Lousebuster: Killing Head Lice Without Chemicals

What are head lice?

The head louse is a parasitic insect that is normally found on a person’s head — possibly including the eyebrows or on the eyelashes. The little buggers feed on human blood and live very close to the scalp (where it is the warmest). The louse has three stages of growth leading up to adulthood and can reside on the human head for about 30 days or so, during which time they lay their eggs. Sadly, this means that as soon as you think you have sent all those nasty critters to their tiny graves, another group takes their place. (Just writing about this already has my head itching.) This nasty little vermin quickly spreads from child to child as they share hairbrushes, play dress up, construction men with helmets, trade hats, etc.

There are few things in life that can place a pit in a parent’s stomach faster than a notice from school that their child has contracted head lice. First of all, we all know that the perception of the general population is that your child wouldn’t have gotten it in the first place if they had been kept clean. Second is your fear that your child will be ostracized — at least for a while since other parents will have warned their own children to be careful around your child so that they won’t catch the creepy crawlies. Yes, you understand the parents’ caution, but still are afraid of the psychological effects of this kind of treatment by their peers. Third, you know how much work it is going to be to not only delouse your child, but everything in your house, and fourth, you also know that the rest of your family could be infected if you don’t do everything just so.

How do I know these things? Well, my knowledge of these critters started back in the day when a school friend caught them from a cousin. Her family was meticulously clean and she had the most beautiful long dark hair — that is, until she was infected and the only treatment involved shaving her head and scrubbing her scalp with alcohol. She was so embarrassed and it left long-lasting emotional scars due to the treatment she received at the hands of her supposed schools chums and the fact that our teacher even caught the critters.

My next experience with the critters occurred when my children were in middle school and riding the school bus. By this time, treatments had advanced to the point where a pesticide was applied to the child’s scalp and hours were spent combing through their hair with a pick comb. What a pain it was. After that, my girls never went to school without having their hair French braided or in a ponytail.

Luckily for those of you who may be facing an outbreak in 2012, there is a new breakthrough out there that helps you avoid the nightmare of lice and the fear of their taking over your life. This new treatment is a gadget of sorts that works without the aid of poisonous chemicals or other medications. This newest gadget for the treatment of lice is called the Lousebuster.

What is a Lousebuster?

Basically, a Lousebuster is a device that does two things:

  • Provides an even amount of heated air to the scalp.
  • Dries out the louses, and their eggs, causing them to die for easy removal.

In its brochure, the company that makes Lousebuster states that a normal 30-minute treatment is usually enough to kill about 99% of the adult lice as well as their eggs (called nits). The only drawback that I can see to the Lousebuster machine is that a trained technician is currently required to effectively rid the head of the pests.

However, don’t let that alone dissuade you from having a trained technician use the Lousebuster. It does have a distinct advantage in that it is portable for use at schools or businesses for treating the infected. For school children, this is a big plus in that it could easily prevent an epidemic from taking root. Treatments last for about 30 minutes, and depending on the number of people infected, can be completed in a day. The benefit of this type of treatment is that it eliminates the need to clean all bedding, towels, and clothing worn by the infected person.

There are currently 25 states that have technicians licensed to use the Lousebuster to treat those who become infected with this nasty pest.

Comments welcome.

Picture and references from Lousebuster

CC licensed Flickr photo at the top of the page shared by Bryan Calabro

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

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  • Xochimilco1994

    I think you should get all the facts before promoting a device like this. It may be a 30 minute treatment, but you still need to comb out any live lice and nits still left in the hair–and there will still be nits and lice. In the company-sponsored study on the lousebuster, there were no follow up checks done to see how effective it really was. Many have found the 99% kill rate grossly exaggerated and quite frankly, the lousebuster is only as good as the technician using it and their ability to do effective lice combing. Many companies who once used the lousebuster no longer use because of its ineffectiveness. There is no magical fix to head lice. Manual removal is still necessary regardless of which treatment you decide to use. The lousebuster does not eliminate the need to wash your bedding and clothing that you’ve worn in the last 24 hours.

    • hgjkjjjj

       looks like they did check their facts, and that they got it right!
      Here are a couple of their studies:

      http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/118/5/1962.full

      http://www.lousebuster.com/Images/Bush%20et%20al%20%20JME%202011.pdf

      And here is a great example of a successful treatment on their blog:
      http://www.howtokillheadlice.com/blog/2012/03/08/the-worst-infestation-and-favorite-lousebuster-treatment-ive-done-ever/

    • a2sarah

      It’s true, 99.2% is not 100%, but my company has found this to be the most successful treatment.  We couple the LouseBuster with a comb out using enzymes and finish off with a high % dimethicone.  Our treatment may be over kill, but when it comes to lice i believe in capital punishment.  Prior to the LB we required 2 follow-ups visits, because even 2 missed nits were 2 too many.  Now we can guarantee 100% eradication after one treatment.  I will not name my company because I do not wish this to seem like I’m trying to advertise.  I just want people to know that the LB is a real game changer when it comes to head lice treatment.  Having your lice infestation gone in a day is really what parents want.

      Also, I too disagree about the statement you do not need to change bedding etc.  Although head lice do not infest your environment like bed bugs or fleas, they can survive for 24-48 hours off a host.

      • 1trtmntLB

        I agree that the bedding does need to be changed due to the fact that lice can survive off the host for 24-48 hours. I have always volunteered in some way or another in my community. I would never bring a service to my community that I felt was not going to help families who find themselves with a head lice Infestation.  I am also a trained and certified LouseBuster service provider and have
        had nothing but 100% success rate with all my clients so far. We also finish off with a comb out using enzymes but only in a serious case. I have always provided 100% guarantee as well as a free follow check if they wish to have it.  I have treated families that have used local nitpickers who found that they had to call them back to their home 2-3 times and were still not able to take care of their lice issue.  I am a true believer in the ONE-TREATMENT-SOLUTION and would have stopped being a service provider if I ever found that it didn’t help the families in our community.

        • Aunty Em.

          I live in the uk and really want to get a louse buster. I have treated family and friends many times over the last 30 years and I love the idea of doing this as a business. The problem is I need a louse buster to get going. Please can any one tell me how and where to get one. Thank you.

  • Xochimilco1994

    I also wanted to add the that head lice are not found in the eyebrows and eyelashes. Those are generally pubic lice that are found in eyebrows and eyelashes and are often a sign of sexual abuse, especially when found on young children.

  • Martin Maksimovski

    Unfortunately 99% effectivness means nothing for headlice, if only 1 survives in several hours the “family” will be back :-)

  • http://yordiesands.blogspot.com/ Yordie Sands

    Now I know what a “nit” is. and i guess i know now what a “nit picker” is. hehe

    • http://www.caseyfrennier.com/ Casey Frennier

      Never made that connection. Nit Picker sounds a lot more derogatory than it used to now…

  • Markni7

    Completely covering one’s hair with Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip and leaving it on for 6-8 hours with a shower cap worked for my daughter.  This will save the girls hair.  For the boys, a close shave is the easiest and best I believe.

  • kevin sexton

     I see no reasonable reason why the “eliminates the need to clean all bedding, towels and clothing” claim would be made. the reason for cleaning is that there may be live lice on those items. If not cleaned, then after any treatment besides shaving, the live lice will transfer back to the head.

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