Consumer Reports: Getting rid of lice without chemicals

Tuesday, August 08, 2017 06:01PM
Consumer Reports: Getting rid of lice without harsh chemicals - Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 4:30 p.m. on August 8, 2017.

With kids heading back to school, it's time to think about head lice again. Here are tips to get rid of the pests without harsh chemicals.

School's out but unfortunately head lice are still in session and they can spread just as easily at sleepaway and day camps.

Consumer Reports' Jeneen Interlandi says when it comes to getting rid of lice, skip the chemical products.

"The active ingredients in both Rid and Nix can cause painful side effects including itchy and inflamed skin, chemical burns and even difficulty breathing. What's more, research suggest that lice are increasingly resistant to the chemicals in these products," she said.

Instead, Consumer Reports says physically combing out the bugs and their eggs is safer and actually more effective than chemical treatments.

Here's how to do it: Coat the hair and scalp with a conditioner. With a wide tooth comb separate the hair into smaller sections. Then run a metal nit comb through each smaller section.

"Lice prefer to live and lay their eggs very close to the scalp so when you do your combbout that's the area you want to focus on," said Interlandi.

After you comb-through wipe the comb onto a paper towel and look for lice.

When you're finished with the whole head wash the combs in very hot, soapy water and throw the used paper towels in a resealable plastic bag to throw away.

Continue the combouts every day until no more live lice are seen. Then, every few days for about a month

"Lice can't live off of your head for too long so you actually don't have to go crazy with the housecleaning. What you want to do is just focus on the items that have come into direct contact with your child's head over just the past few days," said Interlandi.

And finally - be sure to check and treat everyone in your family so you don't keep passing it around.


Send a breaking news alert
Report a correction or typo
Learn more about the 6abc apps
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)