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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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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

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Often I am asked by clients, “How long have we had lice?” It’s an important question to attempt to answer so that friends and relatives may be properly informed, but it’s just as difficult a question to answer definitively. While it is possible to answer in general terms, the effort to pinpoint a day or a point in time is complicated by the life cycle of this annoying little parasite. Follow along:

  1. An adult human head louse glues an egg (nit) to a strand of hair.
  2. From that nit, sometime between 7-10 days later, a first stage nymph will emerge.
  3. Over the next 7-10 days, that nymph will eat and grow and molt its exoskeleton 3 times to become an adult human head louse capable of mating.
  4. Within 24 hours of finding a mate, the fertilized female will begin laying her own eggs at a rate of 3-5 eggs twice a day.

So, sometime between 14-20 days from being laid as an egg, a bug will be mature. That’s a wide range of time. So, let’s play CSI: Head Lice Division for a moment. Here is what I found on the head that I treated today:
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 bugs, primarily stage 2 nymphs. There were a few stage 1 nymphs, numerous stage-2 nymphs, 1-stage 3 nymph and 2 adult lice. In combing the client, I found about 30-50 nits. Because of the amount of time it takes to stand and count eggs and because my clients pay by the hour, I eyeball my counts and guesstimate the timeline. Using the information I already disclosed above, can you guesstimate how long this person had lice?
Here’s what I think…I believe my client had lice for 2.5-3 weeks. In CSI terms, I believe the forensic evidence supports the following interpretation of the case: Client acquired a fertilized female from a friend at camp. Normal egg laying activity for a female is 6-10 eggs a day. It is likely that the female laid her eggs per normal until she was either presented with an opportunity to leave the head for a new host or she was otherwise interrupted, perhaps being killed by a hair brush, hair dryer, flat iron or the like. The eggs she laid were left to incubate on the host head. Because the number of nits did not exceed greatly the number of bugs, it is my guess that the adult lice I found on the client hatched on the head and only just matured. This case of lice was confined to the one family member and had not yet spread to other family members, HOWEVER, had it not been caught today and been allowed to continue, it is likely that within the week, the sibling and mother of the affected child would have become infested as well.
I cannot prove my theory because those inconsiderate lice don’t leave us Post-It Notes telling us the details of their adventures. Although applying deductive reasoning this scenario is feasible. There could be other explanations, though for me, it’s the low nit count relative to the number of bugs that leaves me thinking this infestation is fairly new.
Are you finding yourself asking “how long have we had lice” or other questions about head lice treatment? Need to talk to someone who can help? NJ Lice Lady can help! Email njlicelady@gmail.com

or call (908)548-4480

 

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Recently, NJ lice outbreaks have surprised parents in Scotch Plains, Westfield, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside. This is not unusual at this time of year, with kids finishing up summer camp and many children returning home from sleep away camp. Unfortunately, the outbreaks are often left to spread when parents or camp/school nurses are conducting visual head checks on children. A visual screening is not always reliable and may lead to cases of lice going undetected until significant live activity alerts a parent to the problem. Typically, by the time there is a large enough number of live lice to tip off a parent or caregiver, that case of lice has already to spread to a number friends and family members. The other unfortunate point is that many times head lice, even in later stages of infestation, is often misdiagnosed as dandruff or another scalp condition. As one mother recently told me, her child was scratching furiously and upon taking the child to the doctor, the mother was given a prescription for an anti-dandruff preparation. The child had head lice. This story has been repeated to me many, many times. With the current situation, it looks like there could be many NJ lice outbreaks from September through November. The good news? This problem is easily treated, easily detected and contrary to popular belief, does NOT have to take over anyone’s life for weeks on end!

Not every person with lice will develop the allergic reaction to the bug’s saliva that causes itching to occur. If you are the parent or caregiver of a school-aged child, particularly girls, you should be checking your child weekly with a good quality, solid stainless steel nit comb. If you are not doing this, you are putting yourself in the position of not finding lice until they have spread through your household to several family members. Most likely to contract lice are siblings and mothers of infested children. Fathers, more times than not, will get the “buy” on this problem. They still need to be checked if there is lice in the family, but they are much less likely to get head lice.

Do you have questions about something you’ve found on your child? Do you want to learn how to do a proper head check and keep lice from becoming a family-wide problem? Do you know someone currently struggling with lice in their family? NJ Lice Lady is a local resource for lice treatment and education in Union County, NJ. I work with families to end their lice problem and help them move on to better things. Call (908)548-4480 or email njlicelady@gmail.com

to schedule an appointment or to find out how you can help your social circle avoid the inconvenience of an outbreak this fall.

