I've had body lice for the past six months. There seems to be no getting rid of them. I first acquired them while living in an international student dorm - I am American but I live overseas in a country where washing machines are common (although with cold water only) but not dryers. I didn't realize I had lice until after I moved out of that dorm. At first I thought I just had some kind of strange rash. Later, I checked with other students and yes, it is definitely body lice, not scabies or bed bugs. I found one once, on a pillow - definitely a louse, and I occasionally find blood stains in clothes, usually right along seams - exactly where lice are supposed to live.
Anyway, the question is really how to get rid of body lice without the use of a dryer. It seems dryers are what have made body lice extremely rare in Western countries. I've taken to soaking my clothes in the sink in 80 degree Celsius water, then running them through the (cold) wash with Dettol soap, but this doesn't seem to be having much effect - I still get bitten pretty much every day. I'm pretty sure there are lice in my clothes right after they come out of the wash, despite going through this regimen. Not sure how they're surviving the 80 degree water, but in any case that's about as hot as my hot water heater will allow before automatically shutting off.
So, does anyone have any advice for how to get rid of these damn lice?!? It would be greatly appreciated!
Body lice are extremely difficult to eliminate, and they will eventually get to your scalp, where they are extremely difficult to kill. Take extra measures to enhance your immune system, especially if you have a compromised immune system. (Contact Herb Bar in Austin for their supplement)
Herbal remedies exist, try Good Riddance! from the Herb Bar in Austin.
EPSOM SALTS KILLS MOST OF THEM: Your water is not hot enough, so soak your clothes in the HOTTEST epsom salt water before you wash them.
use epsom salts baths to soak your body and hair, this will kill most of them. Keep a towel nearby; do not get this in your eyes, though you will want to cleanse your eyebrows with it too. do not rinse the epsom salts from your body, leave the residue on your body, this will help prevent them from living on your skin. Do this twice daily. Dab your fingers in the epsom salt bath and clean your ears with them to leave a residue there, and prevent the lice from coming in there to evade the other epsom salt covered areas. If you do this in your nostrils, you must use a light touch as the mucous membranes there are more sensitive than the ears. Use Licefreee (Walgreens and Walmart) on your hair every other night until the lice there are dead. Use vaseline around your thigh area to trap the lice, and physically remove them with your fingers. Place the picked lice in a cup of water with an emersed paper towel so it will attach to the towel. The cup of water can also include rubbing alcohol, baby oil, or some other product that will prevent the lice from climbing out. Then dump it in a toilet.
MOP YOUR FLOORS TWICE DAILY OR VACUUM (IF YOU VACUUM, CHANGE THE BAG DAILY). MOP WITH LEFTOVER EPSOM SALT WATER, IF YOU CAN. IF NOT, ENSURE THAT YOUR MOP IS CLEANED WITH THE HOTTEST WATER IMAGINABLE SO THAT YOU CAN KILL THE ONES THAT NOW CLING TO THE MOP, AND THAT WILL COME VISIT YOU when the mop dries.
Of course, the daily change of sheets, bagging cleaned items to keep them separated from others that haven't been washed in especially hot water for TWO concurrent washings, followed by 45 minutes on extremely hot settings in a dryer. (some suggest using commercial dryers because they are hotter).
Place your combs, cleaning items, & shoes in the bath with Epsom salt water, turn them over after 30 minutes. Shoes may go into the dryer, but keep a nose on it, so they don't burn up. Do not use the microwave.
Do not let down your guard. Keep a containers with epsom salt water nearby so you can douse anything that has the suggestion of a feeling of a bug.
Epsom salt baths 3 x a day until it is under control, then twice a day. Emerse hair and swish until you can't stand it anymore. Do not get water in your eyes, but a little in the nostrils and ears and eyebrows will help you prevent or kill lice there.
There are sprays that can be used in your car. At work, mop or wipe surfaces with hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or some other disinfectant, dispose.