, and a part of me found it quite relaxing to sit there and pull out little eggs from my child’s head, but I’m a little odd that way.

So now it is a holiday Monday and I have spent hours and hours since Thursday picking and zapping and picking and zapping and pick pick picking some more. Yes, older daughter did end up catching them too, but it was much milder for her. And as of this morning, everyone is nit and bug-free. I will not become complacent, and I will keep combing for the next couple of weeks, but I am cautiously optimistic that we are winning this one.

A few things made this fairly easy to manage. First, we caught it relatively early. Second, my girls have straight and fine hair that is easy to comb and check. And third, my friends in real life and on Twitter provided such great advice and support – you guys rock! And how great is it that it is OK to talk about lice now so openly? There is no stigma; lice happens, and so many parents commiserated with us and told us how many times they have had to deal with it. It isn’t pleasant, but let’s just deal with it and help each other out.

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About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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11 Responses to If You Don’t Like Reading About Creepy Crawlies, Then Move Along, Nothing to Read Here

  1. Mr. Winston says:

    Your Blog about creepy crawlies brings back memories of my childhood.
    Mom had five children to debug on one occasion, starting with my brother Vernon being the youngest at age five.
    My sister Eleanor was six and wanted to let anyone know who might be interested that all of her brothers were louse infested!
    When it came time for Eleanor to have her head checked for bugs, my Brother Don age nine said to Mom, “I think the only way to get rid of that many bugs is to cut off all of her hair!”
    On hearing that, Eleanor took off like a shot, she was screaming like a banshee and hid in the root cellar.
    Mom asked Don, “Why do you have to tease her like that?”
    Don answered, “Well she thought that it was funny to embarrass her brothers.” Mom said, “Now you can go and tell her that you were just kidding!”
    Somehow we managed to get through the louse infested time in our life.

    Winston

  2. Lara says:

    Lice brings my back to childhood too!

    Was it that poor kids used to get it more that made it have a stigma. Those critter get every where, it's hardly something to feel shame about. We need to help each other learn how to get rid of them. This zappy thingy's existence will now be stored in my memory for when will surely be my turn, so thank you. And I'm glad they have been “relatively” painless to get rid of.

  3. We were feeling pretty smug about having avoided lice for a whole 13 years until my son pulled a bug out of his hair on the morning of Good Friday. I similarly muttered the F-word, and went out and got the chemicals. We also took him to get a buzz cut that very same day. Knock on wood, we got it early, and it hasn't spread to any one else…yet…

  4. XUP says:

    There is a product in the natural food stores you can get which is supposed to work well and is chemical free…not that you'll ever need it again…knock wood.

  5. Eileen says:

    I'm very put out by the fact that little B got those horrible things in her hair, mainly because it deprived me of seeing Tony, you, N and B this weekend. And on a long weekend too!

    Even thinking about lice makes my head itch.

  6. Anonymous says:

    My head is itching…I would of used the juice….

  7. Laura says:

    I'm itching.

    We've had lice…twice (it rhymes!) and it was nasty. That bbq comb gadget sounds interesting. I used the plain metal comb combined with Resultz. It worked well. I've been using Eco Kids Preventative shampoo once a week on the kids ever since and so far (knock on wood)no critters this year.
    🙂

  8. Sid. says:

    I feel I should be bookmarking this post for future reference once my kid lands in school. My mom was always checking us for nits but we managed to avoid it somehow (and I had knee-length hair for years!). I admire your patience, I'm the kind of parent that would be happier just giving everyone a buzz cut and starting fresh 🙂

  9. Ahh…an inevitable rite of passage that hasn't struck us yet. (We were invaded by ants yesterday, though, if that makes you feel any better.) 🙂

    Very glad that you were able to rid yourself of the critters quickly and relatively painlessly!

  10. Sasha says:

    Hm. May have to go get some of that Eco-Kids stuff Laura mentioned, my scalp is crawling at the thought. If we ever had them as kids, though, I don't remember it.

    And it is great to be able to talk about this stuff openly – but then, it probably helps that you can't get lice via Twitter ;).

    Fingers crossed they're gone for good!

  11. Oh, me oh my! I am so glad to hear you got rid of them quickly without too much pain. I've heard from another friend that it took AGES for her to get them out of her house … constant hot washing of everything. I'd never heard of this zappy comb thing either, but if it does hit our house, I'll be in trouble because DDs hair is so thick I'll never get a comb through it!

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