Check out this handy video, produced by The Center for Lice Control to see more about proper head checks: Click here

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There is no one time lice treatment solution. Ever hear a lice treatment company publicize that their process was “one treatment” and that’s it? Don’t be fooled or misled by any person or company that touts a quick and simple solution to lice. Simply put, lice treatment is a process. It is something that always requires some degree of follow up to ensure success. There are no short cuts.

Once upon a time, I worked with a medical device to treat head lice. It boasted impressive statistics: it desiccated 99.2% of nits and killed about 87% of live bugs on a person’s head. The issue in this case being that additional steps were needed to ensure an end to any lice infestation. First, a comb out needed to be done, primarily for cosmetic reasons, but additionally, there needed to be an application of a product which eliminated live bugs that remained after the treatment with the heated air produced by the device. In fact, the cosmetic comb out and the product were the only essential parts of the process. The medical device increased treatment time in most cases, increased the cost of treatment, and aside from peace of mind, didn’t truly change the nature of the process.

NJ Lice Lady’s process is a simple one. Our one time in-person visit consists of an application of a non-toxic, dimethicone-based lice treatment product (KaPOW! Lice Attack Solution), followed by a thorough comb out, a simple at-home follow up protocol consisting of two more applications of the product and weekly head checks. If you are using a product reliable for the elimination of live bugs, it is not necessary to spend extra money to return to a lice treatment provider for professional follow up.

If you know someone who is battling a lice problem in New Jersey, tell them there is a better alternative to high-priced lice treatment centers. There is a resource for non-toxic lice treatment in NJ that doesn’t break the bank, and where the owner is always hands-on. Contact NJ Lice Lady (908)548-4480 or email njlicelady@gmail.com

 

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With summer lice outbreaks around New Jersey, it’s been a busy week here at NJ Lice Lady. I’ve seen families from Monmouth County all the way up to Passaic County. One thing is certain, back to school lice outbreaks are sure to be plentiful once more this year. As we sit here on August 8th, I know of more than one day camp in the area that has dealt with lice recently. My experience tells me that, with the rise in pesticide resistance among head lice and the misinformation most parents are either given by friends or seek out on the Internet, the current outbreaks will easily convert to a school-time issue. In fact, as is usually the case, October will likely prove to be the worst month for identification of these cases of lice. Some children will spend the month of September spreading lice to their friends before their lice problem is identified.

As the mom of a newly-minted cheerleader, and a soon-to-be 9 year old girl, I am bracing myself for the possibility that I could find myself treating my own child this year. I’m often asked for words of advice. Here is a handy guide to facts and tips you can use to help keep your family lice free. Feel free to print yourself a copy!Basic Lice Facts and Tips for Lice Prevention In addition to these basic tips and facts about lice, it is important that parents understand that it’s their job to be checking their kids for lice regularly. The proper way to do this is by combing through the hair with a GOOD QUALITY stainless steel nit comb. There is simply no substitute for a good comb.

Got questions about lice and how to handle your own family’s lice outbreak? Don’t be shy…email me at njlicelady@gmail.com

or give me a call to schedule an appointment in New Jersey (908)548-4480.

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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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Head lice treatment services in NJ vary in terms of how they approach head lice treatment and the fees they charge. As someone who has seen a lot of people for whom previous treatments have failed, both professional and DIY, I am keenly aware of the high cost of treatment. When I speak of the “high cost” I factor several things, among them: actual financial expense for products, services and tools, the expense of lost wages for parents who stay home for days and days because their children can’t get back to school, the emotional toll it takes on every member of the family while time stands still and these miniscule insects command the attention of the household and the environmental havoc wreaked by the overuse of pesticides and toxic agents that people use to combat head lice.

It seems that recently many people have decided to call themselves lice treatment professionals. I think of the old lottery commercials that used the tagline, “All you need is a dollar and a dream.” With lice treatment apparently all you need is a comb and a website. Recently, while in Hawaii, I did some local research to see what kind of professional treatment options there are. I found the website of a woman who sends her clients an e-book, and then via UPS or the like, sends them a kit which includes “nit sticks” and a microtip tweezer in addition to a nit comb. Using a tweezer for treating lice is like using a tweezer to trim your lawn. Sure, you might get it done eventually, but you’ll be exhausted, you’re bound to miss something and it’s totally inefficient!

My point is this: It’s easy to call yourself a professional. It’s easy to build a website these days, and it’s even inexpensive to do so. The thing that’s not so easy is actually being competent at what you do. I am proud to offer top notch services that are safe, effective and not cost-prohibitive. Because I believe that every family should be able to access safe and reliable head lice and nit removal services, I offer two options for treatment. For families that are more budget conscious and more DIY-oriented, I will teach parents how to treat lice at home. For parents who prefer the convenience of having it done for them, and for whom cost is not as significant a factor, I offer full-service treatment for the family. Regardless, every client of mine receives an education in head lice and learns about treatment, prevention and proper protocol.

