My Daughter Came Home With Lice And Now I’m Going To Have To Burn Down Our House

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I’m not a noob to the affects of lice. When I was a little girl my mom once threatened to move me into a cabin by myself if I shared my hat, headband, and/or affection with another lice-carrying classmate. I was a friendly kid, what can I say? So maybe twice a year or so from the time I entered kindergarten, I’d be sent home with that note, “Your daughter has lice. Deal with it. Or else.” Maybe it didn’t read quite like that, but I was five, I couldn’t read yet. All I knew is that as I itched my head and my mom read that note, she’d get this grim look on her face and everything I owned would be washed by midnight. Decades later the tables have turned and my own daughter came home with a similarly worded note and now…I kind of hate my life.

lice is not nice

I don’t blame my daughter for this. In fact, in a lot of ways I blame my mom. If she hadn’t always told me she hoped I’d have a daughter just like me someday, we’d probably all be eating meatloaf tonight like I’d planned instead of the cheese sandwiches I whipped up in between trips out to the garage with every cloth object my daughter has ever touched.

Lice are tricky.

Super lice are like lice, but apparently takes illegal steroids or something. They’re impossible to kill off.

And the school didn’t tell me which kind my kid has.

A quick Google search for a picture of ‘Super Lice’ is why my house is going to have to be burned to the ground…

This is my artistic rendering of what it looked like...the real image was too awful to post.
This is my artistic rendering of what it looked like…the real image was too awful to post.

Also, no one agrees on how to treat them, or if they can be treated at all. At this point I’m thinking of maybe just naming them and when my kid asks for a puppy next Christmas or sometime down the road, I’ll remind her that Fluffy, Rex, Fifi, and Spike have been living on her head for years and they’re the only pets she’s going to have until they shuffle off their mortal coils.

Or join a flea circus.

Question: why don’t we hear about flea circuses anymore? Was that just a thing from when I was little? One of those concepts that disappeared over time, like Saturday morning cartoons and prizes in cereal boxes?

I bet Fifi would have been a great acrobat…

The internet said super lice are a lot harder to get rid of. Meaning, that quick trip to the drug store for the box of NIX and that mom walk of shame to the register might not even help. Still, I’m the optimistic sort, so I did it anyway.

Apparently, super lice are resistant to normal forms of liceocide. And no one has found their kryptonite, yet. So I asked my mom for some advice and after she stopped laughing this was her response:

Mom: Wash everything. EVERYTHING. Make the kid sleep outside for the next three days. Tell her that’s her punishment for being sociable.

Me:  I already stripped all the beds, and threw all her clothes in the garage. Bagging stuffed animals now.

Mom: Use mayo on her hair…that suffocates the lice. Or they get fat and die from heart disease…I’ve heard. Check everyone’s hair in the house. If she has it, chances are…you ALL have it.

Me: The internet said to use Dawn dish soap.
Mom: If it’s the super lice, just shave her head. You can’t kill those suckers. Nothing kills those suckers.
Me: Oh god. Do I need to make a waxing appointment?!
Mom: To get your head waxed? Probably…

She then told me about a super icky episode of Dirty Jobs where Mike Rowe goes to work at a professional lice salon. I never knew such a thing existed. After finding the episode and watching it, I still wish I didn’t know about it…

So that’s it then. About two weeks of checking my poor child’s head every single day to make sure we rid ourselves of this.

Luckily, the first treatment of NIX seemed to do the trick. No super lice for us. Which is fantastic because I really wasn’t looking forward to waxing my head…

Have you dealt with a lice outbreak? Any tricks or tips you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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  1. My granddaughter frequently shows up to my house with head lice. All of the above ideas are great especially the coconut oil, tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar. I put tea tree oil in bottles of shampoo and conditioner and send home with her. Don’t bother with lice combs though. Too small. Go to the pet dept of the store and get a metal flea comb with a rubber grip. Less than $4.00. This has saved my sanity many times.

  2. Worked at an elementary school in the 80’s, concerned about lice from the little ones that loved to hug you, also had boys in school at this time. I asked office personnel how they dealt with it and was told to use hair product & spray daily and no worries, I used it on myself & boys and NEVER had a problem!! Also blow drying, I did it all and am happy to say it worked! Had a granddaughter who came home with the dreaded bugs, they got rid of them and she uses hair products and no problem. Good Luck! Who can afford $500.00???

  3. I used three times the amount of bug bombs and bombed the house and every day I washed the bedding and vacuumed the furniture

  4. Ah , I rember those days. My kids had the super L. So I used nix. Did nothing, used another brand no luck there either. So internet limited as it was here I come.
    Off to the dollar store. Bought the biggest conditioner bottle I could, and disposable shower caps. Came home , half a bottle on each one of them, 4-5 hours later , rinse, comb out, and for the next 3 months, bought Tea Tree oil shampoo. And gone they went.

