Katie-Brase-Photography-Bainbridge-Island-Lice-Girls_030Q:  How did my child catch lice?

A:  Lice do NOT actually jump from child to child. Children often play or talk with the heads very close to each other and share personal items such as brushes, hats, and hair accessories. This allows the louse to move from one child to another to continue their life cycle.  Your child can have lice up to 4-6 weeks before they begin itching their scalp and 50% of infested people have no symptoms at all.

Q:  Does this mean that my child is dirty?

A:  NO!! Lice actually thrive in hair that is clean, this is a problem that has nothing to do with your child’s hygiene.

Q: How are head lice spread?

A: Head lice can spread whenever there is direct contact of the head or hair with an infested individual. Lice can spread through the sharing of personal articles like jackets, hats, towels, brushes, helmets, hair ties, etc. There is also a possibility of spreading head lice via a pillow, headrest or similar items.  Head lice do not have hind legs to hop or jump. They also do not have wings and cannot fly.  Head lice generally cannot survive longer than 48 hours off the host.

Q: Do I have to treat everyone in the house?

A: Everyone in the house should be thoroughly checked.  Doing correct head checks on all family members is crucial. Nits and lice are very small to the human eye and can scurry very quickly away from movement and light, making them very difficult to spot in a visual inspection and can be easily missed.   We suggest if you do not choose to have Lice Girls or another professional lice removal servicer check the head for lice, that you watch the following YouTube video on how to check for nits and lice:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hybe7quFRVU  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKZGIyk66Lg

Q:  Can my pets be infested?

A:  No. Lice are very selective. They are not interested in finding a home in Fido’s fur!

Q: Do I need to spray my furniture and bedding?

A: Head lice are human parasites and require human blood to survive. They are not environmental pests so pesticidal sprays for furniture and bedding are unnecessary and a serious risk to health. Vacuuming and drying on high heat is the safest and best way to remove lice or fallen hairs with attached nits from upholstered furniture, rugs, stuffed animals and cars.

Q: Do I have to bag stuffed animals and other items?

A: Experts used to suggest bagging items such as stuffed animals for a number of weeks to help bring infestations under control. Since lice cannot survive without human blood, this is unnecessary. Vacuuming and drying on high heat for 30 minutes are sufficient safeguards for any questionable areas or items that may be in contact with those who are infested.

Q: Can you catch head lice from headphones or helmets?

A: The extent to which head lice are transmitted to others via headphones or helmets is unknown. Ideally, risk of transmission can be eliminated by making sure children have and use their own equipment. If this is not possible, you can clean the items between children by wiping them with a damp paper towel. An additional measure would be to encourage each child to wear a baseball cap to help shield the hair from contact with the item. Helmets and headphones should never be sprayed.

Size of Lice Nymph

Size of Lice Nymph

Q: How long can nits and lice survive off of a human head?

A: Once laid, it takes 7-10 days for a nit to hatch. Nits off the head may not even hatch at all as they are laid close to scalp because they need human warmth to incubate. A nit hatching off of a head results in tiny nymph (small louse) which without an accessible/nearby human, is doomed because it requires an immediate blood meal. Adult head lice off of their human hosts will generally not survive for more than 48 hours.

Q: What product should I use to treat my child?

A: There are no over-the-counter or prescription treatments to kill lice that are totally safe and scientifically proven to be 100% effective against head lice and nits. These treatments typically contain harmful pesticides and reliance on them promotes repeated use and contributes to ongoing infestations, outbreaks and resistant strains of head lice.  The AirAllé and demethicone oil treatment administered by a trained technician is the preferred and suggested treatment per Lice Girls.  If you choose to treat the lice yourself, we highly recommend you use a nit terminator comb and a non-toxic natural treatment product containing demethicone that will suffocate the live bugs. It is critical to set aside plenty of time to thoroughly check the head and perform a comb-outs daily over the next 7-10 days. At the Lice Girls treatment center, we carry the safe and non-toxic LadiBugs Inc products, including an elimination kit.

Q:  How are your services different from nitpickers in my area?

A:  AirAllé (aka The LouseBusterTM) technology is scientifically proven and performed on thousands of families to date! Our service treatment averages 1 hour per client (including combing).  This results in a guarantee that your child is lice and nit free when they walk out the door. Traditional nitpickers cannot confirm total treatment time/costs and require follow-up appointments to guarantee the treatments were effective. Choosing Lice Girls over a nitpicking service will avoid unnecessary time and expenses, not to mention we are in the neighborhood!

Q: How quickly can my child return to school?

A: After an AirAllé treatment is completed, your child is nit and lice free and can return to school immediately, but do call the school and find out what their individual policy is.  The Bainbridge Island School District Administrative Policy can be found at the following link: http://www.bisd303.org/Page/3438.

Q: What is the life cycle of the head louse?

A: Head lice can survive on a human host for approximately 30 days. They generally cannot survive longer than 48 hours off the host. The eggs hatch in 7-10 days and in another week the louse will be laying 4-8 eggs daily.