And On Third Thought...
The Five


And that's all I have to say about that

(Except OMFG.)

(And maybe SEND WINE.)

(And OLIVE OIL. And COMBS. And BLEACH. And perhaps an ATOMIC BOMB.)

(Because SERIOUSLY, he crawled in BED with me this morning and we were all cuddling and snuggling and talking about stuff and...why are you scratching your head so much? Lemme just peek under your hair for a second and HOLY GOD GET OFF MY PILLOW UNCLEAN UNCLEEEEEEAN!)

(Are you itching now too? Good. I pretty much came here just to make that happen.)



Been there. Combed that shit out of three heads more than once! Bah, lice!


Yikes! Which one is it? Probably need to check everyone. It could be worse; could be bedbugs! Good luck.


My condolences.

Mad Merlot Mama

Well now my head is itching, yes. Damn it.


Whilst obviously you have my sincerest condolences, I have to say that I can't fully sympathise. You have BOYS. With SHORT HAIR. My two GIRLS (with LONG, FINE, EASILY KNOTTED hair) had lice in 2010 and I spent over $300 on "special shampoos" (one bottle each! each treatment twice, each!) and spent HOURS combing hair only for the original guilty parties to repeatedly NOT TREAT their own kids. It took me 8 MONTHS to get rid of the lice completely (the girls would be free for two, three weeks then BAM! More lice). I thought I was going insane...
So yeah. It's nasty, but be thankful you don't have girls with long hair!



And yes, I am itching and NOT looking forward to that day. Newborns rule.


We had it here for the first time this school year. It's bad, but it's not as bad as I feared it would be. Two treatments with thorough comb-outs and lots of laundry later, we're over it. You will be too.


Maybe you should bury a saint in your yard or something. You seem to be getting more than your fair share of upsetting stuff lately. My condolences!


Ho boy. Well, my sister went through this last year and let me just give you the advice that finally help her get rid of your pediatrician and get the prescribed shit ASAP. Don't fuss with the over the counter shit, just call the doc and get it.
And good luck!


OMG, just dealt with this a month or so ago. My advice (completely unsolicited, but desperate times call for desperate measures: I swear by the Ladibugs line of products:

The product line is local to the Twin Cities are, and is only sold in salons here, but if they don't ship their products, and you'd like me to send you some, email me and let me know and I'll mail them to you. Because I dont' wish lice on ANYBODY.

Rita Arens

Just went through it. Email me if you want what works. :) Sorry, lady.


We lived through this back in March. I bagged all my daughter's stuffed animals for 2 weeks, washed everything in the hottest water possible and sprayed her bed with the (OMG) chemicalicious spray. I actually found 3 dead lice in her bed! I only found 3 lice on her head, but i checked for nits for months.

Be sure to wash his coat, and his backpack if you can, and vacuum the shit out of your car headrests. I got the metal nit comb off amazon. The stuff that comes with the rid shampoo is not fine enough. Also, from now on, everyone has their own hairbrushes forever and ever amen.

My daughter went to a girl scouts "fun nite" and came home wearing another girl's (identical purple children's place) coat. We think that's how she got it. She got a patch that night, and every time I look at it, I think of it as "Lice Nite 2011"


I am an unfortunate expert in LICE! and can tell you that olive oil does not work, nor does mayonnaise. You need tea tree oil; you can get it in shampoo and conditioner, and my girls use it all the time as a preventative measure. Also, lice don't like hair products like gel and mousse, so use them liberally.

Also, gather up every stuffed toy, every pillow, EVERYTHING(yes, THAT TOO) and wash them as hot as possible, and then spray them with Rid furniture spray, and then bag them up and leave it alone for no less than a month. It sounds excessive, and you'll read that they can't live without a host for blah blah length of time, but I am telling you THEY CAN LIVE LONGER THAN THAT.

Ooooh, this sucks. So sorry.


OMG, NOOOOOOOOO!!!! I have fought those buggers for YEARS and finally seem to have gotten rid of them for good. Every new school year would bring a NEW infestation! Serious PTSD for me....

Hillary M

I started itching the minute I read the title. THE WORST!!!! Good luck and keep that wine glass full!


Do they not do lice checks in school anymore?? I remember sitting through what may have been monthly checks in elementary school in the 80s.


