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Lice Removal FAQ

What are the signs of head lice?

While itching and scratching are telltale signs of lice, these actions may not start immediately and as much as 50 percent of the population never itches at all with lice. Depending on how sensitive a person’s skin is, he or she may not feel anything for up to a few weeks (or at all).

Children will sometimes complain of things tickling or moving around their heads and hair.

Bumps and rashes can occur on the scalp, from mild to moderate or even severe. Frequently, scratches and scabs will be seen on the scalp, which generally result from scratching where the lice have eaten (and have perhaps left some salivary residue to which some people have an enhanced sensitivity or allergy). The more severe cases might necessitate an oral antibiotic.

Unless the infestation is significant, it’s more common to see nits attached to hair (rather than adult lice or nymphs on the head). The nits may look like dandruff but cannot be removed by brushing or shaking.

Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, bags under the eyes, swollen glands, a rash at the nape of the neck, and falling asleep during the day. (Lice are nocturnal and more active at night, which can interrupt a good night’s sleep.)

How do I check my child for head lice?

If you’re unsure if your child has head lice and you’d like to check him/her yourself, this should help.

How are head lice spread?

Head lice are most often spread from head-to-head direct contact. Examples are play at school, camp or home, taking digital photos (with cameras or camera phones) and placing heads together to do so, sports activities and slumber parties. While lice can also be transferred via hats, combs, brushes and other paraphernalia, they can only live up to 24 – 48 hours away from the scalp, so direct contact is more frequently the cause. Again, head lice are known to spread quite quickly from person to person, especially in group settings.

Why does it seem like head lice are everywhere?

In August 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on School Health produced its first report on head lice since 2002. The updated document noted increased patterns of resistance among head lice to over-the-counter products designed to kill them and their eggs.

Although head lice never disappeared in United States, their prevalence was once so low – because of widespread use of DDT (until its ban in 1972) that many children growing up during the “Baby Boom” years had no concept of head lice outbreaks.

Who is at risk?

If you have a head, you are at risk. No one is immune to head lice. Head lice have been found on infants as young as two months and others as old as 98.

Are head lice dangerous?

In general, head lice are more an annoyance than anything. Though some people are more sensitive than others to the saliva they produce (and can even experience an allergic reaction), the products historically used to remove lice are typically far more dangerous than the insects themselves. Elimilice™ uses only nontoxic products that are effective and safe.

How do I check for head lice?

Parting the hair into small sections, look closely near the scalp for the small dandruff-like nits or the sesame seed-sized adults. Using a magnifying glass and a light can be helpful, but adults move fast and often there are only a few of them. Nits are often found behind the ears and around the nape of the neck, and they will appear glued to the hair shaft in those areas. Also, it’s important to know that nits are sometimes camouflaged the same color as the person’s hair so it may be nearly impossible for the untrained eye to catch them all. If you uncover just one adult louse, nymph or nit, we will address the findings.

Here is a more in depth set of instructions for performing head lice checks at home.

We have a case. Now what?

Don’t delay in getting treatment!  Head lice are very contagious, and for every day lost, there is more reproduction and more risk of spreading the lice to others. While many treatment options are available, Elimilice’s is one of very few that uses only nontoxic treatment products in addition to methodically removing the nits from the head and hair shafts, which is the only way to ensure lice are completely eradicated. Even with expensive prescription remedies, it is unknown if any viable nits are left on the hair.  Therefore, if the nits are not physically removed, there is a chance of re-infestation.

Additionally, it is important for parents of children who have head lice to inform their child’s school or camp, playmates’ families and any others with whom they may have had contact.

We think there are only nits on our child's hair. Does s/he need to be treated?

This is actually a somewhat controversial question. There are some organizations and individuals that maintain that treatment of a child with nits only is unnecessary and gratuitous. However, it has been our experience that an individual who presents with viable nits may also have live bugs on his/her hair and even if there are only several viable nits or so, without treatment, the majority of those nits may hatch with a male and female present, and within a few short weeks, a full blown case of head lice will exist.

