Every summer, children across America head to camp, whether overnight or day camp. Why is there so much lice at summer camp?

If you want to know how to identify lice early and even potentially avoid lice at summer camp this summer, read on!

Why is lice at summer camp such a problem? Well, if you’re one of the parents (like me) who spends considerable time every day scouring a camp website for pictures of your beloved children, you probably already know that summer camp friends spend a lot of time hugging. The unintended consequence of hugging is head to head contact. If your child is hugging friends and one of them has lice, it’s potentially going to spread from person to person. Now, we can tell our kids not to hug their friends, but…being realistic, that’s not likely going to happen. Here are some tips for lice avoidance that you can use during the summer and all year round:

  1. Instruct your child that they should “do their best” to avoid head to head contact with friends. “Hello hugs” can be done so as to avoid directly touching heads.
  2. Have your child wear their hair back at camp. Loose flying hair is a greater target and increases the risk of transmission.
  3. Use a leave-in deterrent (I love peppermint detangler…especially in the summer!).

IF someone gets it despite your best efforts in 1, 2 and 3 above, you can still keep it from spreading. A proper head check is done using a GOOD nit comb to comb through damp hair. By regularly checking PROPERLY you will “head off” a problem before it spreads through the family. I strongly suggest doing this weekly.

You might ask, “What else can I do?”

If your child is attending overnight camp, you’re going to want to check them before they leave. Most overnight camps hire teams of lice specialists to screen campers when they get to camp. If your child enters camp with lice, they will spend their first day getting treated instead of catching up and bonding with friends. That’s no fun at all. In addition, you’re likely to receive a bill for the service. Some services charge in excess of $300 PER HEAD! Yikes!

If your child is in day camp you’ll be doing those head checks all summer. If your child is at overnight camp, regardless of any screening that the camp does before they leave, you will want to do a proper head check upon their return. Visual screening (which is what those teams do) can be inaccurate, especially with relatively new cases.

Do you want to know how to detect head lice on your children? Your best bet is the “wet check.”

Lice head check

Weekly wet head checks are the best measure for early detection of head lice

 

So, you want to know how to detect head lice on your children. Well, research has shown that “wet checks” are the most reliable and effective method for detecting head lice. A wet check is done on wet or dampened hair with a good, high quality, solid stainless steel nit comb. Using a comb with a flimsy plastic handle or a poorly made comb will not yield an accurate result. In combing through dampened hair, one is examining what is removed for the presence of either lice or nits. The presence of either one is a confirmation that treatment for head lice is warranted.

If you’ve found something and you aren’t sure if it is a nit or not, feel free to email a photo of your suspicious object to: njlicelady@gmail.com  Please place your object on a white background next to a penny (in order to give perspective for size). See directly below. It is important that pictures be taken as close up as possible and as in focus as possible in a top down orientation.

How to detect head lice and nits

Close up of nits next to a penny

 

 

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lice pesticide pesticide resistant lice

Result of treating pesticide resistant head lice with pesticide

 

Evidence of pesticide resistant head lice in Scotch Plains, NJ.

These bugs and many more were recovered from the head of a recent client after having used Nix(TM) a permethrin-based, OTC lice treatment “shampoo”. While it is not uncommon for me to see pesticide resistant lice leading to treatment failure, it never gets easier for me to witness.

Well-intentioned parents, sometimes guided by the advice of a medical practitioner, journey to the drug store and purchase either Permethrin or Pyrethrins with Piperonyl Butoxide to treat their child(ren)’s head lice problem. The lice pictured above were recovered AFTER a child was treated with the product and AFTER the parent spent copious hours combing the child’s head with the comb included with the kit. Pictured above are every stage of live lice. This means that most of the bugs there were present at the time the child was treated with Nix(TM) and they were not eliminated. In addition, due to the poor efficacy of the comb, hundreds of nits were left behind. Many of the bugs that I removed from the child’s head were first stage nymphs, indicating that they had hatched, most likely, AFTER the initial treatment. Thus my findings directly contradict the product packaging which claims that the product “kills lice and their eggs.” Please see the following picture to better understand the four stages of live lice.

stages of live lice

Four Stages of Live Lice Recovered from the Head of a  Child Treated with Permethrin

When dealing with pesticide resistant head lice, no amount of pesticide will work to eliminate the problem. While lice may develop a resistance to neurotoxic pesticides, they cannot evolve beyond the need to breathe and excrete. Dimethicone, a perfectly safe and non-toxic silicone oil, interferes with the human head louse’s ability to breathe and also to excrete liquid waste. As a result, they die after being exposed to it. I work with KaPOW! Lice Attack Solution, a safe, reliable, non-toxic dimethicone-based product created and manufactured by The Center for Lice Control (http://www.centerforlicecontrol.com).

