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I am sorry to have to tell you that there is an outbreak of head lice in school. We would greatly appreciate your co-operation in helping to eradicate this problem by using the ‘Bug Busting’ Method (or Wet Combing).


The ‘bug busting’ method is an alternative method which avoids the use of insecticides. It aims at systematic removal of live lice by combing through the hair and physically removing any lice found.


After washing the hair, copious amounts of conditioner should be applied and, after detangling with an ordinary wide-toothed comb, the hair should be combed, sitting upright or leaning over the bath, from the roots with a special ‘bug buster’ fine tooth comb, with the teeth of the comb slotting into the hair at the roots with every stroke. After each stroke, the lice should be cleared from the comb.


Wet lice find it difficult to escape from this combing. Hair which is slippery from conditioner makes it hard for them to keep a grip and so removal with the comb is easier. The lice should then be wiped onto kitchen paper and disposed of, or simply rinsed away. This routine should be repeated every 3- 4 days for two weeks so that any lice emerging from the eggs are removed before they can spread. Given that head lice do not lay eggs until about a week after they have hatched, it follows that removing the live lice regularly will result in lice-free children in a fortnight. Re-infection can, of course, occur if head to head contact is subsequently made with someone with head lice. If you do not have a headlice comb we do have a supply at the school office. You can purchase one for £1.


Advice on Insecticidal Lotions: Do not use lotions unless live lice have been found. Check all close family / friends by the ‘wet combing’ method described above. If using a lotion, follow the instructions on the product packet and make sure you have enough lotion to treat all those who may be affected. The lotion used may be capable of killing eggs as well as lice, but there is no certainty of this. Check for baby lice hatching out from eggs 3-5 days after you use it and again at 10-12 days. If the lice appear to be unaffected by the lotion or if the problem persists, you should take advice from your local school nurse, health visitor, pharmacist or GP. You should seek advice where whoever is being treated is under 1 year of age, suffers from asthma or allergies, or is pregnant or breast feeding.


Yours sincerely


Mrs A Viney