Being a father of two you record the days when your child passes a milestone: their first word usually “Dada” (much to your partner’s annoyance), that first step, the first tooth and so on. But the thing that won’t be put down in the echelons is the negatives and a couple of months ago my eldest daughter hit one of them.
This strikes fear into parents it is the dreaded N word….. NITS; I know technically speaking NITS are the egg cases of the Head Louse (Pediculus humanus capitas) but just finding them sends even the most mild mannered parent into a blind panic.
The phone is used to ring everyone who has come into contact with them so that everyone can have their hair checked; if they are unlucky then they are all subjected to the same routine, a kind of “social pest control treatment” if you like, anyway I digress. This pest is one that we don’t treat for (click here for the pest guides for those that we do) but you I guarantee that you will come in contact with it some time in your life.
Head lice exclusively live on the scalp of humans (there are other species of lice which feed on humans AND other animals) and feed on blood. They lay their eggs onto the lower shaft of hair as the temperature is an ideal habitat. After hatching they live for one or two weeks; but be warned they can also survive for two days off the scalp.
SO WHAT HAPPENED IN THE END?
After finding them within my daughters hair we resulted in the old fashioned method (no, not blind panic!) but a comb and a bit of tissue paper to see if we could see any more of these pests. After confirming our fears and speaking to various people; numerous trials of destruction of these pests were undertaken.
- Conditioner and a fine tooth comb – takes lots of these pests out but can take a while.
- Various nit treatments with natural chemicals such as Neem, Tea tree oil and then others containing what looks like some of the chemicals we use in our insecticides – kills loads but they come back with a vengeance in a week’s time.
- AND THE ONE THAT FINALLY WORKED: A special nit comb that has twisty teeth that takes the eggs as well as the adults out.
After getting rid of these pests and the whole family undergoing the various preparations and chemicals I can say only one thing… My eldest daughter is only two and so its only a matter of time until she goes to nursery and then big school, so I am looking forward to more occasions when we really bond as a family. Can’t wait!