It should be noted that, in the presence of only a few viable and/or non-viable nits or less, we suggest a thorough lice combing with a premier lice comb every one to three days for two to three weeks but do not recommend a full treatment.

For your child’s well-being and protection and that of his/her classmates, friends and family members, it is extremely important to address the presence of nits on the head by either treating or performing a “modified treatment” (lice combing over a two to three week span of time.)

Can I handle the lice removal myself?

Elimilice, the Atlanta and Athens areas’ premier head lice specialist, offers the convenience of complete elimination of head lice, nymphs and nits in one visit with a follow-up head check visit (2 to 7 days post treatment) to ensure that no additional exposure has occurred. Therefore, the process of cleaning your car and home environment need only occur immediately after all family members have been treated.

If you choose to treat your family yourself, we recommend that you engage in vigorous and vigilant lice combing and nit picking for a minimum of two to three weeks – at least once, every single day. Additionally, as long as evidence of head lice continues to exist during your at home treatment process, you will need to follow up with cleaning. We strongly discourage the use of the over-the-counter products that contain slight amounts of pesticide (which have proven over time to be less and less ineffective) and suggest the use of the nontoxic treatment products (available through us and other establishments).

If you’re on the road to removing the head lice for yourself/your family on your own, Elimilice also has a hotline to answer questions and develop a treatment program for those who’d like a little assistance.  Please feel free to contact us for details.

Does the Elimilice treatment kill head lice?

Be careful about products and services that claim to completely KILL HEAD LICE (especially if the assertion is also made that it can be accomplished without combing or nit picking.) Many of the commercially available products contain insecticides, but it’s been proven that the bugs are developing a resistance to these products, often rendering them ineffective. Other over-the-counter non-toxic products would need to be applied to the head for an extended period of time in order for them to actually kill an adult louse or maturing nymph.

Additionally, research indicates that NO product can kill lice eggs (nits). Without removing every nit, the risk of additional infestation exists. The only confirmed way to completely remove a case of head lice in one treatment is to manually remove every louse, nymph and nit.

Each Elimilice treatment includes the utilization of a completely non-toxic, food grade vegetable-based enzyme as well as proprietary head lice removal oils and lotions. These products are designed to attack the exoskeleton of the lice in order to quickly stigmatize/immobilize them, loosen the fixative that holds the nits to the hair shaft and render the removal process most effective. Head lice may be killed during treatment, but the cornerstone of the Elimilice process is the complete manual removal of all evidence (every adult louse, adolescent nymph and viable and non-viable nit) in one treatment visit.

Does everyone in the family need to be treated?

Not necessarily, though it is smart to have everyone checked for head lice. We encourage all family members to come into one of our treatment facilities for a comprehensive head check, or if we are in your home performing services, we will be happy to head check everyone in the household.  In this way, we can rule out the possibility of a wider outbreak or re-infestation. If only some family members are treated but there are others at home who have head lice, it is possible that the case of head lice might spread again.

Elimilice’s technicians will only TREAT those who have head lice!

How is Elimilice different?

For starters, Elimilice has been identified as the Atlanta-area’s premier head lice specialist.  Only nontoxic products are used to effectively remove nits and lice from hair. This is significant since the use of the over-the-counter, readily available lice removal products may pose health risks to young and adult clients alike, and these products are becoming increasingly ineffective. Additionally, Elimilice’s professional technicians are trained to find the hard-to-see nits and know how to manually remove them from the hair and head in one treatment visit. This one-two punch of product and process is critical to the effective removal of head lice. Many lice removal services suggest a second “retreatment” within a week or less and charge for such. In almost every case, we are able to guarantee complete removal in ONE VISIT.

Elimilice is currently the only provider in the area that not only combs out all the adult lice and nymphs but manually inspects every single strand of hair and removes every nit during the treatment visit. Other services comb only or may comb and perform a modified nit picking, but Elimilice technicians look at every hair and therefore are able to remove all evidence in one visit.