My daughter was one when she got lice from the older kids at the sitter. I KNOW!!! The only thing that seemed to work was hot apple cider vinegar.

Mama B

OMG your reminding me of last summer!!! Two of my kids got lice. I refused to belive it although my mother said "He has lice! there is no way anyone itches that much without having lice" to which I replied "It's hot outside and he needs a haircuts. It's just sweat". Anyway, they had lice. I cried, I hid from my sisters and mother, I finally broke down and told them the horrible truth because we were all traveling together and they had to check that they didn't get it too. Their reaction? they burst out laughing at me. ANyway, we were in NY and I found these people online who come to the house and delice the whole family!!! HEAVEN!!! In London they have the nitbusters who do it with a machine!! They were low tech in NY and took 6 hours but who cares! We were lice free by the end of it. Oh the horror of it all!!


Call a professional lice nit-picking service. It's not worth the nightmare of trying to do it yourself. They are worth the money. Most don't use the chemicals, and will do a much better job. The shampoos don't work anymore.

Cath @ 7 Million Wonders

Oh dear God. ACK!


Welcome to the club.


I chopped 8 inches off my daughter's hair last month just cuz it took so long to comb the damn lice out. 10 HOURS over 2 days to deal with the mess and have still been dealing with a few recurrences. Lice sucks


I can not imagine your laundry right now. Along with, you know, a newish baby, 2 kids, a husband, and your work. Wow! You poor, poor thing!

aimee @ smilingmama

Two words: Lice Happens. Seriously they are worth it.

(Totally don't work for them or anything but I did have them come when my 4yo son got lice when my youngest was only a few weeks old. They saved my sanity.

Lori McBride

We use a natural product called "Fairy Tales" that (knock on wood) has worked for us so far. Check it out at

Good luck!!! It would freak me out too!!!! :0(


As an old and gristley mother whose youngest daughter had hair that the lice simply adored, clean, soft, fine and shiny, I will tell you that the first time I went insane with it. Treated her hair, washed every cloth thing in the house with hot hot water, dried for 55 minutes at 550 degrees, vacuumed all the things, bagged up all the stuffed animals to suffocate the things....

by about 5th grade, my regime was a little more relaxed, and I even considered making it my business for first myself the lice lady or something and guess what, someone did it! (and charges 125 to do the treatment...hmm, i might still look into that!)

There toward the end, I invested in a RobiComb. you can google it. then order it. then thank me later.

Suzy Q



Dear. God. My kid just started preschool, and there have been lice outbreaks already. I had a week of nightmares after just the first letter, and (crosses fingers, sacrifices small animal) we haven't gotten lice. I am generally all free range and organic and shit, especially where mah preshus child is concerned, but I would draw a line in the sand with these lice motherfuckers and go nuclear on their vile little asses. Prescription, chemicalicious, napalm. You know.


Hi - so I live in a country where lice is so common they don't send kids home from school with it (Middle-East). They just get it and share it, get rid of it and get it again. It's just part of life - though totally disgusting, especially when you see A BUG CRAWLING IN YOUR 2 YEAR OLD'S HAIR.
So what I've learned:
1) Buy a specialized lice comb - they're awesome.
2) After you've gotten rid of the lice (chemical or natural), buy rosemary oil, and dab a few drops at the temple and hairline, and apparently that keeps the lice away.
(Where I live there's a HUGE market for lice preventing shampoos and conditioners and detanglers, but friends have told me that plain old rosemary oil does the trick).
Also - plop them in front of a highly coveted DVD to do the combing. And pour yourself a glass of wine.


Been there, done that. And I have girls with long hair. My boys have never had lice, sometimes I think it would be easier if they had lice, I could just buzz their hair. Try Fairy Tales. They have a lice killer and a lice preventative that I swear by. I put it in my kids hair every day. Good luck, just remember this too shall pass.


My daughter got it last year during softball season from the kids sharing batting helmets. Go to Walgreen's and get Licefreee (yes, extra 'e') spray. It's homeopathic and it works! It also kills the eggs, which a lot of the shampoos don't. I did 2 treatments, but the 2nd one wasn't necessary. It was just to make me feel better.


Been there, done that, multiple times. Bag up the stuffed animals or other things that can't be washed and put them away for a month.

P.S. Thanks, now my head itches!!


That's it. No more contact with other children (aka carrier monkeys) unless the child is wearing one of those Michael Phelps swim caps.