  5. A flat iron and twa tree oil. They can’t live thru the heat so flat iron on the regular. Abd they do not like tea tree oil so use it

  6. It would be REALLY helpful if schools stopped insisting that kids leave their jacket, scarves, and hats hanging from hooks…side by side. Keep them on the back of their chairs. Big deal if it keeps falling on the floor! (Lice don’t live on the floor)…Also if you have a child with long hair keep it in braids or ponytails to keep it from “mingling” with there friends hair when they are playing or working together (yes I know they don’t even want their hair brushed).

  7. Melted Coconut oil will pull them right through and give you a nice hair treatment as well.
    Also eucalyptus oil in your hair, tea tree oil which smells like rancid urine , but my favorite is peppermint oil.

  8. An old fashion remedy that seems to work or has for us is yellow listerine. We used a spray bottle and sprayed every piece of hair till soaked and especially the scalp. You then put a shower cap on and let it sit for an hour rinse out and wash hair as normal. You will have no live live!! You do have to comb to get the eggs out and to make that easier use apple cider vinegar helps dissolve the egg glue. Repeat in a week in case you missed any eggs.

  9. Regular conditioner with a proper metal lice comb should also work; at least did for us.
    I add tea tree e.o. to shampoo and water spray bottle for prevention.
    I was told at the Lice Squad that the heat of the dryer is effective for treating clothing, bedding, stuffies etc. Especially helpful after the initial treatment when you’re just making sure they’re gone – you can throw bedding, coats etc in the dryer on high heat instead of having to do a full wash every day

  10. I went threw head lice for 8 months. I kid you not. No play dates no visiting family, it was hell. I have 3 kids. The kids in 2 of children’s classes did nothing to get rid of it. So I would treat it only to have it return 2 weeks later, Tried and did everything(my hydro bill was almost a mortgage payment.) I found a product that is non toxic and works every time. Lice Freee. I found it recommended on the Disney site. You only need to use it once, kills on contact and kills the eggs. I would treat right before bed, then treat 3 days later to get any strays. I check less often but I still keep 2 bottles in the cabinet. LOL

  11. Coconut oil and tea tree oil. Cover all the hair and wrap it. Leave it for days at a time. Helps with the silkiness of the hair as well. And brush, brush, brush with a metal lice comb. They work better than the plastic ones.

    Wash everything you can in the hottest water that’s allowed and double dry on the hottest temperature you can. As it’s been said already, if it can’t get washed, put it in a well-tied garbage bag for a couple weeks.

    Just went through this a few weeks ago. Such a horrendous experience but no bad chemicals, which is the reason for super lice, and no return of the icky little things. And I have learned more about lice than I have ever cared to know.

    1. Also, you should use a tea tree oil shampoo once a week to maintain a lice-free head.

  12. Comb, comb, comb and comb! It’s really not the live lice that are the problem. They kill off pretty easily. And if they don’t, you comb them out! The real issue is getting all the nits out! If you miss just one, you will be dealing with another infestation 2 weeks later. To avoid this, retreat with Nix or Rid to kill off any hatched nymphs. Then comb, comb, comb until you cannot comb anymore. This is how I dealt with my daughters lice last year. This year when I got the dreaded call, I just couldn’t be bothered and brought her to a lice treatment center near my home. They are fabulous!!!! But expensive. My daughter and I were both treated and it cost me almost $500. Luckily, I was able to submit it to my health insurance as “out of network”. They paid for 80% after the $100 deductible which ultimately ends up being about half the cost. Better than nothing. And worth it for me to have that guarantee that we were both lice and nit free!

  13. I have always used either mayo or castor oil infused with rosemary and mint essential oil. Drench the child’s head in it then wrap their head in saran wrap (obviously be careful and leave their face free, I shouldn’t have to say that but well….there you go). Take a blow dryer and heat their head with it (not too hot) on and off for about 2 hours. Rinse, repeat for super lice as many times as it takes then get a nit comb and go to town! It takes FOREVER but No chemicals, NO expensive :treatments that may or may not work, and NO lice salon (also crappy expensive). Treat the room carpet and mattress with straight ammonia in a spray bottle (open the windows cause this stuff STINKS), wash and double dry everything that can fit in the washer/dryer, bag up anything that can’t fit in super thick garbage bags and tied them as tight as you can them sit them in the sun or garage for 2 weeks. Maybe overkill but I never have to retreat and the lice go bye bye!