Do you know someone battling a strain of pesticide resistant lice? NJ Lice Lady is here to help! Call/text (908)548-4480 or email NJLiceLady@gmail.com

 

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Typical post-vacation head lice outbreaks have triggered a higher demand for lice treatment in Scotch Plains, NJ.

It is not unusual for head lice cases to spike after a school vacation period. Currently, in Scotch Plains, children are seeking lice treatment for fairly developed cases of head lice. The cases being treated now are dating back 3-4 weeks minimum and possibly even further to Thanksgiving. The unfortunate effect of cases going undiagnosed for so long is that, as the problem progresses, the host becomes more “contagious” (though lice is not a disease, “contagious” in this case is meant to communicate the ease of transmission). It is at this stage of the problem that multiple family members and close friends tend to acquire live bugs from each other and spread the outbreak further.

Proper head checks, done on a regular basis, with a good quality stainless steel nit comb are the key to early detection of head lice. Keeping lice from spreading in your family and among your child’s social circle will eliminate a tremendous amount of work and frustration. If you suspect your family may be dealing with a lice problem, be sure to use a reliable treatment product that is safe and non-toxic. At this time, not only are OTC pesticide products toxic, they are also more and more ineffective as lice continue to build resistance to them. If you are looking for a reliable product or lice treatment in the Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Garwood, Cranford, Westfield, Springfield, Clark, Warren or other areas in and around Union, Essex, Middlesex, Warren or Somerset County, contact NJ Lice Lady today for assistance. With pricing a minimum of half what other services charge and a warm, welcoming office in which you can relax, there is no one who can compete with the level of service I provide. Call or text today to schedule a head check or treatment: (908)548-4480 or email: njlicelady@gmail.com

All Rights Reserved 2011-2014. Material May Not Be Reproduced Without Express Written Consent From the Author.

Typical post-vacation head lice outbreaks have triggered a higher demand for lice treatment in Westfield, NJ.

It is not unusual for head lice cases to spike after a school vacation period. Currently, in Westfield, children are seeking lice treatment for fairly developed cases of head lice. The cases being treated now are dating back 3-4 weeks minimum and possibly even further to Thanksgiving. The unfortunate effect of cases going undiagnosed for so long is that, as the problem progresses, the host becomes more “contagious” (though lice is not a disease, “contagious” in this case is meant to communicate the ease of transmission). It is at this stage of the problem that multiple family members and close friends tend to acquire live bugs from each other and spread the outbreak further.

Proper head checks, done on a regular basis, with a good quality stainless steel nit comb are the key to early detection of head lice. Keeping lice from spreading in your family and among your child’s social circle will eliminate a tremendous amount of work and frustration. If you suspect your family may be dealing with a lice problem, be sure to use a reliable treatment product that is safe and non-toxic. At this time, not only are OTC pesticide products toxic, they are also more and more ineffective as lice continue to build resistance to them. If you are looking for a reliable product or lice treatment in the Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Garwood, Cranford, Westfield, Springfield, Clark, Warren or other areas in and around Union, Essex, Middlesex, Warren or Somerset County, contact NJ Lice Lady today for assistance. With pricing a minimum of half what other services charge and a warm, welcoming office in which you can relax, there is no one who can compete with the level of service I provide. Call or text today to schedule a head check or treatment: (908)548-4480 or email: njlicelady@gmail.com

 

All rights reserved 2011-2014. Material may not be reproduced without express written consent of the Author.

image

Are Head Lice Killing the Honey Bees? Permethrin/Pyrethrins Used for Lice Treatment are Highly Toxic for Honey Bees.

