I started calling the plague of lice that hit my home last year “super lice” because they would not die. They say lice cannot jump… ha! They say a lot of things, don’t listen to any of it 🙂 This year I learned at work that super lice is indeed such a thing, because lice are becoming resistant to treatment from over use of chemicals. I keep trying to warn people about all this chemical stuff, but anywho… Now that media is reporting these little super monsters spreading, I decided to share with you my Super Hippie, Super Lice remedy!
I am going to tell you a secret, this hippie gets the heebie-jeebies from lice. Bad enough that I talked myself into using expensive, store bought lice treatments in a matter of 2 seconds. I used one of the pyrethrin types which is “natural” and a chemical-I-cannot-pronounce kind. Neither of these killed the little buggers. This became very frustrating, very quickly. When the times are tough, I do what I do best, improvise! What do I know about killing lice? Heat, suffocation and microscopic machete wielding warriors is what I needed. I can do that!
I mixed up organic olive oil (suffocation), diatomaceous earth (microscopic machetes a.k.a. DE), dish soap, and tea tree (or melaleuca) essential oil which is theorized to ward off these buggers(and lavender essential oil because I was stressed, but it is totally optional). I made a thick paste, massaged into all the hair but especially at the scalp. I made parts through their hair like you would to apply hair dye. I shower capped it (heat) and sent the kids to play for hours and hours while I deloused the house. I’m going to guess 8 hours/overnight would be the max I would do. It will dry out some and when its time to rinse, just add water and the dish soap will suds up nicely to help remove the gunk. Takes a while to rinse, but don’t use any additional soap. Keep in mind that lice like clean dry hair, I have decided its best to keep hair a smidge greasy for a couple of days until you are confident you have cleaned your home sufficiently. This treatment leaves the hair a little oily, so new lice cannot latch on or lay eggs as easily. I sprayed the kiddos down with conditioning mix of apple cider vinegar and tea tree and lavender oils and started combing out the nits! And after that, since I am crazy paranoid, I may have also blow dried and straightened their hair with a flat iron. It can’t hurt 🙂
In review: we are suffocating them with this thick paste that dries out and hardens up a little. If they don’t die of suffocation, they will die soon from dehydration because the DE will cut the exoskeleton of the bugs AND the nits, which is a huge bonus, because if you miss one single live nit you may have done all this work for nothing. This mix also soothes the scalp where the lice have undoubtedly bitten.
As for your house, if you can run it through a hot dryer, do it! Wash bedding, bed pillows (not just the covers) and other washables with hot water. Do not overlook throw blankets and decorative pillows in common areas, coats and jackets, hats, and your vehicle to include booster seats, etc. Sprinkle the carpet throughout your home/car and surfaces you cannot wash (like couches) with diatomaceous earth. You can mix in a little baking soda with essential oils into the DE as well, let it sit overnight and then vacuum up. Place DE in your vacuum bag or canister to kill any buggers you suck up. You can bag up toys and let them sit a few days to a week, but anything with fur or fabric really needs washed and dried, heated up or coated in DE! Spritz everything in the house with the EOs, or diffuse, especially lavender to reduce the stress of living this nightmare, maybe even some mood lifting citrus.
Lets go to the recipe:
- 1 cup DE
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 to 2 tbsp. dish soap
- 5 drops of melaleuca EO
- additional EOs for scent optional
Note: this does not have to be exact, and you will need to make how much you need based on number of people and the amount of hair they have. You want a thick but runny liquid, about the consistency of expensive shampoo. I like Sal Suds or Dawn dish soap best.
Buy the best essential oils here: http://www.mydoterra.com/ashleyrenouf/#/