Every individual treated is also seen by two technicians at the treatment visit – one who performs the treatment and one who performs a thorough quality control inspection. Additionally, we provide you with written information on how to eliminate lice from your home, car and other environments and on reducing the risk of re-infestation.

Finally, we see you for a complimentary follow-up head check 2 to 7 days after your treatment visit to ensure that the lice are gone, and for your further comfort and assurance, we offer unlimited follow up head checks for forty-five days subsequent to treatment for $ 10 per visit.

It should also be noted that Elimilice is the only Better Business Bureau accredited lice removal service in Georgia. This is all we do and we take it and your family’s situation very seriously.

How much will the treatment cost?

We are currently offering discounted pricing of $95 for short hair and $150 for medium to long hair for both in clinic and in home services.  For in home services, there is also a $40 travel fee per technician within the greater Atlanta area and a $125 minimum (exclusive of the travel fee) for each visit to your home.  We also frequently run specials and discounts.

It’s important to note that this price is for the complete removal of head lice (nits, nymphs and adult lice) in one treatment plus a follow up head check (which will be booked in one of our facilities for between two and seven days past treatment.) It also includes written instructions on what to do in your home, an education on what to do going forward to prevent future cases of head lice and unlimited phone consultation time.

Historically, more than two-thirds of our clients have already tried to navigate the head lice removal process themselves. They come to us frustrated, downtrodden and after having sometimes spent hundreds of dollars on over the counter and home remedies, prescription lotions and other lice elimination products. They have dedicated hours and hours to the process and have sometimes put their children through a nightmare in trying to self-treat.

Treating yourself/your family is indeed a very viable option and we will be happy to direct you toward the appropriate tools and products to facilitate such. However, you must be prepared to dedicate yourself to a minimum of two to three weeks of daily lice combing/nit picking and the corollary house/car cleaning that must be undertaken until the case of head lice is completely eradicated.

Elimilice offers the service of one visit, effective treatment so your children can get back to school, you can get back to work or your other pursuits, you need only clean the house (and we will provide you with written instructions on exactly what you need to do to your home and car as there are many mistruths on the internet and communicated via old wives’ tales) and this does not become a traumatic experience.

Many families come to us completely distressed yet they leave relieved and — SMILING!

Why should I pay a service for head lice removal when I can certainly manage it myself?

We agree wholeheartedly that families can indeed identify and remove head lice with the proper tools/products and a dedicated effort.  We offer our service only to reduce some of the worry and burden and significantly reduce the painstaking process.   We are truly a convenience.   Instead of days and days of combing, picking and cleaning, we offer the option of  one treatment visit in one of our facilities or  your home for complete head lice removal.  COMPLETE REMOVAL . . . and just one cleaning of your home and car.  You go back to work and your child goes back to school or camp the same day or the next day (if treatment is completed later in the day.)

With Elimilice, there is no more combing or application of product to remove the case (and we urge you to be careful when surveying services that require a. you buy product to continue to work on removing the case of head lice AFTER treatment has occurred by a professional and/or b. a follow up treatment visit for a heavy or difficult case.)

Because we not only comb but we look at every single strand of hair on the treated individual’s head and manually remove any nits the comb did not get, we can say with complete assurance that the case of head lice is eliminated BEFORE you pay the bill.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the value of your time and your children’s time, the cost of the alternate products and methods and how much your comfort and your children’s comfort is worth to you.

To help with your analysis, we’ve prepared this table for Elimilice’s professional head lice removal as compared to other options.  Please note reference to self-treatment via an Elimilice product.  This is utilizing the comb and products that we use for treatment, and we sell these items for “do it yourselfers” in a conveniently packaged kit.  We completely understand that head lice removal by a professional service is a significant financial endeavor, and we therefore know that many will choose to self-treat.  If you’re on the road to removing the head lice for yourself/your family on your own, Elimilice also has a hotline to answer questions and develop a treatment program for those who’d like assistance.

Please feel free to contact us about our services.


Where do you provide head lice removal services?