Do you know someone who has been struggling with head lice? Maybe it’s time they tried the NJ Lice Lady approach. Contact me for more information about how I can help. It isn’t necessary to suffer through months of infestation.

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Effective and affordable head lice treatment in NJ is hard to come by. There are many people who will say they are professionals, but I have noticed that many of them don’t really understand the science of head lice themselves. Sadly, that doesn’t keep them from charging some outrageous fees for their services. It also doesn’t make them successful at what they do. When I started out as a lice treatment professional, I purchased a franchise and opened an office in Clark, NJ. It seemed like a good idea at the time. What I learned, unfortunately, is that the high overhead of running a franchised business makes being profitable nearly impossible. Despite having raised my fees, I was unable to sustain the business.

From all things, we learn. I saw in the years that I was running that office, that many families simply could not afford to treat their children professionally. It made me sad to see children being treated with toxic chemicals simply because of the economics of head lice treatment. The worst part was knowing that those same children would likely experience treatment failure because of the unreliability of those products. It didn’t seem fair.

The truth is that lice is a big business. If you believe some things I’ve read, it’s a billion dollar a year industry. Why do drugstores carry products that don’t work? Well, if you have to keep buying them, they get to keep making sales, don’t they? I hate conspiracy theories, but the CDC and AAP still, despite mountains of evidence that shows pesticide resistance is a solid fact, continue to recommend Permethrin and Piperonyl Butoxide (Nix and Rid) as a first line treatment. Why? Why have they not endorsed, unequivocally, non-toxic lice treatment? There have been 3 new prescription lice products approved by the FDA in the time I’ve been treating lice professionally. Why are we pushing possible carcinogens onto children’s heads when a simple non-toxic product like dimethicone, found in the product I use and sell (KaPOW! Lice Attack Solution), kills lice in minutes and is as safe as any styling product found in a salon? Is it because treating lice right the first time would mean that people didn’t keep buying more product? I hope not.

The same holds true for lice treatment professionals. They want you to think it’s magical mystical stuff we do. Outside the “wheelhouse” of the average parent. It’s not. That’s why I want to teach parents what to do instead of treating their kids for them. Some parents don’t want to know and don’t want to deal with it. That’s fine. Those parents have the resources to pay someone to do it for them and that’s great. I love treating lice and will happily help a family that way! For the parents who don’t have the money to pay someone to do it for them, there needs to be a reliable alternative that is affordable for them. This is why I created my Head Lice 101 DIY approach to head lice treatment. I’m here to help and I want to make this less burdensome and more cost-effective for families in NJ. If you’re interested in learning how to detect lice proactively, and you’d like to host a parents’ workshop in your home, email me at Contact me

 

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Parents in Scotch Plains and neighboring towns have been battling a pesticide resistant strain of lice since the beginning of the year. While not uncommon, it is certainly frustrating for parents and children. Additionally, it re-allocates the precious time resources of the school nurse. Instead of dealing with the very important functions of medicine administration, caring for sick and injured students and completing State mandated paperwork, the nurse is forced to perform head lice screenings. There are a few issues with this:

  1. A visual inspection is not always perfect. It can’t be. This means that, despite spending hours doing these screenings, the nurse may well miss something.
  2. Relying on the school nurse allows parents to remove themselves from the process of lice detection. In fact, parents are crucial in this process and have the ability to do a far better job at home than the nurse can do in school.
  3. Parents assume that if lice is found in school, they will be notified about it by the nurse or administration and that is not always the case. It also makes parents feel that their responsibility to notify other parents of their child’s lice is nullified because they believe the school will notify their child’s classmates and friends.

Unfortunately, when a letter does come home from the school, the outmoded recommendation always included in that letter is to consult your doctor or pharmacist about lice “shampoos.” There is no such thing as a “shampoo” that kills lice. What is being referenced in that letter are the OTC pesticides that are found in every drug store in America. The truth is, they don’t work reliably anymore. Yes, some people have success with them. Sadly, far more people are experiencing treatment failure with them. Head lice in the US have become incredibly resistant to the pyrethroid pesticides found in drug stores. It is my personal and professional opinion that the resistance to these pesticides is behind the increasing frequency of longstanding outbreaks within communities.

The outcome of repeated treatment failures is this: children being repeatedly exposed to pesticides on their bodies (scalp) and parents who become so exasperated they stop trying, thus magnifying the problem. It is not necessary to pay for professional treatment, though some families may prefer this. NJ Lice Lady is a resource for parents who want to treat on their own as well as those who prefer a full-service approach. From our DIY, Head Lice 101 to simply being able to purchase a reliable, safe and non-toxic product along with a GOOD nit comb, I can help parents who have been struggling with head lice. You can reach me by email at njlicelady@gmail.com.

 

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