Home pests and parasites can be various, and these parasites are not only found around the house or clinging on pets’ body. In fact, there are tiny parasites which prefer humans’ body, especially the blood. Head lice are one of those. Adult head lice are referred as a louse which commonly lays 3 to 8 nits (louse eggs) per day. Although louse does not carry any diseases to be passed to humans, its infestation can be disturbing, especially when coming into people judgment and humiliation.
How to spot head lice infestation
Head lice are tiny with the size of sesame seeds. This makes the parasite hard to spot. The nits are not easy to notice as well, as they are glued to the hair near the scalp. Lice infestation does not necessarily cause severe itching, and this is another reason why people do not realize its existence on their head. However, when lice move, people with infested scalp might feel this movement, and this usually becomes an initial sign to follow up. Spotting head lice infestation can be done by a couple of ways.
- Checking the area around the scalp, such as behind the ears, under the fringe, around the crown of the head. Head lice prefer to stay at those sites so that checking those areas might help you finding the adult louse as well as the white-colored nits.
- Combing the hair. If you expect to find the lice which cause itchiness to your scalp, you might want to wash your hair thoroughly and rinse. When your hair is still wet, try to comb and flip the hair parts into the opposite direction. If you see the whitish seed-like things near the scalp, you are possibly infesting head louse nits.
How to kill lice
Once head lice infestation is spotted on your head, you can start doing things which can be helpful in getting rid of these lice. There are in fact various ways of killing head lice. The ancient way is to get the lice and its nits off the hair and scalp then crush it with fingernails. However, this method is proven ineffective and in fact, may spread any left nits which are still clinging to the louse’s body. If you choose to seek for these lice and take it off the head one by one, soaking the detached lice and nits might be more effective and practical. This ensures the lice and nits are killed with less risk of spreading out the clinging eggs. Killing the louse and its nits might be a fast method. However, lice tend to re-occur and multiply quickly, so that further treatment is still required.
How to get rid of lice
The main problem which comes with head lice infestation is an embarrassment, especially when this happens to young children—which in fact is indeed more prone to head lice. Although requiring direct head-to-head contact between children, transferring head lice from one child to another is highly possible. Hence, parents are seeking some fast ways of getting rid of this head and scalp problem. There are some methods and products which can be used for treating head lice and its nits, such as:
- Combing hair with a metal-toothed comb. This is a frequently-used method for getting rid of head lice. A comb with fine metal teeth can be effectively used in removing the adult louse and its nits. To get rid of head lice using a metal comb, you need to wash the hair using either medicated or regular shampoo. After you rinse it off, start to comb the hair while it is still wet.
- Suffocating the lice might also be an effective way of getting rid of the critters. To perform this, a chemical which can suffocate, poison, or dry up the lice is required. There are some widely-marketed products you can choose for getting rid of head lice.
- In certain countries, nitpickers can be employed to attempt head lice removal on children’s head. This is considered effective since picked nits can disrupt the lice life cycle, which can be beneficial for thorough elimination. This method of getting rid of head lice is widely preferred, as this prevent parents from dousing children’s scalp with chemical-based pesticides, which if applied in longer period might be harmful to their health.
Head lice life cycle repeats within days. Hence, eliminating head lice might not be easy. However, some home remedies are believed to provide faster ways of killing and thus, getting rid of the lice from the head. Various products are used to perform the methods, and some of those are more affordable than seeing a pediatrician or a professional nitpicker. Although being able to make your children’s health lice-free, the benefit of employing a nitpicker to do the job comes with a cost. Commonly, professional nitpickers charge $75 for an initial treatment per person. This becomes reasonable, thus that home remedies and less expensive ingredients for head lice removal are still preferred. Apart from being lower in cost, those ingredients are also more natural and can be easily found even in the kitchen cabinets.
Home remedies to get rid of head lice fast
We might have a thought that professional nitpicking service is the most effective method of removing head lice thoroughly and completely. Many nitpicking services even guarantee clean removal with less possibility of re-infestation. However, with patience and commitment—combined with lower-cost home remedies, DIY head lice removal is not impossible. Choose one of home remedies which suit your budget and preference among couples of below home remedies.
- Suffocating Ingredients
Why? Suffocating treatment prevents the lice from getting enough air and oxygen they need to live. Thick ingredients will cover their whole exoskeleton and egg layers so that the lice’s body pores are sealed.
What to use? There are various home and kitchen ingredients which can be used in lice suffocating treatments, such as petroleum jelly, mayonnaise, olive oil, coconut oil, or essential oil.
How to use? Apply your preferred suffocating formula to the hair and scalp, making sure all is covered. Cover the hair with a shower cap for approximately 5 to 8 hours, but avoid covering the infested person’s head while sleeping, since the cap might cause suffocation. Remove the cap after elapsed hours and wash the hair with shampoo to remove the suffocating element. Use the fine metal comb to remove the louse and nits from the hair. Make sure you comb carefully and remove the lice and its nits thoroughly. Re-wash the hair with shampoo to eliminate all remaining debris and suffocant.
- Lice-repellant ingredients
Why? Some ingredients which are not costly and can be easily found are effective lice repellents. Lice do not like the way it smells and thus, will leave the scalp to avoid the smell.
What to use? You can use garlic or lemon, or even combine both.
How to use? Crush garlic clove into a paste, then add several drops of lemon juice to it. Put the mixture on the scalp before going to bed and wash the hair in the morning. This remedy needs to be repeated for a week to get rid of the lice.
- Drying up ingredients
Why? Some ingredient contains a substance which might dry the lice up. This will kill the adult louse and therefore, suppress the nits infestation.
What to use? Baking soda is an effective drying agent which can be used for treating head lice. This kitchen ingredient is not poisonous and therefore, is safe for humans.
How to use? Sprinkle some powdered baking soda on the scalp. You can either leave it or massage the scalp with olive oil. Wrap the hair for 6 hours and wash it like usual. Do this treatment continuously until all lice are eliminated.
Getting rid of head lice needs certain time length and should be continuously done. Otherwise, the lice may re-infest and repeat its life cycle all over again. However, prevention is better than any of lice treatments. To prevent lice infestation, check the hair and scalp regularly and do not be in denial if you find the critters on your head since its infestation is not determined by hygiene. Also, avoid sharing objects like brushes, combs, and clothing. Head-to-head contact with an infected person should also be avoided. When an attempt on getting rid of head lice, persistence is needed. You need to repeat the treatment consecutively in order to eliminate the head critters.