Lice and other creepies

Posted by: Steve

Lice and other creepies - 04/07/06 01:04 AM

Hygiene becomes an increasingly important issue, especially if you have to share space with lots of people as in a shelter. A simple fine-tooth lice comb may come in handy. Does anyone else have suggestions in this area? Any low-tech ways to deal with bedbugs? How can one avoid the diseases associated with disasters, like cholera, diarrhea, typhoid? <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Posted by: ironraven

Re: Lice and other creepies - 04/07/06 03:16 AM

Heat the clothes while you clean them- not to boiling, but close enough to making thing in there keel over, say 200-ish.

IIRC, bedbugs themselved really don't like light. Maybe taking a matress outside on a BRIGHT sunny day, and letting them bake in the sun might do it, particularly if you beat it several times to shake them up. Alcohal seems to kill lice IIRC, so maybe a spritz with isopropal will help as well.

Posted by: Ade

Re: Lice and other creepies - 04/09/06 12:08 AM


There are OTC shampoos, such as NIX and RID. Buy some, follow the directions, follow up with a nit (lice egg) comb. It may be neccessary to repeat. Both products come with instructions for handling of bedding and clothing.

Both of those are Permethrin products, so you may be able to use a Permethrin based clothing treatment in a pinch.

I googled a few minutes and found some neat stuff. A supposed home remedy is mayonaise applied thick and left on overnight. During WW II, DDT and Zyklon B (!?) were used as delousing agents.

In Harper Lee's, "To Kill A Mockingbird" there's something about lye soap and kerosene.

As you've already mentioned, hygiene is important. As is staying in good health.

Hope this helps,


Posted by: ironraven

Re: Lice and other creepies - 04/09/06 12:57 AM

If you are going to go the kerosene route, boil your clothes and while they cook, you and a buddy take a straight razor to eachother's scalps. Worked for the Egyptians.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Lice and other creepies - 04/09/06 01:21 AM

Yes, there are lots of ways to deal with these parasites both mechanical and insecticide soaps. But my first inclination is to avoid any public shelter like the plague.

Get yourself prepared so you won't be another dependent on public assistance (that may or may-not arrive in time to assist anyone).

Make a plan, build a kit. Get Prepared Now.
Posted by: samhain

Re: Lice and other creepies - 04/11/06 02:10 AM

Handwashing is the best way to prevent the spread of nosocmial (hospital aquired) infection.

That applies to home as well.

It's simple and worth making preparatons for hand hygene as part of your disaster preparedness.

I've got handiwipes and waterless hand cleaner in addition to clorox wipes as part of my "hurricane box"

Having said that, I need to add them to my vehicle BOBs as well.
Posted by: paramedicpete

Re: Lice and other creepies - 04/11/06 02:06 PM

Just be aware, that when it comes to ectoparasites (lice & mites), hygiene plays a very limited role. Even the most fastidious clean freak can be infested with mites and/or lice despite all of the hand and hair washing. Coming into contact with contaminated bedding (pillows, sheets & blankets, etc.), clothing (coats, sweaters, shirts, etc.) or hair grooming items (combs, brushes, barrettes, etc.) will lead to the spread of ectoparasites quite readily. Children and families from some of the “best” areas and schools will still have to deal occasionally with ectoparasites, primarily head lice.

Posted by: samhain

Re: Lice and other creepies - 04/12/06 10:51 PM

I agree completely.

Handwashing, of course, won't do diddley for lice/ticks/mites/lazy brothers-in-law, and other parasites.

I regret any suggestion on my part that it would. I should've included that disclaimer in my post.

I'm just hyper-aware about handwashing because of the environment I work in (hospital) and know how easy it is to forget to do something so simple and the drastic consequences of not doing so.

Thanks for pointing that out to me.

Posted by: Arney

Re: Lice and other creepies - 04/12/06 11:12 PM

Not too long ago, there was a slew of news stories about bedbugs in New York. Just Google "new york" and "bedbug" and you'll get a bunch of articles. Here's a more informational page on bedbugs. Seems like the general consensus is that they're pretty darn hard to get rid of even in the best of circumstances and that hygiene has little to do with getting an infestation.

"Don't let the bedbugs bite"? Hah! Easier said than done... <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Lice and other creepies - 04/13/06 01:31 AM

Had more experience than I'd like with lice.

The only solution that ever worked was the diligent use of a LiceMeister comb. A couple of evenings with this and they're pretty much gone for good so long as you wash and vacuum the environment too. There are copycat metal combs on the market. None work as well as LiceMeister.

Our school nurse swears by a dilluted spray of tea tree oil as a preventative. Can't say if it passes scientific muster but her anecdotal experience is good. Tea tree oil has other uses too (treating burns).

Both cheap and low tech.