But I Do Have a Law Degree

Oh jeez. This is my nightmare. There was an outbreak at my son's school last year, and thank God and the heavens above and anyone else to pray to, we were spared.

But I have considered the fact that if we ever get this in our house, I am shaving both of my sons' heads. A perk of having boys, I suppose.

Hope it clears up soon!


My daughter had hair down to her butt...and blonde hair is the worst. Besides using what the school tells you too. My word of advice is to to put crisco on your head while you go after those disgusting things. Also, go to the dollar store and buy a ton of shower caps to keep it from dripping all over you...I'm sorry, I understand....pack all the stuffed animals away too. Running now to get my grandson some fairy tales, they sell it at amazon to keep them away

margie s

He's a boy. Cut his hair. He doesn't even have to know why. Your life will be easier as you maneuver this.


Oh, that sucks. That sucks badly. I'm not even reading the other comments, because ITCH. I have one piece of advice - you can spend your fortune on products both natural and poisonous. You can scrub and vaccuum and bleach and purge and seal til you are blue in the face. The one and only thing that will stop the cycle is crazy monkey-mama grooming. You need to touch every strand of hair. You need to remove every nit. It will take about 2 hours a pop, and you need to do it several times. I'm a preschool director, and I've dealt with lice at home. I have personally tried every method and product ever invented. Email me if you want volumes of information.

Sorry for your pain. Itch.


See if you have a lice removal specialist in your area. We have one locally, and they are non-toxic and FAST. Worth every penny. Good luck!


Oh, noooooooo!! Lice suck balls. I had them as a kid at the same time I had chicken pox. That also sucked balls.


Dear God that sucks. I just know someday one of my little people will bring home Satan's insect and I'm going to lose my shit. Like you, I will employ wine. Also, any chance you have the Hair Fairies nearby? You might want to shell out the coin to get yourself combed just to be safe. Ew. Sorry. Hugs, but while wearing a haz-mat suit to be safe.


I know the URL is questionable looking, but I found this natural treatment last year and it definitely works! My daughter has had it a few times (like Kirsty, thanks to the original carrier NOT getting rid of it!) Anyway, the olive oil and essential oils formula is wonderful and smells divine! I highly recommend it. (We even use a preventative mixture that we spray on her hair when we know she'll be in close contact with the other child, just in case.)


One Word: Ulesfia. It's a prescription that is non-toxic to kids but deadly to lice. My girls had lice a whole summer two years ago. Finally got rid of them with this shampoo.


Nitty Gritty combs are brilliant for delousing. Sorry to say but now that you have a child in school, If I was you I would check for lice as often as possible all the way up to the end of Grade 3. All it takes is one parent who (doesn't give a shite) doesn't check for lice and isn't kind enough to delouse their children and your kids will be reinfected time and time again.


Sorry. Been there, done that, had a day care provider proclaim my kids the cause of it when everything in my house had been through the dryer sanitize cycle twice and all the unused linens still in bags in my garage to be sure.

Ends up it was the momma of the 3 year old who didn't want to cut her preshus baby girl's hair OR put her through picking it for hours. Meanwhile, I shaved my boys hair when the second round happened...

It sucks. We had a scare last month when younger son's best friend's family had a case of it. Found ONE bug on my 12 year old, put him through three nights of combing (just in case), bought the natural remedies from Walgreens and now, we use the tea tree oil shampoo once a week.

For once, I read about someone else's lice and did NOT itch, because I know we're in the clear right now.

Agree with the other posters-with boys, you can cut their hair short and make one part of the situation easier.


Ugh. I feel your pain. I was a newly single mom of four long-haired girls when we all got it. . . a week before Christmas. The chemicals didn't work, and I regret even trying them. I don't care how safe they claim to be, pesticides on a child's head cannot be a good idea. The thing that worked for us was sleeping in olive oil with tea tree oil in it (I think we did it every other night for a week) and long, tedious nit-picking sessions. A friend suggested just cutting off the nit-bearing hair instead of trying to comb a nit all the way out. That might help if your kids are anti-comb.


OMFG you have my sincerest sympathy. My guys had it a year ago, and I'm still crazy paranoid about it now. My daughter is having her first slumber party this weekend, and all I can think of is OMGWE'REGOINGTOGETLICE.

