In Which We Present One Way to Get Rid of Lice Without Using Pesticides

Hello. It has come to my attention that some of you are interested in how I get rid of lice. Will I tell you? Yes. Will I cite my sources? No. Can you post your own remedies in the comments? As if I could stop you. Please, be my guest.

Anyway, I am going to tell you that you can kick lice without going into lockdown and sterilizing your whole house, but focusing on what lice need, which is your head, and not worrying so much about the rest of your house.

Step One: Don’t get lice. I managed this for 31 years. Goooo Team Assmittens.

Step Two: Get Lice. Fuck Salt. (Optional step.)

You needa:

1. “Original” Listerine. Amber color. Off-brand is fine. The issue with the other flavors is that they can get sticky, I hear.
2. Plasticky drug store shower caps.
3. Fingernails or comb. I prefer fingernails, whereas my friend V. swears by this comb.
4. Beauty supply-type squirt bottle for Listerine. Again, optional, but I think it helps.

Out Out Damned Spot

Good news for you, the afflicted: lice are crawlers, not leapers, hoppers, or flyers, so they won’t get terribly far. Thing two is that they cannot live long off one’s head.

You are going for a two-pronged attack here.

Prong one is getting rid of the nits (eggs). These live between 1-3 inches from the scalp, on individual strands of hair. People say they look like little oil drops or tiny sesame seeds. They cling to the shaft of the hair with ass glue or something, I dunno.

I grab them with my fingernails and drop them into the sink when I find them, to keep them contained. I look through every bit of hair in a pretty unscientific way–I just sort through an inch or so at a time. I do this for about a week and then do a glance every day for about a week after that, and then periodic checks throughout the year. If you get rid of the eggs, then, duh, no more hatching, and you end the cycle. A serious infestation may take an hour or more to pull, or as little as 15 minutes if you are checking weekly or so. Don’t shit bricks if you need to take a break or you do not get them all at once on the first night. Persistence is the key here. Give it a few days and you will get them all.

Prong two is the bugs themselves. YUK. If they get big enough to see and pull out (St. Jude pray for us) then just rinse them down the drain or drop them in the toilet. The little ones will have to be poisoned with delishus delishus Listerine.

I spray this liberally all over the head with the squirty bottle. Avoid the eyes, as it will burn like a bitch. Do not drink, unless you are a hobo. Well, are you a hobo? Get the hair pretty wet to the ends so there is nowhere to run, and then cover with a showercap for a half hour or so. Imagine tiny screaming holocaust all over your head, and feel smug. You may be drippy, so grab a hand towel for your neck. Rinse and shampoo as normal, knowing that you have destroyed lives. I do the Listerine cycle for about a week as well. I hear the Listerine smell repels reinfestation as well, but if it is between death and your delicious head blood, I bet they will hold their noses.

Optional stuff:

1. Change sheets. Why not? I hear they can live a day or so off the head, so why not have a fresh start the first night?

2. Vacuum. I bet your house could use it, right? Well, mine could. Unless you have lice on the floor and your kids are rubbing their heads on the floor, this won’t matter too much.

3. Coats, couches, other pillows, etc. I wouldn’t go crazy. Think about it: if you are killing whatever clings on that day every evening, and they can only live off the head 24 hours or so, and you are breaking the laying cycle, then you do not need to sterilize your house.

DO make sure you check everyone in your house, though–why pass it around over and over? When I get paranoid I give myself a few squirts as well.

DO NOT buy that overpriced bullshit from the drug store with the shitty plastic comb. This operation should not cost you much more than $10 for the whole family, and you keep the shower caps and squirty bottle for next time. Generic Listerine is like three bone.

DO NOT panic. This is rather simple and their advantage is that they are TINY, not that they are terrifically pernicious.

Good luck.

13 thoughts on “In Which We Present One Way to Get Rid of Lice Without Using Pesticides

  1. Tiny screaming holocaust. I better write some of this down, now that B is around other possibly infected chilluns. Wanna borrow my hat? *scratch scratch*

  2. Oh my goodness I did not know there was a National Pediculosis Association! Are you their prime minister? Should be as you have mad skillz with the louse annihilation plan you have outlined. Where were you ten years ago? Gotta run my head itches. A truly breathtaking post…

  3. I remember the last time, or was it the time before?, that you wrote about killing lice with Listerine. Of course, this was AFTER my son had been infected with bugs large enough that he looked like a walking ant farm. Bleh. I now recommend your method to everyone when this subject is brought up. Yay SJ. My lice-y heroine. :)

  4. I wonder aloud: Will this method also work on CRABS? I got them once from a disgusting hippie I dry-humped in college, and I ended up shaving from stem to stern. Does the Listerine burn the delicate lady bits? Let us never find out, we will make a pact here, now, forever.

    I am itchy all over now, I am going to go bathe in Listerine.

  5. GAH lice. Grody, dude. Plus the added bonus of knowing that your precious offspring gets to live in the uber-cleanliness of her Dad’s house. Lovely. I am seriously PMS-ing right now so Ima shut it before I go off.

  6. I invested in a robicomb. It was expensive but I’ve had it for years. It’s like a bug zapper. Once you zap them they still need to be killed though because they’re just stunned and they start to squirm around. Afterwards we put lavender oil and tea tree oil on our scalps.

  7. ACB: Yeah, it was about a year ago when I was in the Pit of Hell working all the time, etc.

  8. Sytro- I’ve heard that the Blue Star Ointment stuff works for the crabs.

    And when I had the lice, I had so much hair that it was impossible to get all the nits. I slathered my hair with “grease” every night for a couple of nights and smothered the little bastards.

  9. This information would have saved my sanity a decade ago. Now it fills me with regret. God only knows what the fallout will be from the industrial-grade defoliants I used on my head and my daughter’s. And that was just the lice debacles. Then there were the pinworm miseries. My ass itches just thinking about those.

  10. Read this laughing, but am now afflicted with a crawling feeling on my scalp. Very funny mate.

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