Lice are wingless parasites that feed on human blood. There are three different forms of lice that infest humans. They are: head lice, pubic lice and body lice. Head lice are highly contagious and spread from one person to another who are in close proximity. For this reason, it is most commonly found in school children. It can badly damage the roots of the hair, and as a result one may suffer hair loss in future. Body lice are not that common, but it takes a lot of effort to get rid of them completely.
How to Kill Head Lice?
Some children tend to develop allergies due to head lice. Hence if you notice lice in your child's hair, you must take some quick action to get rid of them. However, we do not recommend use of poisons for this purpose because they can be harmful in the long run. Even the head lice shampoos available in the market contain certain chemicals which may not suit the sensitive skin of small children. Two effective methods for killing lice naturally are discussed here:
Mayonnaise: You may be surprised to know that you can kill lice with mayonnaise easily and safely. Take a generous amount of mayonnaise and apply it all over the child's hair. When the louse is covered up with mayonnaise, then the breathing holes present at the sides of their body get blocked. As a result, they cannot breathe anymore and are smothered to death. The applied mayonnaise has to be kept on the hair for few hours. During these few hours, cover up the child's hair with a shower cap so that the mayonnaise does not drip all over the house. After 2-3 hours, use a mild shampoo to wash off the hair thoroughly. You may have to shampoo the hair a number of times to clean up the mayonnaise.
White Vinegar: This treatment works well on lice eggs. Take a cup of water and add two teaspoonful of white vinegar into it. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and apply it over the roots of the hair. The vinegar has to be left on the hair overnight for best results. Wrap the head with a shower cap and then a cotton cloth before your child goes for sleeping. Next morning wash the hair using a mild shampoo. Then use a lice comb to take out the dead nits. You may have to repeat the treatment after a few days in order to kill the nits that are left behind.
How to Kill Body Lice?
Body lice require more extensive treatment. It involves treating your clothing, bedding and other household things as well. Here is a list of important tasks that are essential to kill body lice:
Good personal hygiene is very important to get rid of body lice. Clean your body thoroughly with hot water daily to kill any lice on your body. If the infestation is severe, then consult your doctor who may suggest a medicated body wash.
However, body lice rarely live on the skin surface. They tend to move on to the seams of the clothing and the bedding of the infested person. Therefore, proper washing of the clothes is very important. These lice cannot survive under the influence of heat. So, it is advisable to use hot water to wash the infested clothes thoroughly. Those clothes which cannot be washed in water should be dried in the dryer at a very high temperature. Ironing is another technique that can be used to eradicate body lice from the clothes that can be ironed.
Similarly, bedding should be washed in hot water to eliminate the lice attached to them. However, it may require several washes before the lice are eradicated completely. For faster results, you can freeze the bedding inside a freezer. Pack them in plastic bags and put them inside the freezer for 3-4 days. After that, when you take them out, you will find that the lice have been killed due to the cold temperature.
Cleaning of bedding and clothing should be followed by disinfecting the entire house. It includes vacuum cleaning of the furniture, carpets and floors. Finally, use a disinfectant to wipe off the furniture, bedpost, door knobs, and other surfaces where lice can be found.
Head lice treatment has to be carried out on every individual living in your house in order to ensure their complete elimination from the house. Sharing of clothes, bedding, towels, combs, etc., tend to spread lice from infested persons to others. So, you must strictly avoid sharing of your personal items with others.