Our household been through the dreaded lice (shudder) more times than I’d like to admit. The only good thing that’s come out of it — besides a wildly clean house — is enough knowledge about what works, what doesn’t, and which “guaranteed to eliminate lice” myth is not worth my time.

So even while I’m itching just thinking about this, I’m happy to share a few essentials tips I’ve learned about lice, on behalf of our sponsor Licefreee, which has been a parent’s lifesaver for years.

Let me assure you, there is a whole lot of time and money savings involved in getting rid of those buggers yourself, so I’m grateful for products like theirs which help end lice infestations (shuddering again!) by killing those bugs and their nasty nits without the use of chemical pesticides. Because look, dealing with lice is practically a rite of passage for families. Might as well be ready with the right product on hand.

In fact, I think we survivors need a dedicated merit badge, don’t we?

 

Lice Myth #1: Lice are attracted to dirty heads.

Sorry for you parents who need an excuse to get your kids into the bath, but hygiene has nothing at all to do with lice. In fact the opposite is true — lice would rather have a nice, clean environment in which to make their homes. I mean, wouldn’t you, if you were a bug?

 

Lice Myth #2: You need major chemicals to kill lice.

No, no, and nope. I’ve spoken with quite a few pros (I’ve even hired a few) and they all have said the same thing — the chemical stuff with ingredients like permethrin and pyrethrum are totally unnecessary; and frankly, in my own experience, they don’t even necessarily work.

What you really need is the combo of an effective lice treatment product like Licefreee and a fantastic fine-toothed lice comb. That, and elbow grease.

When you have the right supplies, get to work combing through the hair, bit by bit, section by section, and keep combing. A lot. It takes some time — and in fact, you should continue doing it for a good 10 days — but self-combing is truly the best treatment I’ve found.

(One pro even told me to save the fortune of having him come to our house a second time should we ever get a reinfestation, and just do the combing myself.)

Be sure to follow the steps on the box to a tee, and you should be good.

 

Lice Myth #3: You have to throw out all your kids’ lovies and stuffed animals.

Oh, this is so horrible to think about! Especially knowing how totally attached my younger daughter still is to her stuffed animals. Yet I know parents who have done this very thing to their kids, not realizing it wasn’t necessary.

Correcting myths about lice: You don't have to toss all of your kids' stuffed animals and lovies! | CoolMomPicks.com

Just toss sheets, blankets, and lovies in a hot wash, then in the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat and you’re good. If the stuffed animals are dryer-safe, skip the wash and go right to the dryer.

Alternately, if you have plastic toys like baby dolls, pop them in an airtight bag (like a heavy duty garbage bag) for a week or so. And that time frame is being extremely cautious; lice need a human head to survive and they’ll probably be dead after 24–36 hours anyway.

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About our sponsor

Licefreee is a great non-chemical solution to help parents get rid of lice | sponsor

Licefreee is designed to end head lice infestations by killing lice and their eggs using a homeopathic formula. No chemical pesticides. It’s easy to use and begins working on contact. Just spray, and let air dry. Phew!

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Lice Myth #4: You should replace all your hairbrushes and combs after lice.

No again! Your freezer will do the trick to kill any bugs or eggs that might end up on a brush or a hairband or barrette; I just tossed my kids’ stuff in a regular old plastic grocery bag, tied it, and left it in the freezer overnight. Done.

(Just remember to let it come back to room temperature before they use it again. Unless you’re all practical jokers in your house.)

 

Lice Myth #5: Have your sofas and upholstery professionally cleaned if your kids get lice.

Lice myths parents should know: Do you have to have all your furniture cleaned? | coolmompicks.com

Nah. As I mentioned, lice can’t live and nits can’t hatch once they’re off the human host. (And I’m sorry to refer to your sweet child as a host.) Vacuum your rugs and upholstered furniture just in case any bugs have fallen there — and especially if it gives you some peace of mind — but know that lice won’t be laying any of their eggs on your couch.

 

Lice Myth #6: If your kids get lice, your pets will have it too.

Not likely at all. Hooray! In fact, it’s a totally different species of louse that live on animals. That means the reverse is true too; if your dog comes home scratching from lice, your kids should be safe. (But, you should still treat it!)

 

Lice Myth #7: Your kids can’t go back to school until every egg is gone.

Well…yes and no. Every school has a different policy; in our district, as long as there are no live lice (i.e. an active infestation), kids are not excused from school. Yours may differ so be sure to check.

Lice myths parents should know: When can you go back to school? | coolmompicks.com

However if there’s one thing you should definitely do if your kids have lice: Notify the school. Even if it’s over a school vacation and you think it’s taken care of before they head back to class. Even if you’re super embarrassed. Just tell them.

I promise your school will be extremely grateful, and so will all the parents.

 

Licefreee offers nontoxic lice removal treatment, without harsh chemicals | sponsor

Thanks to our sponsor Licefreee, which gives parents peace of mind by ending head lice infestations by killing lice and their eggs without the use of chemical pesticides. And sorry for making you all itchy just by talking about it. But hey, better fake itchy than lice itchy, right?


Stuffed animal photo: Jesus Garcia-Parrado Alameda | Couch photo: Andrew Branch | School photo: Meagan Soule. All via Unsplash.

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