I know you'll get 147 different "this is the only thing that works" comments, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents:

Crisco. Saran Wrap. Shower Cap. Leave on 6 or so hours (best to do it overnight). Lice comb. Wash out with dish soap (yes, awful). Repeat every few days for 2 weeks. The best way to get rid of the suckers is to suffocate them and their creepy nits. The end.

In the meantime, POOR YOU.


totally itching now!!!!!!


This is one of the good things about being an empty nester. Good luck and sorry you're going through this. It sucks.


You poor thing but like the other's have said you have boys. My daughter got it two years ago and it took months to get rid of it. Her, myself and my youngest son all ended up with it. We did everything we were told, laundry, bag stuffed animals, etc. We used the combs, the shampoos. I even purchased an electric zapper comb that would fry the little buggers. What finally worked for us. My daughter and I both with longish hair, used a permanent hair dye then put mayo on our hair over night. We used shower caps to keep the guck off of our pillows. Finally, when we thought we were all through my son ended up infested for like the 3rd or 4th time. I told him we could buzz his head or he would have to do the chemicals and sitting through the nit picking... He settled for the buzz. I then went ahead and washed his hair once more with the chemicals and lo and behold, they were all gone. My husband (lucky bugger) never got the nasty little critters in his hair. I hope you are one of the lucky families that can get through this quickly. That was the first and hopefully last time I ever get the nasty lil critters on my head.


Ulesfia, along with compulsive nit-picking, is the only thing worth doing. I tried the OTC shampoos (yay for ineffective pesticides on my kids, I guess) and I tried the 'natural remedies' (some of which, including tea tree oil, are more toxic than the OTC stuff). Ulesfia, while still not a chemical I would go out of my way to put on skin under normal circumstances, is AMAZING! It actually works, which is a rarity, it doesn't burn or create skin eruptions, it's slightly less poisonous than most of the other stuff, and it cuts your panic by 83%. All you have to do is nit-pick, and even if you don't everything dies with the required second treatment. Emergency over.


Here in Florida it happens all the time. Is it any consolation to know that lice prefer clean beautiful heads? I didn't think so. My daughter used to be the "Lice Lady" at her kids' school, she had to go in regularly and check the kids in each classroom.

It's not hard to get rid of them, it's just a pain in the ass to wash everything in the house that they may have infested. Little fuckers.


Oh god. I live in fear of that moment. Mine are in grade 1 and 2 now and luckily we have avoided it so far. Even though my daughter sat next to a girl whose brother had 'it'. *shudder*


We (read: my daughter and I, both with long hair) had it last spring. We went to a lice-removal salon the same day, and we were clean four hours and the cost of a ticket to Hawaii later. The thing is, it was worth the money to be done with it in a day (we had to do daily checks for eight days, but the beauties were indeed gone). And the woman there let me know that I didn't need to go insane with the washing and stuff. Lice begin to die when they have been off a host for one to two days. So I moved all the stuffies and things that could not be easily washed into an unused room for a week, vacuumed the rugs, and washed and dried bedding on high heat. Done in about three hours. It sucks, but you can get throuh it.


Oh, boy, now you can get your REAL mommy badge. Good luck my friend. :)


Fairy Tales hair spray, I agree, every morning. Also sold at Ulta, who sends out several coupons. Until then, I am sending you virtual wine, and hiring a company sounds like a good move.


We had horrid lice for months in 2009. the thing that finally got rid of it was the robi comb (google it), aka lice zapper.

not supergirl

You've obviously got lots of recommendations, so feel free to just delete mine, but really, aside from the timesuck factor of all the combing, lice aren't so bad. My two girls had it, and the older girl had long, thick hair. (Older = 6 years old at the time) We popped in some Muppet Show DVDs and I proceeded to freak out: washing, combing, vacuuming... all of it. And then I asked science, and science told me that evidence only really supports the combing as effective. Honestly, as lovely as your boys' hair is, I'd shave it, if they would allow it. Could be difficult when dealing with sensory issues, but maybe the combing would be, too? Hang in there. It'll be OK.


Duuuude. I work at a children's shelter. I have had more lice experiences than I care to remember. We recently stopped using the pesticide shampoos because first, ew scary and second, they don't really work. But what DOES work: Mix some peppermint essential oil into conditioner put in on his head, saturate it, let it sit with a shower cap until it starts to get uncomfortable then comb and rinse. It will rinse out bugs and nits with the water. everyone else has said, pick those bitches. With your fingers, not a comb. Then repeat the peppermint oil every few days until you stop finding nits.
Good luck!


