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17 Comments

  1. I’m not sure this is true,but I remember learning this in the past.
    The British tradition of wearing a powdered wig stemed from lice.They shaved their head,and only the rich/elite could afford to buy hair and have custom wigs made.

    1. There is an African daisy that is a natural source of pyrethrin, you can get a packet of seeds for about $2. Supposedly also helpful against fleas. Rinse well tho.
      I think the whole flower stalks could be laid under pet beds, in pillows, mattresses, closets, etc and not be too toxic.

      I think any source of fat/oil is what smothers the nuts, which is why you see mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, and petroleum products listed. So, probably any source of oil, grease, fat, would probably work. Crisco is shelf stable and terrible for your health, better to use it for a purpose like this. Leave it on a day or two in a shower cap (improvise if necessary), let the grease saturate and smother them. In the 1800s, men slicked their hair back with bear grease for a formal look, native Americans treated their hair with different greases and fats, you get the idea.

      I always knew people to use cedar fronds to fight fleas and moths, lice probably wouldn’t like it either. It’s possible to boil up cedar boughs to extract the oil, I bet it would be good against lice. Maybe some of the other evergreens too, who knows.

      A simple lice comb can be enough to get rid of them, in combination with treating all the linens, mattresses, furniture seams, etc. Will need to work on each other frequently with the combs. Order a dozen or more, they’ll be cheap but invaluable to have. They will last for years while topical solutions etc are dependent to how much you have on hand. Razors too, and people shouldn’t use them up in routine grooming, they are valuable in such a situation. Waxing and sugaring are ancient hair removal methods that can be done if you have sugar or wax and some strips of cloth. If someone keeps bringing crabs in, maybe a full removal of all their hair down there through one of these methods would stop the current infestation and also serve as a painful lesson to stop letting one person’s hedonism cause health risks and problems for many.

      Diatomaceous earth dusted into seams, cracks, etc will help. Powder the dried pyrethrin daisy and add it to the DE dust.

      If you don’t have the time, energy, alternate arrangements, etc then just leave all the affected materials shut up in a room for a few days. They can only survive a couple days that way. You can ruin wool, leather, fur, etc in the process of trying to clean it if you don’t know EXACTLY what you’re doing, and in shtf doing 8 loads of laundry on the spot immediately in hot water by hand could be impossible. People used to do one load a week on a woodstove or over open fire outside, and it took all day and a lot of energy. Also too attention-getting and people likely to walk off with your stuff if you do it outside. Hanging sheets etc to dry outside probably not possible, too visible from a distance. Probably best to treat the person with whatever hair method you have (oil, grease, mayo, shave it, etc) and put them in hospitality gear (spare clothes, guest pallet to sleep, quarantine of minimal touch / arms length) for at least 2 days while isolating all their stuff (backpack, clothes, etc) for at least two days in a safe place (locked locker, etc) – make sure all their gear doesn’t get stolen while in quarantine. Things like shoes, jackets, socks, etc can be hot ticket items that will walk off if not under lock and key.

      In hot area, it could be possible to solar heat water to a high enough degree. I know someone in the islands who runs a b&b and is able to wash all their guest bed linens, whites, dog beds, etc with nothing but cached rainwater heated to near-boiling by nothing but the sun.

      Not sure, but it seems like they wouldn’t like strong UV rays if it would be possible to hang things in strong sun if they weren’t at risk of theft etc (even from animals – deer, porcupines, etc are attracted to the salt of sweat on clothes, boots, etc). They probably wouldn’t like a hard freeze either, nor being left hanging in a hot metal shed on a 90* day for a couple days, maybe with an open can of turpentine in there fuming up the space.

  2. NIX shampoo is 1% permethrin. Good to know that if you have a bottle of permethrin for treatment of camping clothes, you could mix up some lice treatment too.

  3. We went through 18 months of what I now call “Floods and Pestilence” when my kids were in grade and high scool. Five times my kids got lice, and no… the school wouldn’t do a thing. Needless to say, we became experts at getting rid of the little critters.

    (My daughter and I both have TONS of thick long hair…. over four hours of nit-pickiing per head!)

    In the end, I got permethrin concentrate and added it to our shampoo. And I did head inspections on any kid that wanted to come in the house, much to their disgust.

