Lice transfer? ? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

This AM I was trimming the hooves on a little horse, and she being very pregnant we paused for lots of little breaks so I was with her a good hour. When finished with the hooves, I combed her mane, and curried her. Leaving the barn area, my head started itching. Lots.

Came to the house to fix lunch, and head was REALLY itching, and felt like something was crawling. I've had chicken lice get on me before and it was the same kind of itching.

Went to the bathroom, took a comb, bent over the sink and started combing, and little brown specs started hitting the bowl. Since then, I've just about got my scalp raw, ( one place IS bleeding), from bending over the tub and combing threw my hair over and over and over and over and over trying to rid myself of the little brown flecks. No sooner than I go out to do something else my head will start itching again, and back to the tub.

There seems to be hundreds of little brown pieces of ? ? ?. and quite a few moving little things I believe are either fleas or lice. I think lice. I looked at them under magnifying glass, and I can make out a head, and a body which seems to have a darkish marking down the middle of it, kind of like stairs, or stepping stones.

I have never had lice in my life, and I'm a senior citizen. It seems there are too many of these things to have just came for a visit this AM, yet if I've had them for . . . . .? ? ? ?. . . . why haven't I itched before? When I took my shower last night and washed my hair. . nothing itched. I'm perplexed.

Question - - Are they lice? Could they have come from the horse? If not, why did they just start itching this AM? If I didn't get from horse, how in the heck did I get them? The last human near me was on Saturday, a carpenter doing some work here. If I picked them up somewhere else, ( from human or store or whatever) what is the "gestation" ? period. How long before an infestation makes itself known? Why did this incessant itching and crawling just start this AM?

And finally, what do I do now? I dread the thought of putting chemicals that close to this old brain.

Please tell me they came from the horse, and, like chicken lice will depart when they tire of pestering me ! !

Thanks in advance!

-- Frantic granny (cluckin, May 08, 2002


To see if the lice came from the horse, comb the horse. If you are really that infested she must be pretty bad off too. Does she have any rub spots or is she scratching a lot?

-- Erika (, May 08, 2002.

Might look at Lice Pictures, and see if what you have looks like these.

Might look at Human Lice Treatment Program, for treatment options.

-- BC (, May 08, 2002.

A little about these NASTY little critters(Head Lice): Head lice are human parasites and require human blood to survive. They have been around since the beginning of time, at least a few thousand years. They can live on a human host for approximately 30 days and cannot survive longer than 24 hours off the host A female louse lays up to 3-5 eggs per day. It takes 7-10 days for the eggs to hatch and another 7-10 days for the louse to mature and lay their own eggs. Spreading: Since head lice do not have hind legs to hop or jump, nor wings with which to fly, then spread with contact with other host. (Yes.. Our kids can be hosts) through sharing of personal articles like hats, towels, brushes, helmets, hair ties and so on. Its said that they can not live on our pets, but some parents have found that a cat/dog as cause their family to get these nasty little pests again(remember, they can live up to 24 hr off a host). For more information on these nasty critters go to "" OK enough about them....... How do I get rid or them? At our drug store pharmacist suggested using petroleum jelly (Vaseline) for lice.. Says this works in getting ticks out of dogs too by smothering them. We tried it - it works great. You saturate head with it, keep plastic cap on overnight and the next day they all wash right out, no need for fine tooth comb. Do not wet the hair prior to applying shampoo or the vaseline will NEVER come out!! Put shampoo all over your head and lather, then rinse with very warm water.

Try this remedies, sent in by: Liane Paulson ( writes: "I know a few people who have tried rubbing mayonnaise in the scalp and covering with a shower cap overnight. It's a lot easier to wash out in the morning than petroleum jelly and works just as well." Thanks Liane!

Windy Stolz; I got rid of them was to wash her hair twice a day and rinse with vinegar. The lice find it hard to eggs to stick on hair. You still need to pick through the hair and dispose of eggs. I found the best way was to stick them on masking tape, seal them in a plastic bag and put them in the garbage.

LK: Soak your body and your hair in a pine oil bath for at least 10 to fifteen minutes twice a day. Then towel dry your hair and apply oil, (we used baby oil) but I'm sure any kind of oil would have much the same effect. The oil loosens the nits and makes it easier to comb them out. After this leave the oil in overnight, using a shower cap or placing a towel over your pillow. The next morning shampoo hair, first with Dawn dishwashing liquid (to cut the grease) then with your regular shampoo.