Ugh. That sucks.


My deepest sympathies. We got the dreaded email from school a few times so far this year, but so far have managed not to get it. My daughter has waist length hair, so I would have seriously considered sending her to school in a haz mat suit, but at the last minute decided it might be an impairment to the learning process.

Google cetaphil treatment for lice. I'm a nurse practitioner it's very effective and hippie safe, and you don't even have to comb.


Tea tree oil, garlic oil, rosemary oil. Mix it together, and coat the hair. Tie a plastic bag on his head, very tightly. Leave on overnight. The nits will literally be on the bag in the morning. Comb, comb, comb, be sure to get all those nits!!!

Denice Johnson

has anyone suggested tea tree oil? lice do NOT like tea tree oil. put a few drops in their shampoo bottle. it will help in the getting rid process and will keep them from coming back. i swear this works - so for anyone reading, even if your kids do not have lice and never have, put tea tree oil in their shampoo to keep it that way! lice will always choose a head without tea tree oil over one with :)

mrs. q.



I got lice when I was 15. I had longggg hair, down to my waist. I found out because one bug got trapped under my nail after I scratched my head, after many days of head scratching frenzy... I was on the school bus(!!!!!) riding home (thankfully!). My mom took the bug to the pharmacy in a pill bottle and begged the pharmacist to tell her it wasn't what she thought it was, but eh! She had to call my school and my main teacher gave everyone a lice-warning paper. When my friend saw that, she said REALY loudly: "hey! Look Andrea! Somebody else has lice!" GAH! Shut up!

good luck

My friend's daughter had lice that would not go away, until she did this: Use mouthwash on the hair, and follow with vinegar rinse. (This is great for shiny hair for moms, too!) After everyone has had this treatment, add a little mousse to hair when styling- bugs won't like it. Also, wash kids hair with coconut shampoo. The store brand will do. Lice don't like the coconut oils. Good Luck!!

Kari Weber

I just did treatment two, tonight. Discovered them last Friday night in the bath. My husband immediately shaved his OWN head even though he was fine. So far the little one and my husband and I are clean... But I totally was squeebed out by it!


I used over the counter stuff on my kids once and one of those damns things crawled across his head right after, like it owned my son. YUCK!
Get the prescription. Then wash everything!


OH yeah, MAYO and MERLOT!!! ASAP AMY!!!!!!! Really, fuck the doctors and the pharma Melissa...MAYO!!!!!!!!!~~~any question you just go to and get the lowdown! :)


I'm assuming you are talking about one of your kids and not your husband! :-)


am bookmarking this post for future what if purposes. but i do the whole few drops of tea tree oil per bottle of shampoo thing and so far so good. i had it once as a kid and once as an adult when i worked with kids with lice and that was nightmare enough.


Hello! I have the honor to your blog to see you write a good article, I hope to see my welcome your patronage oh!

Sandra Timmerman

well that means a busy busy weekend... Take care!
My daughter "caught" them during summer holidays and at first we couldn't see a thing. Went to the gp for the rash duh, no mam your daughter has creepy crawlies in her hair..
Combing and combing and combing and well they were gone in 1.5. week. But we are still combing regularly now.


Ahh, the memories. The memories.

There are lots of pieces of advice above for you to research, so I'll say something different.

I am only slightly touch-sensitive (nothing at all compared to Noah) and my mom's picking drove me %(@#* nuts! I was toxic for the next two years -- every time she even looked in my direction I started screaming, covered my head with my hands, and ran.

My primary piece of advice is to think of what techniques will drive Noah bonkers and avoid them at all costs!


Tea Tree oil. Seriously. GET IT. Mix it in with shampoo. do it nowwwwww amy.


uh oh!! well, i think everyone experiences lice once in life no? or twice? good luck with this! you'll survive and it will make you closer to your family. believe it or not one big mirror of life was getting lice from church camp and spreading it to my entire family. i can still remember washing EVERYTHING from the house and being at the laundry mat for about 20 hours with my mom!!!! Thankfully the lice goes away and those shared moments will stay in the heart. good luck xoxo kt


Getting rid of the lice is the easy part. The eggs-not so much. They WILL hatch if you don't get every. single. one. And then you'll be treating lice all over again in 3 wks. If you can shave the boys' heads, it will prevent eggs from hatching. BTW, they stay around the scalp and around the ears, not where the lice are.
(Just a little experience from a mom of 3 kids, 2 of whom are girls). Good luck! And lots of wine!