    But, it worked!

    During this time our house flooded three times due to a badly installed french drain. You really learn who your friends are when you start calling people at 2AM asking for pumps and help! *smile*

  4. While I was helping in an orphanage in Mexico many years ago we had a child enter who had huge running sores infected from rampant head lice. You really don’t want to let them alone. I have heard that diatimatious earth will repel bed bugs. An aunt of mine said that ironing the seams of clothing killed body lice. Since chemicals might be hard to get it would be wise to seek out alternative treatments. Also stocking up on lice killing products wouldn’t be a bad idea
    They would probably be very barterable.

  5. The best way to rid your kids of lice is not the store bought products, those are merely poisons you put on your kids head…..over and over. Stock up on mayonnaise, small jars of like Hellman’s (I don’t have stock in this brand, lol!, but I know it works). Lice have become resistant to all the insecticide products for many years. Here in Texas lice in schools is a real problem. and kids can catch them several times. Years ago I worked in the school system for a few years, I saw some children who literally had lice for most of their life! It never seemed to bother some parents, they would not put in the effort to take care of their children (and not just about the lice). What you need to do is cover (use almost the whole jar) the head with the mayonnaise, and then cover head with a shower cap, leave on for 24 hours. I know this sounds gross, it’s best to do this on a weekend, but I have had this work for so many people, where the repeated use of poisons does not. Lice are like roaches now, pretty indestructible! While you have the lice infected person going through the treatment, wash all linens and infected areas several times with hot soapy water. Bag up all stuffed animals and other potentially infected items in garbage bags, seal tightly and leave bagged for 2 months! Wash hair after 24 hours, and keep up daily with using the lice combs to remove eggs (eggs that are usually about 1″ out from scalp are usually already dead). Using mayonnaise smothers the lice, that’s why make sure their hair has plenty of mayo on head and all hair. The mayo rinses out fairly easy. If this fails, petroleum jelly used the same way I have never seen fail, only will not wash out easily, it takes several weeks and many washes to get it out, but these two methods will kill lice and save your loved ones from potentially cancer causing poisons repeatedly used. This last statement is the most important: If one family member has lice ALL family members must be treated at the same time!!

  6. Thanks for the comments on recommended alternative treatments (Mayo and petroleum jelly. Permethrin may be available from plants, assuming your can do the extraction (online search…).

  7. Great topic, even if it gives me the willies more than performing an appendectomy by candle light! This is truly one aspect of preparedness I have not considered until now. The suggestions for the permethrin-based clothing treatment, and the non-toxic mayo or petroleum jelly treatments are good advice.

  8. Lice was one reason we started homeschooling. What we found works though, is to cut the hair short, use tea tree oil shampoo daily if lice are around, ( the smell repels the lice so they are not so likely to infest to start with ), use an over the counter tea tree oil treatment, change the bed sheets and pillowcases daily and wash with some eucalyptus oil in the wash water, and put soft toys etc in the freezer for a day from time to time.

  9. Had a bad infestation on my kids and ex-wife. Tried everything and could not kill the little buggers. Finally had to get some shower caps and rubbing alcohol. Soaked everyone’s hair and put them up in the shower caps for 15 minutes. Killed even the eggs. All the girls used tea tree oil shampoo and we washed everything in the house in hot water and hot dryer. Have not had an issue since.

  10. Know your pain! Cousins kids got the little critters at school. My cousin tried so many cure suggestions that didn’t work she was about to go bonkers and broke! Ran across a product called Clear Lice, all natural with a lot of great reviews and told her to check it out. They also have a follow on product to make sure they don’t come back. She did and was impressed so she tried it. It worked and she said she is forever grateful to me. Told her no big deal, all I did was a little research, and was glad it worked. She said she is now spreading the word. Apparently the little buggers are super tough to get rid of. Glad I never had to experience what so many others have gone thru.

  11. Wash head with kerosene. Done. After petroleum products are no longer available, I would want to try to distill turpentine and try that, but I have no actual experience with it..

  12. Please do not use kerosene or turpentine on your skin, especially on children!! Turpentine can be especially dangerous with people with asthma or other respiratory problems.

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