A heat treatment for lice

Ew, ew, eeeeeeew. 

If your kid doesn’t have lice, you don’t have to think about it. But having a bit of knowledge — if the little black sesame-seed-sized bugs do creep into your life — isn’t a bad idea.

In honor of back-to-school season, here’s the latest on head lice treatments for that fateful day when the teacher sends home an email about lice in the classroom: 

Children ages 3 to 11 who are in preschool and elementary school are most likely to get lice, which crawl from head to head (they can’t fly) and lay little brown strawberry-seed-sized nits on hair shafts near the scalp.

Word on the street these days is that you can’t use over-the-counter products to fully kill lice anymore because the bugs have become resistant to pesticides. (The CDC and NIH haven’t wholeheartedly endorsed this view yet.)

As a result, many Twin Cities families are taking their kids to a host of bustling, cutely named lice centers — the Minnesota Lice Lady, Nitpickerz, Simply Nitty and others — offering professional lice-removal treatments.

Removal techniques vary, but most involve some type of thorough combing out with special lice/nit-removal combs.

As with any industry, however, lice removal technology is evolving.

LadiBugs Hair Care of Hopkins is now offering a treatment that involves a hairdryer-like device called AirAlle (formerly called the LouseBuster).

LadiBugs founders Rachel Knutson and Lisa Rudquist — both mothers and both registered nurses — say the medical-grade device delivers heated air to dehydrate and eliminate nits and bugs at a rate of 99.2 percent.

On average, the AirAlle treatment takes about 30 minutes, followed by a 30-minute traditional comb out. 

It costs a flat fee of $229.

Yes, that’s more than the price of the average comb-out treatment. But for kids with long hair or a lot of hair, heated air can be a real time (and budget) saver.

That price also includes a free recheck, a lice comb to take home, specialty hair products and access to a lice hot line, definitely something to consider in your quest for a lice-free kid.

Knutson and Rudquist founded LadiBugs after both of their daughters acquired head lice through a school outbreak. They also offer their own DIY lice-removal products, which are sold around the country.

Learn more about LadiBugs and AirAlle at ladibugsinc.com.