At our North Decatur/Druid Hills (Decatur) and Dunwoody (Atlanta), Georgia treatment facilities, we perform personal and professional head lice check and removal services for children and families from all over Atlanta, Georgia and its suburbs, including Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, East Cobb, Roswell, Alpharetta, John’s Creek, Milton, Woodstock, Dekalb County, Fulton County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Decatur and Midtown.

The enhanced lighting, proper seating, appropriate tools and availability of product and personnel at our facilities enable us to detect and remove the head lice problem quickly and efficiently. We also have “head lice free” play and waiting areas, snacks and beverages, individual DVD players and an extensive library of DVD’s for your children’s enjoyment while being treated. Our space is comfortable, kid friendly and family friendly!

We are also have a full staff of mobile technicians available, seven days a week to make “house calls,” if that is your preference. Please contact us to make an appointment.

Is it better to come to one of Elimilice's facilities or to use Elimilice or another service in our home for treatment?

We are happy to rid your family of head lice in either our treatment facilities or your home!

However, we are often asked by clients calling us for an appointment if it would be preferential for the services to occur in one of our facilities or in their home.

After seeing thousands of individuals in both home and treatment facility environments, we believe there are benefits to both:

PROS – in facility treatment:

  • The enhanced lighting, proper seating, appropriate tools and availability of product and personnel at our facilities enable us to remove the head lice quickly and effectively.   Most of the time, we can work on all family members simultaneously so that the overall time spent on the process is minimized.
  • We also have head lice free play and waiting areas, snacks/drinks, individual DVD players and an extensive library of DVD’s for your children’s enjoyment. Our clients frequently tell us that our spaces are so clean, comfortable and inviting.
  • Treatment at one of our facilities places the burden of cleaning, after the treatment, on the Elimilice staff. A treatment in your home could  leave bugs in the area where you or your children are having the head lice removal, and although it’s highly unlikely that a reinfestation will occur as a result of such, why take the risk? Having treatment on a kitchen stool or dining room chair with standard home lighting is truly not nearly as efficient as having treatment in a facility that was designed for the sole purpose of the detection and removal of head lice. We also clean and disinfect our individual stations after each client and our common areas (waiting rooms, toy areas, restrooms) several times each day.
  • The opportunity exists for us to position parents in such a way to make children being treated as comfortable and at ease as possible.
  • At our Dunwoody (Atlanta) and North Decatur/North Druid Hills (Decatur) treatment facilities, we have seen families from all over Atlanta, Georgia and its suburbs, including Buckhead, Midtown, Virginia Highland, Morningside, Inman Park, Candler Park and Decatur as well as from the Atlanta suburbs, including Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, East Cobb, Roswell, Alpharetta, Marietta, John’s Creek, Milton, Woodstock, Cumming, Suwanee, Dekalb County, Fulton County and Cobb County.
  • The in facility Elimilice service differs from many other home and “salon” services in that two technicians are involved in every treatment (one to perform the treatment and one to quality control inspect). In addition, unlike many other head lice removal services, our treatment includes a complimentary follow up head check (within 2 to 7 days of treatment) to ensure that there has been no additional exposure to head lice. This is an extremely important component to providing you with the comfort you need in knowing that the head lice are GONE.

PROS – in home treatment:

  • All family members do not have to travel for check and treatment, when necessary (and who doesn’t like to avoid the local traffic situation?)
  • The comfort of a known environment for all family members can make the process less stressful – especially younger children (although, to be honest, we sometimes find that this can work against the process in attempting to keep a child still and relaxed.)
  • We can accommodate your whole family with later evening appointments, and family members can continue to “go about their business” in your home when one person is being checked/treated.

All follow-up head checks occur in one of our facilities, and  for 45 days post treatment, you can schedule as many in facility follow-up head checks as you’d like (for a fee of $ 10 each) to provide even more assurance!

Please see our pricelist and contact us to make an appointment.

If I come to your treatment facility, will my family or I contract head lice?