 

Could permethrin/pyrethrins used to treat lice be responsible for hive collapse among honey bees? These two pesticides, found in the most common over-the-counter lice treatment preparations under the trade names Rid and Nix as well as in generic drug-store variations, are highly toxic to honey bees. The rise of pesticide resistance in today’s “super lice” means that more and more parents are utilizing greater quantities of these pesticides than ever to fight head lice in their families. In my years of experience with the treatment of head lice, I have found hundreds of parents who have ceased to follow correct usage instructions for these pesticides due to treatment failure. Many people, despite what common sense would dictate, subscribe to the “more is better” philosophy and treat repeatedly in direct defiance of the package labels. In addition, there are parents who will use one of these products “prophylactically” because they have heard that there is an outbreak or that their child has been exposed to lice. All of these pesticides end up being washed down the drain and return to our environment through the water table and through water treatment facilities. It is a proven fact that tap water contains traces of prescription drugs taken by people that are then still resident even after passing through a water treatment facility. In fact, the increase in autism diagnosis may also be attributable to the increase in use of these pesticides. As previously stated in my blog (Pesticides and Autism), studies have linked permethrin-based flea shampoos used by pregnant women to an increase in autism diagnosis in their children. Could the rise in environmental exposure to permethrin also be a factor in this increase?

The sad truth of the matter is that lice is easily treated with a non-toxic silicone oil called dimethicone. It is not just safer, it is more effective and environmentally more sound. We need to educate communities about ways we can safeguard not just our environment but also our children.

For more information on safe and effective non-toxic lice treatment, please contact NJ Lice Lady at njlicelady@gmail.com or 908-548-4480

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Finding a NJ lice treatment service can be difficult. With so many providers in the arena, it’s hard to decipher what everyone does for the fees they charge. Here are some things that I consider important about finding a lice treatment service in NJ or anywhere in the world!

1- Process: What do they do and how do they do it? Do they require you to come back to them? Do they charge for mandatory follow-up visits? How do they treat? Do they use a product reliable for eliminating live lice?

My answer: I treat by applying a dimethicone-based product to the hair and scalp of affected clients. I then complete a thorough comb out to remove nits from the hair using a solid stainless steel nit comb of the highest quality. Follow up visits are not needed and therefore are not included in my service, though clients are free to schedule a follow up visit if they desire one. I try to discourage people from doing so, simply because they are an unnecessary expense.

2- Products:  What kind of products does the service use? What are you obligated to buy? What does an average family spend on these products for a complete treatment cycle?

My answer: As mentioned above, I use a non-toxic, dimethicone-based product. In addition to the product which retails for $25 for a 12 oz bottle, I strongly encourage every family to purchase the same nit comb I use in my practice. The comb retails for $15. Most families will spend between $40-$65 for product and a comb to complete their treatment. Some families will choose to purchase a bottle of the KaPOW! Lice Defense Spray as well ($15) for use in preventing future lice outbreaks as well as facilitating comb outs.

3- Follow-Up: Perhaps the most important part of the treatment process is the follow-up required to make it successful. Will your service require you to perform daily comb outs in order to achieve a successful result? Will you need to complete daily treatments? What about housekeeping? Do they want you to clean/wash/boil the contents of your home on a daily basis to achieve a successful treatment outcome?

My answer: My clients complete two follow-up treatments at home using the above-mentioned non-toxic dimethicone-based product in addition to starting the ritual of weekly head checks done properly with a good quality stainless steel nit comb. While there is housekeeping to be done initially, the only thing I ask my clients to do after Day 1 is place their bedding in the dryer on the days they complete their follow-up treatments (2 more times). My clients are left with a schedule to follow and step-by-step instructions on exactly what needs to be done. The instructions are based in science and common sense. Any service that requires daily follow-up is asking their clients to do the “heavy lifting” for them. I question the value of a treatment a client purchases that requires them to do more work than the person they paid to treat them!

Finding a NJ Lice Treatment Service doesn’t have to be difficult if you know where to look! NJ Lice Lady provides safe, reliable, non-toxic lice treatment and nit removal for families from all over New Jersey. Low overhead allows me to provide world-class service at prices no lice treatment center in Cranford or Short Hills can match! Do you know someone who needs help with lice? Maybe it’s you? Give me a call and find out how affordable and uncomplicated good lice treatment can be! (908)548-4480 or njlicelady@gmail.com

 

Lisa Rafal, the NJ Lice Lady, is the former owner of franchised lice treatment centers in Clark and Fairfield, NJ. With a solid understanding of the problem and an empathy driven by having experienced lice as both a mother and as a pre-teen, Lisa is able to comfort families during the stress of dealing with lice. View the testimonials my clients have shared about the experiences with NJ Lice Lady and Lisa Rafal.

 

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Many parents ask, “Should my camper be checked for lice when they come home?” My answer is always an emphatic, “YES!” Here is why: Camp is a well-known source for the acquisition of head lice for kids of all ages. The closeness of camp, the bonding, the hugging, and the “last-day-of-camp-hysterics” all contribute to creating a perfect environment for one case of head lice to spread to many new heads.

