Just the thought of bugs crawling in your hair is enough to send anyone racing to the bath tub armed with bottles of lice-killing treatments. But wait! Before you treat lice symptoms, take a seat, take a breath, and get the facts about head lice.
Head lice are a common problem with more than two million Canadians experiencing head lice annually, and around six million annual cases in the U.S. There is quite a market for treating lice mostly dominated by the sale of head lice treatments that contain pesticide or other chemical compounds. These are toxic to lice and pose potential danger to humans and the environment if over used or abused. Children who are still developing or those who may have an underlying health issue should not be exposed to high levels of pesticide. Although the levels in most of these over the counter remedies is low the potential risk comes from their over use and abuse when they fail to work as directed.
Why is this important information for your family to know? A recent study in the medical journal of entomology has shown that head lice are now 97.1% resistant to most of the over the counter head lice treatments containing permethrin, a common synthetic chemical widely used as an insecticide, acaricide, and insect repellent. It belongs to the family of synthetic chemicals called pyrethroids and functions as a neurotoxin, affecting neuron membranes by prolonging sodium channel activation. It is not known to rapidly harm most mammals or birds, but is dangerously toxic to cats and fish. In general, it has a low mammalian toxicity. Most popular head lice treatment products contain permethrin. When the product fails to perform people may over use or abuse them in a desperate effort to get rid of the bugs. I have personally spoken to many mothers who have told me they have used upwards of ten to fifteen applications without success.
Head Lice Removal Options
Shampoo and cleaning products made with preformed enzymes as the active ingredient are a great solution to products that rely on chemical or pesticide actions to kill bugs. These naturally occurring plants enzymes are safe for human use and are environmentally friendly. They are biodegradable and do not pollute the water system. Their action is mechanical and when used in combination with reduction combing and environmental cleaning offer superior results. The most important step in lice eradication with natural lice treatment is to systematically interrupt their life cycles by the removal of lice eggs. Systematic combing in combination with enzyme shampoo and environmental cleaning applications will ensure that the life cycle of the louse is broken and the case is completely eradicated. You may opt to hire a lice removal service. In this case a medical device called the Air Elle may be used. This utilizes heated air to kill all lice and their eggs in combination with reduction combing to remove the dead head lice and eggs. The DIY sect may also opt for the old fashioned oil smothering method whereby you saturate the scalp in olive or coconut oil and smother the bugs.
About the Author:
Dawn Mucci is a mother of three, writer and founder of Lice Squad Canada. Her vision is to dispel the stigma associated with head lice and to stop the overuse and abuse of pesticides on children and our environment.
If you’re a member of a Volunteer Committee, PTA or PTO and are thinking of ways to raise funds for your organization, charity or cause then we have the answer! Our online Fundraising Program is perfect for Schools, Daycare, Sports Teams, Recreational Activities and special events!
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About a dozen years ago, my siblings talked me into buying a cottage with them. It has worked out great – we share the cost and the work among the four of us, and the property gets a lot of use! On the rare occasion we’re all there at the same time, it makes for eight adults and 12 kids enjoying all the good stuff cottage country has to offer.
Now, I’m not one to blog about home renovation or crafts, because I’m just not very “crafty” or “house-y”. But, I have a sister who is and she recently completed a DIY project at our cottage that is so fabulous and worth sharing.
IN HER WORDS:
Since the penny was being discontinued last year, I wanted to pay it homage with a special DIY home décor project. Our not-so-special bathroom seemed like the perfect spot where the penny could live in our consciousness long after its demise.
- An ugly floor*, preferably vinyl or laminate flooring and small, depending on your commitment to this project
- Wax stripper
- Floor cleaner
- Pennies, but if you’ve got deep pockets, loonies would be cool
- Polyurethane cuz it’s a hard finish
- A Sealer – I used BeautiTone Epoxy Clear Coat 2 part Sealer
*pennies also stick to pretty floors
How I did it
- We started with a vinyl floor that was in pretty good shape so I didn’t have to remove it.
- I stripped it of wax and gave it a good washing.
- I then painted it with a flat black paint, but you can use whatever colour you want to show through.
- I used Weldbond glue to adhere the pennies to the floor, but any good glue would work – don’t go with the super expensive stuff - it really isn’t necessary since you’ll be sealing the whole thing down anyway. The Weldbond was good because it didn’t dry immediately so I was able to fix any oopsies, but once it dried the pennies really stayed put. Put a small dot in the middle of the penny.
- If you’re fastidious, the trickiest part is laying that first line of pennies down. Since it was a cottage, I wasn’t really fussed about the straight lines, and would be putting down quarter round to cover up the rough edges anyway. If you start off with a straight wall, you’re laughing. If not, you’ll have to draw a straight line on the floor. At some point you’re going to have to temporarily remove the toilet in order to get a smooth look to the pennies around it. Our toilet was raised a couple of millimeters so I was able to slide them under it.
- Once that first line is down, it’s just a matter of continuing from there.
- As far as colour goes, you can wash all your pennies through various means: vinegar & salt, lemon, baking soda, coca cola, etc. to get a nice shine, or just live with their current patina.
- You can create designs based on the colours of the pennies, but I just laid them down as they came to me. Some were vandalized, painted red or white, they went down. Some came from our friendly neighbours to the South, they went down. We have Irish roots plus English and Australian relations, those pennies, though different sizes, made it into the corners of the floor. We’ve got Queen Elizabeth from when she was a girl to her current state of being. We’ve got King Edward. We’ve got Maple Leafs and Rock Doves (yup, pigeons). We’ve got a row of pennies representing each child with the year of their birth, tails up. No matter what you do, it’s bound to be beautiful.
- Once the pennies were all down, I covered them with a coat of high gloss polyurethane to make it hard and shiny.
- Then the epoxy sealer.
Staying down there on the floor was hard on the back, but since it was the cottage I did it over the course of a week and took lots of breaks…trickier to do this on a floor that you use every day.
Just make sure you let each stage thoroughly dry, (which I didn’t mind, because I did my waiting down on the beach.)
And there you have it! A floor that makes a lot of “cents”! So what do you think? Are you ready to beg, borrow and steal pennies to create this thing of beauty in your home? What’s your favourite DIY or home décor project?
Because my sister is not only crafty, but a little crazy – her next “paying homage” DIY project involves a “Good-bye Letterman Clock”. I’ll let you know how that one turns out!