There is truly no risk of contracting head lice while at Elimilice’s Dunwoody or Decatur facilities. Head lice do not jump, hop or fly, and they are mainly passed from person to person via head to head contact. Although we’re a friendly place, we have never had clients or visitors rub heads while at our facility. Additionally, nits, once removed from the hair cannot reattach, and nymphs and adult head lice are severely weakened once they are removed from their “host sight” (i.e. the head.)

Every treatment station and lice removal utensil is sanitized after each client and technicians are constantly washing their hands.

We have specifically denoted “head lice free” play and waiting areas, and there is no fabric or carpeting anywhere in our facility. Our waiting areas are cleaned several times daily and we discourage young children from playing on the floors in treatment rooms while parents or older siblings are being treated.

It should also be noted that no Elimilice technician has ever had a case of head lice that was contracted from the treatment facility or a client. We have often been told by clients who have had head lice removal services performed both in their homes and in our facility that they prefer the sanitary conditions, comfortable environment and superior treatment equipment at the Elimilice facility.

I don't live in the Atlanta or Athens area. Where can I obtain lice removal services in my area?

Elimilice can assist those outside of the Atlanta and Athens areas with head lice removal with a tailored program and products via its hotline.

If you’re seeking a full-service head lice removal provider otherwise, we suggest doing your research to ensure the company you choose guarantees its work, removes all head lice in one visit and includes manual nit picking in addition to combing, uses only non-toxic products and a premier lice comb, does not require additional treatment efforts after the treatment visit, includes a complimentary follow-up visit within a week of treatment and is Better Business Bureau certified.


Is the lice and nit removal treatment messy or uncomfortable?

Elimilice places a premium on all its clients’ comfort and convenience. Our technicians are trained to put everyone at ease while ensuring lice are effectively removed quickly. Products do not leave unnecessary mess but some might say there is some “pain” associated with inconvenience and cost of head lice removal as well as the rigor with which the nit comb is used in order that Elimilice is successful of completely removing all evidence of head lice in one visit.  However, because Elimilice uses both product and process, clients are lice-free at the end of the session.

What about olive oil, mayonnaise, Cetaphil or other homeopathic head lice removal remedies? How about the heated air devices?

While these liquid-based products can work if they are meticulously applied and the labor-intensive process of manual nit removal is also employed, these remedies are extremely messy and the use of them is quite time-consuming. They also require many re-applications over an up to three-week timeframe.

In terms of the heated air machines, although they have proven effective in small control group testing/lab studies, they are not recommended for use on young children, there have been instances where burning has occurred and, in reality, there is no need for additional interventions as there is NO substitute for the completely effective strand by strand comprehensive method of lice/nit removal utilized by Elimilice technicians. Additionally, many schools continue to have a “no nit” policy which precludes children from attendance at school with any evidence of head lice. The heated air machines DO NOT remove evidence of head lice so nit picking still must be performed.

How long does an Elimilice treatment take?

The standard treatment will take between one and two hours, depending on the type and length and thickness of the individual’s hair as well as the degree of infestation. An average short-haired treatment is approximately one hours, and an average medium/long-haired treatment  treatment is two hours. There are times, however, when the treatment process may take much longer. We will be happy to provide you with an estimate of the time and cost for treatment after we verify the presence of head lice and extent of the infestation. Please note that our head lice removal program is a minimum of two visits (first for treatment – to eliminate the head lice and nits, second (and subsequent, if necessary) for follow up head checks – to verify that there has been no further exposure.)  Please also know that we may take a bit longer than other services, but that is because we are thorough.  No other service in the area both combs and then manually nit picks to ensure every single nit is gone!

Do you offer a follow up treatment? Why?