Sharon Gerlach, (, writes: "I read your suggestions and have tried them all previous to finding your site. Vaseline did NOT work, and took three months to get out of my daughter's hair. Mayonnaise does not smother the lice (and leaving on overnight runs the risk of salmonella poisoning) but it DOES slow them down and makes it easier to find and extract them; and it is also a great hair conditioner. This is what we do for head lice:

We comb, comb, comb!! We try to comb at night, because it seems easier to catch the live bugs at night (they are very light- sensitive, but artificial light seems better than natural light). We rinse the hair daily with the below essential oil blend and comb out every day, dipping the nit comb in vinegar --- vinegar won't kill the live lice but it does loosen the adhesive the eggs are attached to the hair with.

Daily rinse of essential oils:

lavender eucalyptus rosemary peppermint tea tree Appx. 5 drops of each oil to an ounce of carrier oil (castor, sunflower, grapeseed, olive, safflower), and about 5 drops of that mixture to a cup of water. This seems to be a repellent.

Our routine is this: The kids go to school (or out to play in the summer) and I strip their beds, run the bedding through the dryer on high for 20 minutes. While the bedding is in the dryer, I vacuum the mattresses and the other furniture the kids have come into contact with.

When the kids come home from school, they go immediately to the laundry room, where they put all clothes worn that day, including coats, hats, mittens and scarves, into the washer to be washed on hot (your outdoor wear can be popped in the dryer on high for at least 20 minutes if you don't want to wash it every day). The kids then proceed to the shower, where they wash their hair with a tea tree shampoo, rinse with a cup or two of the essential oil solution, then I comb through their hair. We do this every day, lice or no lice. The kids also have a plastic 13-gallon waste-can liner with the plastic drawstrings (I think Hefty makes them) that they take to school to put their outdoor wear and backpacks in. My daughter is not allowed to wear her hair loose at school.It is braided or pony-tailed every day.

Having had an infestation of head lice every three months or so for the last year, we take hearty precautions against it, and wage full- scale war when infested. It seems a lot to do every day, but it isn't it has become routine and actually goes quite quickly.. much better than a full-scale cleaning frenzy when you have an infestation!!" Thanks, Sharon

Jewel ( writes: "I have the answer, no more chemicals! Simply buy a Hair curling iron the big fat round ones with a temperature setting, set on highest level and run through every bit of hair. It will burn out all the eggs. You can also burn them out with an old fashioned hot comb, the kind sometimes used to straighten hair. After you burn the eggs, section the hair out and pull off the eggs and catch the bugs. Ways to avoid cleaning everything; buy a plastic mattress cover at kmart or jc pennys, they're only $6. When you purchase a new pillow keep the plastic on the pillow and safety pin the pillow case so the child will not suffocate on plastic. For the next days after you do the hair have child wear a plastic shower cap over hair, and check hair daily for any missed nits. Have child wear hair up in a scrunchie at school until the lice problem is over." Thanks Jewel

Roberto Markulin ( writes: "My daughters were always infested with lice & nits. We tried various methods with negative results, until one day we prepared an infusion (tea) of Quassia Amara (also known as Simaruba - Bitterwood - Palo Amargo - Quassia Amer), and sprayed it on their heads. All the lice & nits were gone or died. We keep spraying for prevention every day.

Bring to boil one cup of water and add two tablespoons of Quassia Amara wood chips (from the bark) and let stand until cool. Strain and place in a hand sprayer and add 15% of rubbing alcohol to prevent bacterial spoilage. Discard chips. Spray on head every day. Lice will not appear." Thanks Roberto

Pamela Williams ( writes: "Use creamy peanut butter. Part hair in small sections and put peanut butter on the hair and comb back out with the small lice comb. This will take all the eggs out. This takes about 3 hours to do, but it works, my daughter came home from school with it and she has hair down to her waist and we just used the peanut butter and rinsed and shampood hair and that was the end of the lice."

Hope that helps! Don't forget to wash all of your bedding in HOT WATER!!! Vacuum sofa and anyplace you have been sitting. Good Luck!

-- Cindy in IL (, May 08, 2002.