Lisa V

Gag. No matter what you use to get rid of them, make sure you are vigilant about checking heads for two weeks.

Also, tip from mom of 20 year old. Besides never sharing hats, check a kid before he spends the night at your house or ask if there have been any recent outbreaks before your kid spends the night somewhere else. Sleepovers are lice parties.



Lice is equal opportunity, man. I grew up in public housing and was the only super "poor" kid at my daycare. Three different times there was an outbreak of lice, and I never got it - even though my mom said another mother implied the "destitute child" must have brought them in.


A close friend's son brought them home from kindergarten at the end of the school year last year. Oh my, what a nightmare! I'm sorry, Amy. My friend experienced the same thing Barb did, though--saw one walk across her child's head IMMEDIATELY after treatment. I know she bought OTC stuff and left it on waaaaaay longer than the label said. I guess that's scary, but seems like that's what it would take for it to be even remotely effective since she saw the louse crawling after one of those long treatments. She was really diligent about picking the hair, and told me DEFINTELY you need to use fingernails and the comb just doesn't cut it.

My kids are homeschooled now, but when they were in school (in MD), I only found out about outbreaks from other moms. We never ONCE got a letter or a warning from the school. Also, my kids' school never checked the kids. Grrrrr.


I'm itching all over now...thanks! (and good luck!!!!!!!!)


As a teacher with very thick, very curly, long hair, THIS IS MY WORST NIGHTMARE!!!!!


Use the Nitpickers mint spritz every day on the kids' hair - it's organic- after you've combed it out with one of those metal lice combs - I think the one called the "terminator" is the best one. I went to the nitpickers service as my daughter has hair down to her butt and a sensitive scalp. We all got it within a few weeks, so comb your own hair out, too. Don't use RID, but if you already did, don't use it anymore. It is associated with Lupus. I am sorry if I already scared you. Just realize, Lice CANNOT JUMP and CANNOT live long off of your head, being their food supply. ew, I know.


I am totally itching and twitching right now. THANKS A LOT.


In phoenix we have "The Lice Lady" - expensive, and yet totally worth it. She spends the first several hours with you looking for the damn things and teaching you how to look for the damn things, helping bag things, etc. Thankfully, I haven't had to use her, but I've had friends who have and are the most satisfied customers. if you have a Lice Lady there, find her fast!!!!

janna reeves

because ew. as a former kindergarten teacher? pretty much my WORST NIGHTMARE.



BUT! Best of luck!!!!!!!!!!!


Ashley Fitting

Holy fucking god. I'm kind of twitchy just thinking about it. Grooooooss.


just went through that...the only thing that worked for us was liceMD. helps you ge them out.

oy, the laundry that goes along with all that. as if i didn't do enough laundry already.


Oh, yes, been there. Writers above are correct. Tried everything, Tree tea oil is the only thing that works. Make sure you comb through hair nightly and pick out any new nits. Forget mayo or olive oil. don't work.


Call Lice Happens - they have a MD office and will come to your home. So, so, so worth it. They'll inspect all heads, pick out nits, give you a very fine-toothed comb (much more effective than what comes with OTC product), and teach you how to do follow-up inspections. They'll give you a treatment shampoo to use for a week after (it smells pretty good, too).

We used OTC first (Rid, I think) b/c I didn't want to only depend on their product, but people usually do just use theirs.

Inspect heads nightly after wetting them down and conditioning - makes it much easier to see anything.

Good luck to you. If Noah will freak more about the inspections than about a buzz cut, go with the cut (then you only have to inspect around ears and temples and base of neck, I think, and inspections obviously will be tremendously quicker and less invasive).


Ugh. I had it once as a child, and got it again as a grown-ass woman in her mid-twenties just this summer. How I got it is still a mystery-- I've no kids, I'm not a teacher, etc., yet I still caught it. What really sucked was that my husband was away training for a deployment, and I live 2,000 miles from anyone I wouldn't be embarrassed to ask to help comb them out. So I had to treat my hair by myself. Did I mention my hair falls down to the middle of my back. BALLS.

