Bug bombs aren't necessary, either for the prevention or elimination of head lice. Head lice, like body lice or pubic lice, are parasites, and can't survive for long without a human host from which to obtain blood. Lice on your sheets, bedding, towels, combs, brushes and hats will soon die without your blood to feed them.
The chemicals from bug bombs can also be dangerous to your health. If you're concerned about head lice or their nits (eggs) remaining on your carpet, furniture, or inside your car, vacuum them up.
Head lice removal check list
- Nit picking. Use a special nit comb to check household members for lice or nits. The nits, or eggs, are of particular importance because they perpetuate the cycle. They are usually the size of a pinhead, oval, and grayish-white. They will stick to the base of the hair shaft with a glue-like substance, which makes the nit comb handy for removal.
- Washing of infected articles. It is possible to catch head lice from infected linens, towels, and combs. Wash the clothing in hot, soapy water and tumble dry. Disinfect combs in boiling water. Above all, do not share infected articles!
- Vacuuming. It is possible for lice to crawl off the head (they do not jump or fly) onto an area where one may rest their head.
- Rechecking. If you have missed any nits, the process will start over again. Be sure to recheck for nits.
Just as bug bombs can contain dangerous chemicals for your health, many over-the-counter sprays and shampoos contain solvents that some consider toxic. The solvents are intended to make application of the pesticide easier, and to have a solution in which to stabilize the pesticide. Unfortunately, these solvents are highly powerful, and aren't intended to cater to the sensitivity of the scalp; additionally, our immune system should not be unnecessarily put to the test if an adverse reaction should occur.
Additional pesticide cautions
Pregnant women should heed additional caution when contemplating the use of pesticides; and one should never administer pesticides to an infant's scalp! Pesticides are also not intended to be used as a preventative measure, or on the off chance that someone in the family may have head lice. Pets are also not carriers of head lice; the lice are fond of humans only.
Alternatives to bombs and pesticides
If a shampoo is desired, opt for natural products. Look for hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, natural ingredients. Some of the ingredients to look for are: glycerin, peppermint oil, and tea tree oil. Natural products are also not going to strip you hair and scalp of essential oils, or leave a tell-tale smell of chemicals behind.
Head lice can be an embarrassing, annoying problem. It's important to know that bug bombs are not a necessary or recommended way of dealing with the problem. Topical pesticides can also be dangerous; avoid altogether if possible. Natural shampoos are recommended for their mild, non-toxic properties.