Safely and Effectively Kill Head Lice with items from your Stockpile!
Oh Head Lice, just the words make my head itch and my skin crawl! What parent doesn’t dread the walk of shame into the pharmacy to get the treatment. Can we please just get this straight, if your child catches Head Lice, it does not mean they don’t have good hygiene or that you are a bad mom! In fact, it probably means just the opposite because lice can attach easier to clean hair and children catch it from other children. It probably means that your child is a friendly child with good hygiene habits. So no more shame mom! You have been doing a good job and you’ve got this challenge too!
The last time my family got the little creepy crawlies, it felt impossible to get rid of them! (Having 8 kids including 5 daughters with thick curly hair did not help!) I tried everything from natural remedies to prescription lice treatment. After a whole summer of trying in vain to solve our problem only to have it reappear a week later I finally found this trick. It is safe, it is effective, and it is frugal! And the best part is that it also makes an effective Lice Prevention!
Here’s how to get rid of those nasty bugs & itchy head:
- White Vinegar
- Listerine (Generic is just fine and Spearmint flavor is best because bugs hate the smell)
- lice comb
- spray bottle
- shower cap
- Clarifying Shampoo
- Spearmint Essential Oil
Directions For Treating Your Child’s Head:
- Douse your child’s hair in the Listerine until it is completely saturated and then put on the shower cap so that the cap forms a tight seal. Keep this on for at least an hour. I let my kids watch a movie with their caps on and then removed it when the movie was over. There were dead lice all over the inside of the bag! Yuck but YAY!
- Rinse your child’s head and then apply white vinegar to your child’s entire scalp. Put the shower cap back on and make sure the seal is tight. (You probably want to rinse the cap first to get the dead bugs off. Did I mention yuck?) Again let this stay for at least an hour.
- Use a “lice remover comb” to comb through the hair. If you don’t have a comb and don’t have time to order one, then use tweezers. Start at the top of the scalp & work your way down. Keep a towel handy, you’ll need it to wipe off the comb often. I go through all parts of the hair at least 3 times or until I can comb through without getting any bugs or eggs.
- Shampoo hair as normal, I like the clarifying shampoo because it helps to get everything off the hair but any shampoo will do.
- Add a 1 to 4 ratio of mouthwash to water to a spray bottle and spray your child’s hair every morning for 2 weeks. Use the lice comb to comb through your child’s hair every night for 2 weeks. This is the most important step because the bugs can come back if you don’t continue to treat for 2 weeks.
Treating Linens Exposed to Lice:
Bag all the bedding, dirty laundry, stuffed animals, and washable items that your child has come in contact with in the last 48 hours. Wash everything it hot water. Add a couple of drops of Spearmint Essential Oil to the water to prevent the bugs from returning. Things that can not be washed (like pillows and stuffed animals) leave in a tightly closed garbage bag for 1 week then put in dryer on hot for 50 minutes.
Treating Furniture Exposed to Lice:
Fill a spray bottle with watered down Listerine. Spray couches, mattresses, and even the seats in your car! This kills any live lice. Also spray down bed frames, bathrooms, and vacuum all the carpets.
Tips for Preventing Head Lice:
Here are some ideas to help prevent head lice as well as prevent a recurring episode of head lice.
- Add a little Spearmint Essential Oil to their shampoo.
- Put watered down Listerine in a spray bottle and lightly mist your child’s hair before they leave for school.
- Tell your child to keep jackets and coats inside of their backpacks rather than hang them on the hooks.
- Make sure jackets, coats, and hats, don’t end up on the classroom floor or outside on the playground.
- Don’t share hats or headbands, bows, hair accessories.
- If your child’s classroom has a bring your pillow (or stuffed animals) to school day, Spray the pillow or stuffed animal with the Listerine mix before they leave.
Getting rid of lice is a LOT of work, but it’s worth doing it right the first time. It’s always recommended to follow up with a second treatment 9 days later. The eggs can hatch during that time & one lice can lay up to 300 eggs in 6 days. So make sure you deal with it fully so you can get on with your life, bug free.
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