Lice and Mice

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I have been up to my eyeballs in the past few months dealing with critters.  Sometimes I just want to SCREAM!  It is so frustrating, and it feels like such an isolating battle.  There is a constant feeling of not being clean.

The girls are both in elementary school.  I’m not sure which girl brought it home first, but we have spent nearly the entire school year battling head lice.  I have learned, contrary to popular belief, that lice prefer clean hair to dirty…. so I guess it isn’t all bad (???).

Peanut’s hair is about shoulder length and INCREDIBLY thick.  Lil Bit’s hair is very long and thin, but she has a lot of it.  With having lice, their hair can’t be cut.  So I have been treating and treating and treating their hair.  I have paid hundreds of dollars in chemicals, and none of it worked.  I finally paid a “professional” to come in and treat the girls.  The woman said olive oil was the safest and most effective treatment she has found, but it has to be done consistently for a month.  I’ll admit, that after the first week, I loose some of my tenacity at treating the girls.

My ex finally took the girls to a friend of his that could cut their hair on the porch.  Peanut got hers thinned a bit.  Lil Bit got several inches taken off.  It has helped tremendously in treating their hair.  Every night I pour olive oil on their hair and comb it through.  The oil has to be on at least 8 hours, so they sleep in it.   (There are oil stains everywhere!)  The next morning their hair gets washed with Dawn dish soap, twice.  The oil sometimes still leaves a residue if I don’t get all of it good enough.  I’m so tired of lice, oil, and early morning baths.

Throughout the year, I’ve had to treat my hair as well.  I don’t know if I’ve actually been infected, or just psychological symptoms.  Do you know how hard it is to treat yourself for lice?!?  I don’t know how other parents do it.

I think/hope/pray that there is an end to the lice infestation soon.  Otherwise I need to buy stock in olive oil and Dawn.  Sometimes, I just wish there was someone to give me a night off.  It would be nice to have someone else say, “Let me do that for you tonight.”  It would be particularly nice on the nights with my pain levels are flared up, which cause my energy levels to drop.  But, it’s just me, so I suck it up and deal with it.  I’m even becoming tolerant of the feel of oil on my hands (which is a very uncomfortable feeling for me).

Throughout the lice ordeal, I’ve also been battling mice.  I live next to a corn field, which apparently makes my home an ideal residence for rodents.  It took me quite a while to find the evidence of my uninvited guests.  I move in back in December, and there are still some boxes and things in temporary homes.  After my son moved back home in March, I found some of the food sources that had been in his room (my office).

I have eliminated food sources as I’ve found them, and I’ve set poison traps.  The poison traps haven’t been touched.  I added peanut butter.  The peanut butter is being consumed, but not the poison.  With the help of a friend I set live catch traps after I saw a mouse scampering around my kitchen.  Nothing.  The traps were being avoided.  I started finding evidence of mice in other areas.  My friend helped me get kill traps.

Finally!  The mice have finally gotten the memo.  Now they go into the live catch traps.  My friend showed me how to take them for a walk along the field and let them go.  I’m slowly conquering my fear of mice.  I can now bait the traps and re-home the mice.  Thankfully only one mouse has ventured into a kill trap, and it wasn’t killed.

It’s been a few days since the last mouse was caught.  I haven’t started believing the mice are gone, but the population in my home has decreased.  About half a dozen mice have been caught and removed from my premises.  Peanut said she sees evidence of mice in her bedroom.  I need to put a trap in there for her to make sure there aren’t any at the other end of the house.  Maybe, hopefully, it will be a mouse free summer.  Being so close to the field, I expect to have mice every winter….. sigh……

I tried a few other remedies for the mice.  I tried peppermint oil on cotton balls and considered getting a cat.  In the end, patience and peanut butter have worked.

This has been a difficult school year for me.  As it draws to a close this week, I hope it also ends some of the trials and tribulations for me.  I hope summer break is a break from some of the drama and pests.

~ Maybe when I grow up…..

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