Now, when my children come home, I am the one to do their head checks for them. For some parents who have willingly learned how to check their kids over the years, they will be the ones to do it for their children as well. If you are a parent who either lacks the skill, patience or proper tools (a good stainless steel nit comb…seen here), then you should invest in having someone who is knowledgeable and trained check for you. You should do this is for one simple reason: if you treat your camper’s lice infestation BEFORE they bring it into your home and introduce it to your family, you will have no cleaning to do and only one head to treat. This saves you money, time and effort; none of which are happily expended on this particular problem.

Looking for a “Welcome Home” head check for a returning camper? Contact NJ Lice Lady at (908) 548-4480 or email us at njlicelady@gmail.com

to schedule an appointment for your returning camper!

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You must tell people when you have lice. No one wants to be the one to send that email or make that phone call. Especially not when the reaction on the other end of the line might be a little overwhelming to handle. I recently treated a family and the mom did a lot of mental math around trying to figure out if she really needed to call one person in particular. Why? The person has a history of overreacting when told their children may have been exposed to head lice. Here’s the problem: if no one wants to tell you because they fear your reaction, you may end up with a bigger problem because of it. Lice outbreaks persist, in part, because people don’t inform their social circles and in doing so, they allow lice to continue to be passed back and forth between the children. If you have lice and you don’t tell the people you know that you have it, you are putting yourself at risk of getting it back despite treating it properly in your own family.

It’s a fact that lice tends to run through social circles. It is simply the nature of the beast. If we can get to a place where we react to lice just as we react to the flu or the stomach virus, we’ll be doing ourselves a huge favor. Yes, lice is annoying. Yes, I’ll even submit that it’s gross to have bugs on you. When you get past that part, what your left with is a minor inconvenience. Lice don’t cause diseases, they don’t hurt us and they don’t threaten our lives. Truly, there is nothing to be “freaking out” over. If you don’t tell people when you have lice, you risk re-acquiring the problem from either the original source, or from a member of the social circle to whom your family may have given it.

Aside from the cleaning and other things people associate with head lice, there is also the exorbitant cost most services charge to treat families. On the low end, when it’s all said and done, you’ve spent $200-$250 per head, $325 and more for the higher end. While my fees range from $125-$175 per head (soup to nuts, including product used to follow up) I prefer that families learn to treat at home on their own. It’s no different from bandaging a skinned knee or treating a common cold…parents are capable of doing this on their own. Some services claim that they only require one treatment. That’s never true. There is never a one treatment solution to lice. Every lice treatment protocol requires some kind of follow up after the initial treatment. Every one. If anyone tells you they have a one treatment solution, run!

Are you afraid to tell? There is a way to send an anonymous email to friends and family. Contact me at Contact mefor information on how to use it!

 

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There has been much debate about the possible cause of the steady increases in the rates of Autism we have seen in the United States. Some recent studies have drawn a link between maternal exposure to pesticides and Autism. I have been saying for years that I believe the future consequences of pesticide use for the current treatment of head lice may well be devastating. I had no idea the amount of research that had already been done.

Food for thought: not only are parents exposing their own children to pesticides repetitively which may, down the road, be implicated in the rates of Autism skyrocketing for the offspring of the girls of today, but they are also introducing more pesticides into the environment thereby exposing entire communities to higher levels of pesticide in the water table. Since girls get lice more often than do boys, it is especially concerning because a girl is born with all of her eggs in her body. The pesticide exposure on her body (particularly repetitively) is potentially exposing her ova (eggs) to the pesticide. This is in addition to environmental exposure and exposure through the food supply. Is this enough to increase her odds of having a child with Autism? Are you willing to take that chance for her or for your future grandchildren?

These are two interesting articles worth having a look at:

This article addresses mothers who use pyrethroid flea shampoos during pregnancy. To clarify, permethrin and pyrethrum are pyrethroid pesticides.

This article discusses glyphosate, Monsanto’s Round Up.

If you’re so inclined, there is a lot of information out there about pesticide use/exposure as it relates to Autism as well as birth defects and congenital malformations.

Remember it is not necessary to treat head lice with anything toxic. NJ Lice Lady is a resource for safe and effective head lice treatment and we make it accessible to everyone. There is no need to spend more money for professional treatment when you use good, reliable and safe products. Check out our approach to lice treatment and view our options. Have questions? mail Contact me
 

All Rights Reserved 2011-2014. Material May Not Be Reproduced Without Express Written Consent of the Author.