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How I made sure I didn’t have lice

So 2 weeks before one of my little F’ers comes home from overnight, we get a call that there has been an outbreak of lice at camp.  Our lucky child happens to have nits but no visible lice were spotted.  They went ahead and treated him (with who knows what) and then they treated again after 1 week.  This was a few days before he comes home.

I of course did a little bit of reading at that time and felt that the two treatments should have adequately taken care of the problem.  The treatments generally are good against live lice but not against the eggs.  The treatment hangs around a while to kill newly hatched lice, but the second treatment should take care of the newly hatched lice.  I suppose it’s possible that any newly hatched lice could have laid eggs before dying, but I think the treatments are supposed to remain active for a while.

I looked at his scalp about a week after getting home, and I did see what looked like a few nits, but they were not very close to the scalp.  From what I’ve read, the nits are likely to stay around as the hair grows out and it is the nits by the scalp that are the newly laid ones which may contain viable lice.  I assumed they were old nits and not a sign of active disease.

Fast forward to a few days ago when I’ve just woken up and I’m getting ready for work.  I’m sitting on the the throne when I notice a little bug drop down onto my leg.  It scurries around a bit and then jumps/falls down on the the shower floor mat.  I squish it as I try to grab it and it looks like it has a bit of blood.  I try to get a good look at it but I can’t really see too much about it as it did get squashed.

Being who I am, I worried that it may be lice.  I didn’t want to wake anyone else up and alarm them the household, at least not at the early hour.  So I drive off to work wondering if it could have been a louse and wondering if there is any way I can examine my own head.

I did some searching around and the only reasonable thing I could find was the Robicomb.  The Robicomb looks like an electric beard trimmer but you use it just to come through your head.  It runs on a AA battery and makes a high pitched whistling noise when turned on.  You run it through your hair and when it hits a lice, the noise stops.  I was able to find one at the local Walgreens for around $28.  I ran there during my lunch break and picked it up.  I ran it through my own hair and the whistling did stop briefly a few times, but it was when I was coming through tangles in my hair.  I didn’t find any lice on the comb so I figured there were no lice detected.  I ran it through my hair a few other times after combing my hair first and it never stopped the whistling, so I think I’m in the clear.

It does seem like a neat little gadget, but I’m guessing it would work better if someone else were using it on your head, so they could see what was causing the whistling noise to stop.  When it hits a lice, it is supposed to zap it dead, allowing you to kill all of the live lice in your hair.  If you use it every day for 2 weeks, in theory, it should have killed all of the lice that hatched before they could lay more eggs.  It overall has gotten good reviews on Amazon, and it seems to do what it claims.  If I did find a lice or two on my head, I probably would have still gone ahead and treated with one of the over-the-counter products.  I might first check and see if my son’s lice was still active, because if so, then perhaps the particular strain of lice was resistant to the typical treatments.  In that case, I’d probably call the doctor to see if there is a different form of treatment that the lice isn’t as likely to be resistant.

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