Head Lice Documents

  • Head Lice Information
    Head Lice - Alternative Treatment

    Click Here for an Informational Video

    Head Lice

    • A common problem among young children
    • Not a serious condition
    • Can be successfully treated
    • Passed by close contact with someone who has lice or by using their brushes, combs or hats.

    What to look for:

    • Head lice are tiny grayish white insects.
    • They cannot fly or jump, but can crawl.
    • Sometimes lice are difficult to find in a child’s hair.
    • The lice eggs (nits) are much easier to see. They are about the size of a pinhead, shaped like a teardrop and vary in color.
    • Nits are tightly attached to a single hair shaft and cannot be washed or brushed out.
    • They are commonly found in the hair at the back of the neck or behind the ears.

    Types of treatment:

    • Medicated shampoos--check with doctor, pharmacist or school nurse for more information.
    • Most products are available over the counter and are easy to find.
    • Combs specially designed to help with nit removal are helpful.

    Get rid of head lice:

    • Wash your child’s hair with the chosen medicated solution. Follow the instructions carefully. Some types are applied to dry hair.
    • A second treatment is needed in 7-10 days. DO NOT use these solutions more often than recommended because they can be harmful to your child’s health. Also, these solutions WILL NOT prevent lice. They should not be used on a regular basis, only when live, crawling bugs are found.
    • You will need to comb the nits (eggs) from your child’s hair with a lice comb. This requires a good light source such as a lamp or sunny window. Spread the hair in a fanning motion to observe the entire length of the hair. Nits may also be removed by running your finger and thumb down the hair shaft. This may be necessary because the nit combs may not remove all the nits. Removing nits requires lots of patience. If you need help in identifying nits, consult your school nurse.
    • All family members and household contacts of your child should be checked for lice. This is very important. People of any age can get lice, including adults and babies. Everyone over 2 years old with live bugs must also be treated with the medicated solution on the same day. Frequent checking by parents is recommended. If your child has lice, check the child daily for 2 weeks. Comb out any remaining nits that are seen. Then check weekly.

    Taking care of your home:

    • All washable clothing and bed linens that have been worn or used in the past 24 hours should be washed in hot water and dried in a dryer at high heat for 20 minutes.
    • Things that cannot be washed and dried may be dry cleaned or simply left in a plastic bag for 10 days. This works for toys and stuffed animals.
    • Combs and brushes can be cleaned by soaking them in the medicated solution or by putting them in hot water. CAUTION: Heat may damage some combs and brushes.
    • Sprays are NOT recommended and can be harmful to your family. Head lice do not want to leave the head & it would be very rare for a louse to be on a piece of furniture or in the carpet. Focus your efforts on the head. Do not waste time, effort and money on exhaustive cleaning or sprays. Simple vacuuming of areas that may have been in direct contact with the head such as car head rests, sofas & chairs or child car seats is all that is necessary.

    Notifying others:

    • Households where your child may have spent the night or extended periods of time (like a babysitter’s house) should be notified to check heads. 
    • Only those found to have active infestations should be treated. 
    • Please call your child’s school to inform us if you find head lice. It will help us to monitor for lice school-wide.

    Returning to school:

    • Your child should return to school the next school day, after treatment and combing.
    • The school nurse or another staff member trained in the procedure will check your child’s head to make sure there are no live bugs and progress has been made on combing.
    • An adult must accompany the child to school to meet with the nurse or staff member on the return to school.
    • The process of nit removal may take a few days. Continue combing daily and remove any nits found.

Bed Bugs

  • Treatment by a licensed and experienced pest control company is highly recommended.bed bugs image
    Bed bugs are a common problem across our city. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, but bites can cause itching, and may become infected if the skin is broken while scratching. Because bed bugs are attracted to blood, the home of any person can become infested by bed bugs.

    What do bed bugs look like and why are they hard to get rid of?

    • Bed bugs are insects about ¼ inch in size. They crawl but do not jump or fly.
    • Adult bed bugs are rusty colored but change to red after a blood meal. Eggs are tiny and colorless.
    • Bed bugs have thin bodies that make it hard to see them. They hide in narrow cracks and crevices so inspections and treatments must be very thorough.
    • Bed bugs are extremely hard and can survive a year without a blood meal.
    • Bed bugs are commonly found in hotels, motels, dormitories, shelters and apartment buildings.
    • Bed bugs do not mean poor hygiene or housekeeping, but a cluttered home can make it much harder to get rid of bed bugs.

    How do I know if I have bed bugs?

    • Bed bugs hide during the day in cracks and crevices of bedding, mattress seams, and wood bed frames. With severe infestations they can hide in baseboards, picture frames, dressers, window and door frames, carpeting, drapes, and floor boards. In extreme cases bed bugs have been found in the corners of the ceilings.
    • Bed bugs are fast moving and usually come out only at night to feed. If seen in daylight it may mean heavy infestation.
    • Signs of bed bugs include dark spots on mattress edges or rusty/reddish spots of blood on the bedsheets.
    • The bites are painless and usually occur when the person is asleep.
    • The bites can cause inflamed and irritated skin, although people differ in their sensitivity.
    • Unlike fleabites that mainly occur around the ankles, bed bugs bite skin that is exposed during sleep, like the face, neck, arms, shoulders, and hands. Rows of three or so welts on exposed skin can be a sign of bed bugs. A small, hard, white welt may develop at the site of each bite along with severe itching that can last several hours to days. Bed bug welts do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites.
    • Suspect bed bugs if a person wakes up with itchy welts that were not present when they went to sleep.
    • Someone having bites on their skin does not automatically mean that bed bugs are the cause. The bites can be mosquito or flea bites.

    Where do bed bugs come from? How can I keep from bringing bed bugs into my home?

    • Be careful when obtaining use furniture. Inspect any furniture before it is brought into your home.
    • Check belongs after visits with family members or friends who may have bed bugs and if needed bag items in sealed plastic bags until they can be laundered or treated in hot dryer.
    • To find and identify the bed bugs may require the help of a professional pest control company.

    Can bed bugs make me sick?

    • Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, and the small amount of blood lost due to bed bug feeding usually does not cause problems for the person who is bitten.
    • Scratching of welts can cause skin infections.
    • It is best to consult with a physician before treating any rash or skin irritation. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, &/or antibiotic ointment may be prescribed to decrease allergic reactions or infections.

    How can I get rid of bed bugs?

    • It is very hard to get rid of a bed bug infestation, and use of a licensed and experienced pest control company is highly recommended.
    • Vacuum mattresses, box springs, and carpets. It may be necessary to throw out infested items, like beds, chairs, and couches if repeated treatments are not successful. Also linens such as sheets and pillows may need to be thrown away.
    • Throw vacuum contents away in sealed plastic bag.
    • Cover mattresses and box springs with zippered mattress covers.
    • Some people spray bed bugs with alcohol, using a small plastic bottle with 91% rubbing alcohol, undiluted. However, alcohol is flammable, and alcohol is not approved as a pesticide by the EPA. Alcohol does not kill eggs and may cause problems for people with asthma.
    • Wash bedding and garments in hot water (120 degrees) and/or place them in a hot dryer for 15-20 minutes to kill adult bed bugs and their eggs. Washing or drying without high heat will not kill all adults and eggs.
    • Remove clutter to eliminate bed bug hiding places
    • Since bed bugs can easily spread throughout a building, it is important to inspect all rooms and apartments that are next to, above, and below a room where bed bugs are found.
    • Most effective pesticides can only be obtained through a certified pest control company.

    Resources and additional information are available on Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force web site at www.centralohiobedbugs.org