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.
Picture and references from Lousebuster
CC licensed Flickr photo at the top of the page shared by Bryan Calabro