Saturday, December 11, 2010

Effectiveness of Lice Treatments

Good Morning out there! I thought I'd just write a little bit about my experiments with lice "killing" methods. I have to say that I am so disappointed with the results. When I clear out a very bad case of lice I often do some experiments to see what is effective at killing lice. I've always enjoyed science and experimenting. In University we did endless experiments to determine if things were "statistically significant". Well this is completely unscientific and I did not consult an ethics board on being cruel to lice :-). Anyway so I carefully wash and dry the lice and voila, as expected, they come back to life! Let the games begin.
Olive Oil for 3 hours - completely ineffective. Almost every louse revived!

Olive Oil for 8 hours - Knocked out 17/21 louses! Not bad. But why did 4 survive?

Conditioner for four hours - 15/20 not a bad kill ratio. Too bad that we need 100% effectiveness to beat lice.

Enzyme based shampoo - 10/20 Very disappointing. I love the theory behind the enzyme shampoo. It eats through the shell of the louse. I don't know maybe they can reproduce after the enzyme treatment? All I know is that they looked alive and well after treatment. One of the problems may be the temperature - I think enzymes are easily killed in a Canadian climate. Hot, cold,hot, cold. Anyway I was very excited about these products and thought yay we have a solution! So I was super disappointed.

Pesticides - I don't want to be anywhere near these! I just have client testimonials and well if they worked I wouldn't have a job! Most of my clients have used them at least once before coming to me. A client just the other day had used them the day before and there were 3 live bugs on Moms head, 2 on daughters and 1 on the sons. So in a week the cycle would've been been jumpstarted again and in 2 weeks a full on infestation would've been present.

So my conclusion? The best way to get rid of lice is calling the Toronto Lice Lady and getting a good comb out! I'm over 95% effective with one comb out and 100% with two. But I'll keep looking and experimenting to see what will kill 100% of bugs. Its a tough job but someones gotta do it!
Seasons Greetings!

Your Toronto Lice Lady

Oh, and just in case you are wondering, even with all my experimenting I have never caught lice since my first time over three years ago. Proving once again that head to head contact is how it is usually transmitted. I keep my long hair way out of the way whenever I "play" with lice. You should too!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lice and Fleas

Well Hello out there its been awhile! Its nice when a client says that they enjoyed my blog1 And it means I should blog more! I really, really, really love my job. I think that lice only like really interesting people. I learn new things every day from the kids and their families.
Today I met a great family who love dogs. Members of their family foster dogs and their obsession is beating fleas! I was very interested because when I went to a male (I'm biased against males - they just don't seem to see lice) pharmacist he said he would look at my hair and said he didn't see anything and thought the problem was fleas. Ugh. Anyway I now realize that the reason that are so worried about nits is because of fleas! Head lice are much more specialized creatures than fleas. Their eggs need to have the right heat and moisture to hatch. Thats why they like laying their eggs behind the ears and nape of the neck. These conditions are so important to them that developed a super glue to keep them there! Once a nit is off the hair it is basically not viable. I have been using the analogy of if you left a chicken egg on your couch it wouldn't hatch! Well fleas have a completely different strategy! They lay their eggs on the animal and they are supposed to fall off and then they can wait til the proper conditions occur and then hatch! So I'm thinking somewhere along the line people got them mixed up? Harvard did a study about bagging things for two weeks and found that nothing hatched. Once a nit is off the head its done. The best part of the visit was when I combed out a louse the Auntie would grab it quick and snap it! Apparently cuz fleas jump you have to snap them in two before they jump away! Thank goodness lice don't jump and only crawl. It was weird seeing someone wanting to touch the louse!
That reminds me if your kid is scratching their head uncontrollably they have LICE! We all make excuses why they are scratching (climate was my excuse) The poor Mom had been driven to distraction by her child's head scratching! She was thinking it was ezcema. Its also amzing the power of the brain. The Mom had said she hadn't last night because of the horrible itching. She had found one bug on her head and it must've been a boy there were no nits or bugs when I got there. She just had empathy itching! Well I'll have to blog again soon - maybe tomorrow cuz just writing this one is reminding me of a few other antedotes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Best Part of being a Lice Lady

I can't tell you how much I love my job. It is so satisfying

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Follow your passion!

I feel so lucky. Motivational Speakers are always saying follow your passion and the money will come. I always thought what are my passions? If you had told me I'd be a lice lady 5 years ago I would of laughed and laughed. Getting head lice was one of my worst fears. I always swore I'd shave my head (and when I got it I seriously contemplated it) and throw everything out. L

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thinking about Head Lice Prevention

Well its been a busy week and I haven't blogged as much as I would like. This week one of the things I've been thinking about is lice preventation. When people ask me about how to prevent getting head lice I never know what to say. I went my whole life without getting them until my children came along. How did I avoid it? I remember the nurses using the wooden picks to check our heads and one of my friends was always teased about having the cooties. So it must've been going around! One of the parents this week told me that she religiously sprays her children with a tree oil combination before sending them to school. It must not have been working because one child definitely had head lice! I remember when my family got head lice I put tea tree oil in the shampoo and conditioner too. I stopped doing it a long time ago and have been lice free for two years. Catching lice is akin to having a friend with a cold. If you are in the area when they are contagious and they sneeze on you, you'll probably catch the cold. If your friend has lice and you put your head near them you'll likely catch it too.
I wish there was a way to prevent head lice. If there was maybe we could finally wipe out lice! Your best way to avoid getting lice is to keep your hair to yourself. Keep it in braids or a ponytail. Wear a hat. Most transmission is from head to head and not from objects. If you've had lice you know how hard it is to get them off your head. I was itching for at least a week until I actually caught one and discovered that I had head lice. They don't want to be in your coats and hats. They are very specialized creatures who want to be on your head and your friends heads.
The other way to reduce your chances of catching lice? Keep your hair dirty! Ooh I didn't think that would go over well. The theory is that when your hair is greasy the eggs have a harder time adhering to the hair shaft. I'm not sure that is true. Lice have been around as long as humans and goodness knows that our ancestors weren't bathing every day - so you'd think they would've died out with all that dirty hair! Lice don't discriminate but may prefer clean hair over dirty hair given a choice? Anyone want to be a guinea pig and do some lice experiments? Well I hope to blog again before to long. Hope you are lice free!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Toronto Lice Ladys' first blog

After fighting lice for two years as an amateur it is great to have gone professional! I've enjoyed meeting new families and exploring new areas in Toronto. What did people do before Google maps? I keep a map book in my "work" backpack just in case I get lost. I've seen the most beautiful gardens and I adore the scents of Lily of the Valley and the Lilacs. Spring is the best time to be out and about! The families I have met have all been super nice. I love chatting with them and learning about things going on in different schools and around the city.
Well I'll be using this blog to just chat about my favourite subject. Lice!
Toronto Lice Lady
May your head be free of lice!