Wednesday, November 13, 2013

THE PRICE OF LICE: A Few Dollars Poorer but a Little Bit Wiser

I would not consider myself a scholar of lice but I am on my way. Since moving to Florida in 2002, my family has survived a handful of lice breakouts. I have had it 4 times, Dylan 3, and Sam says she’s had it “like 1,000 times.”  Each time, I have momentary panic followed by a call to action.

Today’s initial plan was to remove the lice at home by ourselves. I was going to try the olive oil suffocation method and Sam was going to be doused with RID. Dylan rejected the idea that she even had lice, but we learned otherwise later on.  Between CVS and Publix, I spent $50 on RID remedies, a pair of metal combs, extra lice shampoo, and a bottle of olive oil.

I started first, looking really cool, slick dripping hair covered up in a clear shower cap that sagged beneath the weight of the olive oil. The fact that I can work in this fashion (or un-fashion) is one of the benefits of working from home. Sam was gooped up with RID, and her dad was armed with lice combs, paper towels and a magnifier. He began to comb.
There was a bug here but hard to tell.
Babies and eggs outta there!
Twenty minutes into it, I heard, “I quit. She’s infested. We need to get someone in here.” That’s when I called Lousecalls. Within an hour, Debbie came to our rescue and spent much of the early evening with us. She was friendly, professional, and a totally empathetic mom. We even liked the scent of the Lousecalls potions. Sam kept saying, “Man, I want a perfume like that.” Five hundred smackers later, the Dagmi girls felt relief and Debbie was our new friend.
Not a good comb. No grooves.
This is a great comb. Traps those suckers.
Though not a lice expert, from our extensive experience, I do feel that I have lice-ense to pass on a little wisdom in the hope that you don't freak out when or if you go through it. Here you go:

1.       Two or 200? You’ve got a lice problem.
2.  Peppermint oil is a natural lice repellent. We now have a large bottle of peppermint hair spray ($25) that Sam will spray on before school.
3.  The best lice combs are the ones with grooved tines. That’s what snares the buggers and their eggs. 
4.     If you like it when people play with your hair, then you may find the hour removal fairly relaxing, almost spa-like.
5.  If you have thick long hair like us, expect to pay about $130-$150 per head. At least that’s the going rate in Florida. I’ve paid more before and I’ve also paid less.
6.       People who live in mansions get lice too.
7.    Re-treats are essential.  We are going to tackle this ourselves with our oil and foam products.
8.       Lice can survive 24-48 hours off the scalp but they are most effective during the first 8 hours off-scalp. If they miss a feeding or two, they get weak and tired.
9.    There are lice parties! Yes…when one or two girls get lice, some parents organize a lice party. (I want to go to one and write about it! That's how comfortable I am around lice!)
10.   It is hard to be the girl with lice. Sam did not want to tell her friends about it...again. But of course we did and when she was on the phone, I heard her say how sorry she was to one of her friend's moms, and that is the best one can do. We do not ask for lice nor do we want to pass it on. Not sure who started "it". Not good to blame, but really good to take responsibility when you do know and inform others.

Lice truly is not the worst thing in the world if you have time and/or money to deal with it.


Nancy said...

I have been there too and it is AWFUL. The only "buggy" thing that was more stressful was dealing with ticks on my dogs. Thank you for the great advice (and may you stay free of lice). <3

Jane Dagmi said...

Nancy -- i think ticks are much worse. Like I said, it really isn't the end of the world. For me, it just feels like that for the first 5 minutes. Ticks are dangerous and nearly indestructible. I still have gross memories of them at camp. Thanks for reading and writing something.

Moms Best Friend Lice Removal said...
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Moms Best Friend Lice Removal said...
Thanks for such a great article, we loved it! The lice ladies @ Mom's Best Friend Lice Removal

Rodriguez said...

This is really nice. Thanks for sharing this informative article.

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