A Simple Two-Pronged Approach to Beating Lice
There are over 5,000 known species of lice, and they can be found on any part of the body that has hair. Lice can also be found on bedding or clothing. The good news is that controlling lice is not an impossible task, and you don’t necessarily need a lot of harsh chemicals or expensive shampoos to rid yourself of an outbreak. Let’s look at a couple of different approaches you can us if it occurs during a survival situation.
Most conventional lice treatments involve suffocating and then removing them from the body and fabric. There are a number of methods that can be used to control an outbreak, but even the best commercial products will require numerous applications and patience until the lice die off and disappear. Home remedies can be just as effective as their commercial counterparts, but they also take time to work. Be prepared to perform numerous treatments in order to rid yourself of the problem.
The only real way to get rid of lice on hair is to use a fine-toothed comb or shave the affected area completely. There are special lice combs that can be bought at almost any store that sells lice-killing products, but you can also find suitable alternatives at craft, home improvement or pet stores as well.
This is one item that you want to have on hand before you encounter a SHTF scenario so that you can be prepared for the eventuality of an outbreak.
Removal from Hair
The safest way to remove lice from hair is to coat it with olive or almond oil. However, many people have reported success with almost any type of essential oil as well. All of these oils have the necessary viscosity that will temporarily suffocate and slow down the movement of the insects. Thoroughly apply the oil to the scalp or other part of the body until all of the hair is covered with a generous coating.
It is widely-accepted that combing the lice from the hair is what actually rids the lice from the body. Even poisonous chemicals that are designed to kill lice do not always work, and the only real solution is to comb out the insects to ensure that they do not come back to life and reproduce. The best way to ensure that you get all of the lice is to work in small sections at a time.
Grab a small bunch of hair, flatten it between your index and middle finger and gently pull so the hair is in a horizontal line. Run the comb from the scalp to the end and make multiple passes to ensure that you have removed all of the lice. Rinse the comb under running hot water as you make each pass for each section in order to remove the lice. Keep repeating the process until you have combed all of the hair. Try to remove the lice under good light so that you can see whether or not you are getting all of them.
Once you have combed all of the hair, you can wash the hair and scalp with normal shampoo. Clean the comb by soaking it in a bleach/water mixture that has 10% bleach. You can also soak the comb in vinegar. Allow the comb to soak for at least 30 minutes for both options. You also want to make sure that you separate any towels or linens that were used during the cleaning process. Place them in a garbage bag and seal tight.
You are most likely going to need to repeat this process every day for at least a week or two or until the lice have disappeared.
Removing Lice From Bedding and Linens
It is important that you treat linens, clothing or bedding that have been used by the infested person as well as those who have come into close contact with the individual. The easiest thing to do is put the fabric in the washing machine and run it through a double-soak cycle with hot water. Adding bleach can also help to remove lice from the fabric. Place in the dryer under high heat for one cycle. Lice and their eggs generally die off after about 5-10 minutes of exposure.
If you are working with fabric that will shrink or cannot be washed, place the items into a bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, seal and keep in a separate area for two weeks. This will cause the lice to starve and die from a lack of blood while also depriving the insects of oxygen.
You also want to vacuum or sweep areas where the infested person has been sleeping or sitting. This will help to remove excess hair as well as any lice that have fallen off of the body. This will minimize cross-transmission by removing any living lice from the immediate area. Empty the vacuum cleaner bag or dust pan into a plastic bag, tie it off and place in a garbage can outside.
The use of oils and a good comb is the second-best option to purchasing products that are designed to kill lice and their eggs. However, these natural remedies can be just as effective as long as you are patient and make the time to apply consistent treatments until the lice disappear.
Taking this two-pronged approach as well as applying multiple treatments on a daily basis for a couple of weeks will eliminate the majority of lice problems. However, you may also want to consider quarantining the infested individual in order to isolate the problem as much as possible.