Wait, pest control companies dont handle head lice, do they? No, we do not. Unfortunately, its not as easy as just calling the exterminator when a child brings home head lice. However, it never fails. We do get calls for lice at the beginning of the school year, and we always direct them to their family physicians for guidance.
However, as a father of 6, (4 girls in there) I used to love/hate back to school time for many of the same reasons most parents do. But I hated it for one particular reason…head lice. We understand the struggle all too well.
Elementary school was the worst! For some reason, I could never get my words, advice, orders, to reach and stick into those tiny developing brains of my children. “Don’t use anyone’s comb” “Don’t wear anyone else’s hat.” Those kids… They would smile so sweetly, showing so much love and look me in the eyes to let me know they were listening: that they were paying attention with every ounce of energy they could possibly muster, and sometimes even putting a tiny hand against my cheek to assure me they understood.
Two weeks later…BOOM! Head lice…LET THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE DEPTHS OF HELL BEGIN!!! (Its bad, but not that bad…relax)
For those parents who have yet to have the pleasure of dealing with head lice, let me give you some insight as to how it goes.
It all starts with a little scratching of the head. You wont see it at first. Its like a little aberration you see out of the corner of your eye while making dinner, or doing some other parent duty. But, your mommy / daddy senses definitely just went to defcon 4…heightened alert, but nothing to be concerned about.
Over the next week, you see more scratching, either from the same child, or, you start noticing subtle scratches coming from the other children. Your mommy / daddy senses go to defcon 3, then 2, then here it comes defcon 1… A CALL FROM THE SCHOOL NURSE saying: “Please come and pick up your child / children immediately, he/she has lice.”
You panic. Not my kid! We’re clean! They take showers / baths every night! OMG! WHAT WILL THE NEIGHBORS AND OTHER PARENTS THINK??!!! You call the doctors office, you call the pharmacy and yes, you even call the pest control guy.
Once the initial shock / disbelief / embarrassment wears off, you instinctively settle back into mommy / daddy role and take care of business. There will be a lot of laundry, swearing, shampoo, swearing, and this amazing little comb (invented by the spawn of Satan himself) you will be dragging through that tiny little head of hair. (oh..did I mention swearing?)
Some of you reading this are probably at this point right now. Don’t worry, you’ll make it through it, I promise. Others of you are sitting there nodding and laughing while remembering the time(s) your kids came home with these unwanted visitors. For those who are just now having to deal with this, you will be laughing (and wincing) as you share stories of the nightmare of head lice and the children with your friends, family and neighbors for years to come.
If you are one of the ones with a child with head lice right now: Talk to your family doctor, please do not call the pest control company. As much as we feel your pain, we cannot help you.