You can tell by my first
page that I'm a little obsessive.......just a little......when I face a
problem. It's my habit to research the topic to death and as a result
I'm usually the local expert on the topic and have people all over my neighborhood
calling me for advice. It's no different with lice. I decided
that to assess my daughter's lice situation and the likelihood that anyone
else in the family was to become infected and to do that I needed to fully
understand the life cycle of the nasty little louse. (Stop laughing!)
Let me share what I learned
with you in case you are the obsessive type too. It'll save you hours
of researching the internet.
We all know by now that lice
don't jump nor do they have wings so a louse has to crawl it's way onto
the head via head to head contact or some kind of shared object that comes
into contact with the head like a hat, comb, pillow etc. If a mature
female louse has been picked up she will begin to lay 3-5 nits every night.
They lay more at night than during the day. The egg will hatch somewhere
between 7-10 days and a nymph (baby louse) will emerge. It requires
a blood meal within 2 hours of hatching or it will die. The nymph
will not be ready to lay eggs for 7-10 and must be fertilized once
by a male to begin laying. She never needs to be fertilized
again and will continue to lay for the rest of her 30 day life span
for a total of approximately 100 nits. You can see why it's important
to catch it early....before all these nits hatch and mature to begin compounding
the problem exponentially. Yikes!!
In my Canadian climate it
is unlikely that a nit will hatch off of the head but in some tropical
climates it is possible for this to happen. They say that a louse
only lives for 12-48 hours off it's human host but I have also read that
they can live for up to 4 days. Who knows....I decided to err on
the side of caution where these things were concerned. I believe
I read somewhere in my searching that a nit will remain viable for approximately
2 weeks away from sufficient heat to hatch but I can't remember where I
go that information to confirm it at this time. I believe this is
why it's recommended that you bag all stuffed animals and other fabric
items that can't be washed for two weeks. You can also put these
items in the freezer for 4 days for the same results.
|Did you know that many of
the pesticides that we are using on our little children's heads are becoming
ineffective against lice. Did you know that they are dangerous to
our children and you can consider your child to have had a pesticide exposure
if you use one. If your child becomes sick and a doctor asks if your
child has been exposed to pesticides you will have to say "yes".
They aren't just "shampoos" and "creme rinses", they are pesticides!
Read about lindane and how
dangerous it can be here:
is Lindane Anyway?
Most Dangerous Medicine
While malathion, pyrethrum
and permethrin are not as toxic as lindane there is still plenty of reason
to be concerned with using them on the scalp of your child.
Read about them here:
Rachel Carson Council On Use Of Malathion
solutions - pesticides
You can get rid of lice without
using pesticides. I know this absolutely because I did it.
Catching it early is one of THE most important things you can do to get
rid of them.
If you still choose to use
a pesticidal solution PLEASE follow the instructions carefully. Don't
leave it on longer thinking it will be more effective and don't use it
more often than is required. Don't use them preventatively.
Don't use them on children under 2 and don't use them yourself if you're
pregnant. Educate yourself so you can decide if the risk is worth
it. Frankly, I'd rather shave all the heads in my family than use
these pesticides on them.
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