I've had it with lice. Look, it beats bed bugs and other horrible things but frankly, lice is a logistic nightmare.
Yesterday, my school sent home a notice that some kids in the school have lice. We had it last year, and let me tell you what I learned so that you can prevent your kids (and yourself) from getting lice. Please read this.
First off, those chemical lice killers don't work. Lice have grown resistant to them. So if you go buy Nix or whatever, you will just be pouring very harmful chemicals on to your child's head. It's bad for your kids, and the lice won't mind it.
Second, tea tree oil won't do much. You can put it, preventatively, along your child's hair line, or even run you oiled fingers through his/her hair, but ultimately, it won't work. You can keep your child's hair pulled up in a ponytail, gelled back, which limits lice exposure, but isn't foolproof.
You can do a couple things, though. You can have the pros comb your hair out, and your child's. Lice Be Gone is amazing. They comb through your hair and tell you if you have bugs. If you do, they get all the lice and the eggs. We did it last year and it was worth every penny. 973-467-LICE(5423). People travel to this place from Pennsylvania and New York. I highly recommend it.
If you prefer the cheap and easy DIY method, follow these instructions. This works but will take some elbow grease on your part.
The minute you think your child might have lice, get them home (and please keep them home) and cover their head in Crisco (bacon fat works, so does butter). Once their head is covered in Crisco -- I've done it to my own head and my long hair will literally stay on top of my head from the Crisco -- wrap their head in Saran Wrap. If this is uncomfortable for them, or you are worried about it smothering them, you can cover their head with a bandana. Leave this on overnight. This should kill any live bugs. In the morning, wash their hair out with dish soap, like Dawn.
Now, comb through their hair with a good lice comb. Those blue plastic ones won't get all the eggs or the bugs. I suggest the Nisska Lice Comb. It's what the pros use. The pros put conditioner mixed with baking soda on the comb as they go through, making it easier to see the lice. If you have bugs, you have eggs, and the eggs are hard to see and will hatch. The Crisco won't smother them. So you have to keep doing the Crisco and the combing every night for the first week. After that, do it every few days or the bugs will return.
If you live with a child who has lice, Crisco your head too. Just in case.
All lice affected homes must be cleaned or abandoned. Lice cannot live without a human host for more than three days. They cannot live on animals, but can travel on them. If you can, go away for a long weekend, and then your house will be lice free. If you can't, everything needs to be vacuumed. Your car, couches, carpets, stuffed animals, everything. Anything that can go in the dryer should, on high heat for 30 - 40 minutes (no need to wash first). Coats, hats, everything. Brushes can be soaked in ammonia or thrown out. Everything you throw out should first go in plastic bags.
If you can avoid a room or two for three days, you won't have to strip it. Lice don't jump, but they cling. When you child takes off his/her coat, a lice might get knocked onto the coat. Then the coat is laying next to another coat, the lice walks over looking for blood. When the child puts on the coat, voila! Lice. They pass on shared hair brushes, and shared pillows at sleep over parties. Don't share hats, helmets, brushes, scarves, coats. Be aware.
Please forward this to everyone you know so that they can protect their kids from getting lice.