I eventually had luck with OTC, but you HAVE to follow the directions exactly. Don't leave the shampoo on longer than it says, make sure you read the label to see if you do or do not need to wash his hair beforehand, all that jazz. I battled it for six weeks because I couldn't manage to properly comb my own hair, and I bounced between Rid and Nix. What finally worked was the full Rid kit: shampoo, fancy metal comb, combing gel, and linen spray. I used the spray on my car, curtains, rugs, even my mattress-- which totally skeeved me out, but id take the risk of the chemicals over having bugs in my hair any day! Vacuum every day, do laundry often (I washed mine with Borax), and comb every single day for two weeks. Sorry you are dealing with it! Lice are miserable!!!

mark @ yelling near you

Thanks for making my scalp itch. I propose we have a 5K in support of finding a cure for Lice. I'm open to naming suggestions.

Becca Crawford

Okay, ick. If a child within ten miles of me has lice or pinkeye, I will get it. In fact, those nasty little buggers are probably crawling through the internet and out of my screen onto my head now, THANKS!


Ugh, reminders of my nervous breakdown in 2007. Kids got lice, my kitchen ceiling above the washer began leaking and had to be torn down, blocking access to the washer, I got a kidney infection, and worst of all, my son thought he was being helpful, and took alllll those garbage bags in the family room out to the trash for me. And I didn't discover the bags were gone til after the garbage truck came and hauled away every one of my son's lovies. Worst day ever in his young life. RIP Brown Puppy and Baby Bill. Toy Story 3 was pretty traumatic for us later. Good luck, and hopefully no one will be taking out your bagged up stuff!


Total Lice Care (TLC)- they sell it at apothecaries and phancy pharmacies. It gets rid of those little buggers and doesn't have all the scary chemicals.


Jacquie is right. The ONLY thing, and I do mean ONLY is to remove every single bug and every single nit. With boys, it's easier, since they generally have shorter hair. (Unlike my kid, who had butt length hair for several years, coupled with a very tender head, so each lice removal session was 90 minutes of screaming, getting up and running around the room, coaxing her back, lather, rince, repeat.)

Forget the chemicals, forget all the bagging up and vacuuming and all that other stuff. We've had it 12 times between my two kids, and I got so good at it that people at our school begged me to start a business, so now I go and teach the other parents.

Get some white conditioner, a metal toothed lice comb (at least 2 inch tines), some white paper towels, a DVD, and a stool, and park him in front of you while you put conditioner in his hair and systematically comb every single hair on his head several times, wiping the comb on the paper towel after each swipe. Start at the nape, and go in 1 cm wide sections up the back and around the sides. Pay special attention to the nape, over the ears, and the crown. Keep combing until you don't get any more. Then do the same thing for three more days, and then again every three days for two weeks.

The chemicals don't work. They only kill 1/3-1/2 of the bugs, and you still have to comb just as much. So skip the chemicals and just use conditioner. Also, mint is better at repelling them than tea tree oil.

Lice have a two-week lifecycle. You have to get all the bugs that are mature enough to lay eggs, and then get all the eggs before they hatch in the first 2-3 combings. Then you're just doing cleanup of the bugs that had hatched but are too small to get with the comb until they grow enough, which is 3-4 days.

Change pillowcases every day, and don't re-use towels or clothing that touched his head until it's been washed. Lice can't live more than bout 24-36 hours farther away than 1/4" from the scalp, so all this bagging up the toys for a month is completely unnecessary, and if your kid is like mine (and if it's Noah, he is), messing with the order of toys in the bed is a big problem. Just toss them in the wash if they're washable, or if not, toss them in teh dryer for 30 mins on hot. If not, rotate them out, leaving two days in between him having them, and vacuum them.

tl;dr Comb, comb, comb. No chemicals. Change pillowcase, jacket and towels daily. Relax. Comb some more.

Also check out this site:


i have been taking the preventive approach since my daughter strted nursery school. There is a product line the sell in the UK that has treatments and preventatives.

Plano Mom

No big. At least with boys you can shave their heads.

BTW, no, you do NOT have bugs. Keep saying that for the next oh, six months or so.

Plano Mom

Oh, and Erin is right - it takes a boatload of time, but the metal comb method is the best.

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