A few weeks ago my 11 year old daughter pointed out an itchy spot on the side of her head. I assumed it was a mosquito bite, and had her apply some Correct X to relief the itch. The next day she brought me a small bug she found in her hair. LICE!
My daughter had lice.
My 11 year is the youngest of our four children and this was our first experience with these pesky little bugs. It is important to note that head lice can happen to anyone, no matter how clean the person or how clean the house. We homeschool and interaction with other children is limited to church and the dance studio. After calling the dance studio I found out that 3 other girls also reported lice. My daughter picked up her annoying little hitchhikers at tumbling.
Some helpful facts about head lice from the CDC website:
- Head lice do not spread disease.
- They move by crawling, they do not fly or hop.
- Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.
- It takes 8-9 days for the head lice nits to hatch.
- Nymphs mature into adults in about 8-12 days.
- An adult louse can live for 30 days on a human’s head.
- The species of lice which live on humans can not live on our pets and vice versa.
I’m sorry. Is this making your head itch?
There are many different recipes for natural lice treatment, some using vinegar, vodka, coconut oil, olive oil, but one thing is consistent – Melaleuca.
Coconut and Essential oil treatment:
1 cup coconut oil
5 drops melaleuca
4 drops thyme
2 drops lavender
2 drops geranium
I worked this mixture through all 4 of my kids hair and my own. My 11 year old was the only one with lice, but I was being thorough. Nothing will make your own head start to feel itchy like pulling lice out of your very snuggly, loves-to-give-hugs little girl.
My plan was to keep the mixture in her hair over night then comb through her hair in the morning. But she was anxious to wash her hair. After 2 hours she washed her hair and while her hair was still wet and using a lice comb I carefully worked through her hair washing the comb out in a bowl of water. There were only 3 adult lice, but several nymphs floating in the water. I think we caught this early.
After combing her hair out I sprayed her hair with a lice repellant spray.
Lice Repellant Spray
4 ounce glass spray bottle
20 drops melaleuca
10 drops Eucalyptus
10 drops lavender
Fill with water. Shake before each use.
I washed all bedding, sprayed her stuffed animals with the Repellant Spray and put them in sealed plastics bags for 5 days and vacuumed my house.
The next day (day 2) I applied the coconut/essential oil mixture and wet combed again. No adults and less nymphs. I sprayed her hair at least 3 times that day.
Day 3- I sprayed her hair and wet combed and couldn’t see anything.
Days 4-6- I sprayed and looked carefully through her hair.
Day 7- I sprayed and wet combed again but found nothing.
It has now been two weeks and we have no recurrence of head lice. I am using a little more caution now. Some of my steps going forward are:
- Adding oils to our shampoo.
- Spaying the kids with the Repellant Spray before dance or other activities.
- Not allowing my kids to try on any halloween masks/hats at the store.
Other Essential Oils For Lice Prevention/Treatment:
- Cinnamon (This one can be warm, use with dilution)
- Oregano (another warm oil)
This was my first experience with lice as an adult. I remember having lice once as a child. How does my experience compare to when your kids had lice? What did you use? Did you try any natural products? I would love to hear your story.