Hold the Bugs

A long time ago, in what seems like another life, my husband and I would sit in front of the tv on a Friday night and he’d spend what felt like hours brushing my long hair.

Sometimes I would ask for the luxurious pampering. Other times he would grab the brush, sit down, and pat the couch between his legs and motion for me to come over and be spoiled.

Of course this was before kids. Before our Friday nights were spent falling into bed with exhaustion.

…and before my weekend was spent not with a pampering hair brush, but with a necessary lice comb.

Yes, my shaved-headed husband (the lucky bastard) just spent a good part of Sunday combing through my hair, not with the doting goal of relaxation, but hunting for bugs.

We have spent the entire school year ducking the insects as note after note came home from each of our children’s classes proclaiming yet another infestation. Then, as we enter the very last week of the school year, the kids started scratching their heads. Of course.

500 loads of laundry and several shampoo’s later, we’re attempting to pick up the pieces of a shatter home taken down by tiny bugs. The kids are tired of me picking at their heads and my husband is tired of waiting for the sanitize cycle on the washer to finish. You would think after decades of parents having to rid their elementary school age’s children of lice, there would be a better way. But…no.

Needless to say it’s been a long weekend. As you can imagine, our already stressed out house really didn’t need this. However, as I sat on the couch, my husband picking through my hair and my scalp feeling tickled…I couldn’t help but think of those weekends of long ago. Sure the brush is now a comb and the goal isn’t exactly to pamper me, but in a weird way I enjoyed it just the same. Although next time…hold the bugs.


  1. habanerogal says:

    Would you believe that there are people who willingly do this for a living they delouse-ify your whole family. The concept seems bizarre but it would certainly make for a less stressful experience. At one point I was convinced we should all shave our heads and just wear wigs. Rock that whole middle ages groove. It does get better but keep checking and do another treatment in 8 days

  2. We went through that twice when my stepdaughters were in grade school. I’m praying we escape it with the twins

  3. We went through it last year and were lucky enough to find a nitpicker who wasn’t insanely expensive (though she was pricey enough.) She and her husband had done literally years worth of research on the little critters and had discovered something I found really valuable: they die if they’re off the human head for more than 48 hours. So instead of sanitizing everything in the house, we washed what we needed right away, bagged everything else (stuffed animals, spare pillows, extra jackets) and chucked the bags out of sight for 5 days (I’m always overdoing things). No relapses. I still dread another infestation though. Ugh! I’m glad you were able to find a silver lining, no matter how slight, to this episode.

  4. We went though this a year ago. Just thinking of it makes me feel itchy now! On a side note: olive oil on the scalp drowns them (literally, they can’t breathe through it) and it’s not as nasty as the shampoo– which is less effective. Also, an hour in the dryer (as long it gets to 120 degrees) will kill just about everything.

  5. Just reading this made my scalp itch! I’ve been SO lucky so far (knock on wood) to avoid lice.

    And also? I looove when my husband brushes my hair!

  6. Erin, olive oil is it!!! I SWEAR by it! My daughter and I have insanely thick hair and there is NO way I can go through our hair with a lice comb! When in Spain she got lice and then I did too! GAH!

    They give the eggs about a week to hatch, don’t know how often the little f****rs mate but most shampoos recommend once a week so I would do olive oil on our heads for an hour every 3 days.

    Pour olive oil into the hair, wrap it in a plastic bag for an hour as it will kill the lice. NOTHING kills the eggs so you have to wait for them to hatch so by doing this every 3 days you kill them before they mate and lay more eggs… I do it for two weeks… I would wash all her bedding, not let her lie down on our bed… couches were OK as they are leather… she understood, poor thing, and it got rid of the problem FAST!

    When I’d do the olive oil, I would comb through very fast with the oil in her hair and MUCH of the eggs slide off easily that way… then wash and condition and she’d be good to go and repeat every 3 days for two weeks… that is me being overcautious but it’s not so bad this way… no longer dread them (though I DON’T want them!)…

  7. As yucky as it is, you’re right tha it really isn’t the end of the world. We dealt with this with both our kids (as teenagers!) and I was the only adult to get them too. Ick! The lice shampoo was so hard on my naturally curly hair I had to cut at least 6 inches off it after it was all over.

    Then I read about using extra-strength dandruff shampoo with salicylic acid in it — wash to a suds and leave on for 15 minutes. This did kill the lice (they dropped right out of our hair, dead as can be). The eggs were dessicated and dried as well, making it easy to comb them out. It did wonders for my kids’ hair, but alas…see above….my own hair didn’t fair too well.

    Good luck. I feel your pain/itchy, lady!

  8. Cetaphil and a blow dryer gets rid of all of them. I second the lady on top with the hiring of those nice/crazy people who have a lice business getting rid of those little critters with a satisfaction guaranteed.

    Another great tip- Don’t wash your hair. Being a curly girl has its advantages but seriously keep your child’s head dirty. They love a clean scalp.

    Erika Burton

  9. There is a shampoo that totally kills lice. Better treat them early to stop spreading
    and infect the family member..

  10. I read somewhere that smothering head lice with olive oil is a good treatment option for eliminating pediculicide-resistant head lice. Not sure if it’s true though.

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