You can pick up lice from your animals around the farm. They seem to be worse in the spring even though you worm often and my vet says that will also kill the lice, I find that when their hair is the longest they still sometimes have them. I am real bad about hugging my critters and sometimes I pay for that. All I do when I start itching is shampoo my hair and leave the shampoo on for a while then comb my hair real good with a nit comb I bought at walmart before I rinse it out. I do that everyday for a while just to be sure and it always works. It may be because they are animal lice that they are not hard to get rid of. They sure do make you itch though!

-- corky wolf (, May 08, 2002.

We were plagued with lice last year, my kids kept geting it at school. What worked for us was coconut oil shampoo-I bought some pretty expensive stuff with coconut oil and tea tree oil, with a conditioner, and we alternate using that with a much cheaper type- Suave, I believe. We have not had a single case this year. If you all ready have it, I wouldn't use chemicals, just run some conditioner through your hai-it seems to stun them, and comb comd comb-, you'll have to do it several time, probably, to get them all out good luck-geez, my head itches just thinking about it.

-- Kelly (, May 08, 2002.

ick. Hate lice. Started iching as soon as I started reading! Nasty little buggers. Wash everything in sight, even the indoor plants!

-- Kathy (, May 08, 2002.

You don't need to have contact with humans--just things they are in contact with: upholstered chairs, coats in closet, etc...

Use a vinegar rinse after you wash your hair.

Vacuum all rugs and upholstery.

-- Ann Markson (, May 08, 2002.

Use Tea Tree Oil. A few drops on your hand and rub through damp hair after washing. Use it every day -- lice hate it.

This works as a DETERRENT -- I don't know if it works to get rid of them after contact, though.

-- Tracy (, May 08, 2002.

Are they lice? Yes! Could they have come from the horse? Yes!

Most likely anyway. They might also have come from birds nesting in your barn, but the horse is the most likely. Nothing much worse than that nasty crawling feeling through your hair and over your scalp. They'll probably be easier to get rid of than people-lice, and harder than bird-lice, since the horse is a mammal like us. I'd go with either vaseline or a clear cooking oil or hair conditioner or some such to smother them at this stage. You don't really want to be putting poisons onto a scalp where you've already broken the skin to the extent of bleeding without some pretty thorough-going advice. I'd also get a lice-comb if I were you. In fact, I always have several of them - fine-tooth plastic combs - used them when the kids were at school, and found they were ideal general-use combs for my thickly- growing very fine hair. Heaven knows what people think, but I don't really care - they work.You can use a vinegar rinse later to be sure, but it shouldn't really be too necessary - they're not the same as people lice with nits stuck to the hair shaft, and you'll already be using a fine-tooth comb.

-- Don Armstrong (, May 09, 2002.

Off topic: But my 5 year old son and I joke that we'll never have to worry about getting head lice. We are both as bald as you can get. We have alopecia universalis so not a lick of hair any where.

-- Anita in NC (anitaholton@mindspring.con), May 09, 2002.

Oh geez, the Vaseline suggestion brought back a horrible memory for me! I was 12, and was going to be in my very first horse show. The night before, I decided to "deep condition" my hair. I melted Vaseline in the microwave, and then rubbed it all over my head. I let it set for a half hour or so, and then tried to wash it out. HA! Couldn't make a DENT in the stuff. I bet I washed my hair 50 times that night...with everything from rubbing alcohol to ammonia. My eyes hurt just thinking about it!

Next day, there I was at the horse show, my hair slicked back and glued to my head. My 4-H leader was mad, and the other kids were less than kind to me, too. It was a long, awful day. To this day, I avoid any kind of hair oil or deep conditioner-type stuff...I just don't trust that it will all come out!

What finally got the Vaseline out, you ask? A dozen washes with Dawn dish soap.

Lord, what a nightmare that was. DO NOT put Vaseline on your hair!!!!

-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (, May 09, 2002.

Yes, it was probably horse lice, and don't worry too much about trying to get rid of them. They WILL die on their own as their system is specifically designed for their host and will not be able to survive on a human. Yes, they itch a lot but they probably didn't itch the second day because they'd already all died. Your horse on the other hand is probably miserable (been there!!) and according to our vet's suggestion the only thing she knew of to get rid of 'em on the horse is to use livestock lice dusting powder.

-- Lisa - MI (, May 09, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