Yes, the Elimilice package includes a follow-up hair and scalp check (to occur within 2 to 7 of the initial treatment) at no charge. This is an important component of our process since nits are extremely resistant to products and must be manually removed. If even only a couple of nits are missed, they may hatch within up to 7-12 days and begin feeding, potentially creating a full blown re-infestation within a few short weeks. Additionally, although you may be vigilant about having all your family members treated for head lice, this is not always the case with others with whom your children may interact. For example, your child might return to school head lice free, but if classmates are still infested, there is a likelihood of re-infestation for your child. For this reason and your further comfort, we offer clients unlimited comprehensive head checks for 45 days post treatment for a fee of $ 10 per visit. Our follow-up head checks ensure that we catch any further exposure early – before they become full cases again. We will also work with you to contact your child’s school administrators, and Elimilice offers full scale school head checks in an attempt to contain or curtail large outbreaks.

My child's school has a no nit policy. Will he be able to return to school after the Elimilice treatment?

Many schools continue to maintain a “no nit” policy (i.e. a child with identifiable nits is not permitted at school). Every child treated by Elimilice is provided with a clearance letter indicating that all adult lice as well as nymphs and nits have been removed from the child’s head. The child is therefore “clear” to return to school and poses absolutely no risk to other children or school staff.

Can pets carry head lice and spread them to my family members?

No! Pets can’t catch head lice and pass them on to people or the other way around. Head lice are species-specific, which means there is a different species of lice for each animal species that they depend on. Children who come home with lice cannot transfer the infestation to their pet cats, dogs, birds or hamsters. Likewise, the lice that live on pets cannot live in human hair.

Isn't head lice a sign of a dirty home or poor hygiene?

No. A case of head lice occurs only because of contact with someone else with head lice. In fact, head lice prefer clean hair, but in the end, they are attracted to whatever will provide the best environment for their survival.

Can I just go buy one of the over the counter products at my pharmacy or drug store?

It is important to know that many lice-removal products contain neurotoxins, which are poisonous agents that may attack varying parts of the nervous system. Those found in many lice-removal products have been linked to seizures, developmental disabilities, hormone disruption, cancer and even death. Furthermore, with the continued use of these products, there is evidence suggesting that head lice are becoming resistant or immune to them.  The most recent studies prove that the permethrin and pyrethin based products are now less than 12% effective.  Additionally, the combs included in these lice-removal kits have been proven ineffective.

Do nontoxic products work?

The arsenal of products Elimilice uses, endorses and sells are extremely effective for complete head lice removal when combined with the proper tools and techniques!

After applying the non-toxic products and engaging in methodical combing with a metal nit comb as well as manual nit removal, all evidence of  head lice is removed by Elimilice in one treatment visit.

We also strongly recommend a follow-up head check as well as ongoing preventive measures.

Where did you receive your training?

Elimilice’s founder, Eileen Fishman is certified in The Shepherd Method™ of lice removal, a research-based, decade-old proven technique and approach that has been used to remove head lice from thousands of individuals in the United States and internationally. All technicians are trained in this same professional head lice removal method.

What type of cleaning of my home and car do I need to engage in when a case of head lice is identified?

If you’ve used a professional service or are battling head lice removal on your own, this should provide some assistance with respect to what you have to do in your home environment and car.

Will my health insurance carrier reimburse me for cost of lice removal services?

Currently, a limited number of health insurance policies cover head lice removal treatment processes; additionally, many Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts WILL reimburse you after you pay for the services and submit the itemized receipt we will prepare and present to you. Please check with your employer or health plan administrator for more details. In addition, lice removal services may be deductible on your personal income tax return. Please talk to your tax advisor for further guidance.

Do you offer a guarantee?

We GUARANTEE our services for 30 days post-treatment for any individual treated by us when all of the following are met:

The post-treatment head check appointment is scheduled and adhered to (for within 2–7 days of the treatment); and

Every person living with the treated individual is also head checked by Elimilice, and if additional cases are identified, Elimilice treats the affected individual(s); and

Preventative guidelines, including an at least weekly combing with the head lice comb utilized for the Elimilice treatment, are followed on an ongoing basis.

In order for our guarantee to apply, any evidence detected must be brought to Elimilice for analysis.

I need to book an appointment. How quickly can we do so?

We can almost always accommodate same day appointments in one of our facilities or via our mobile service.

For an appointment, please contact us at any time:
call toll free:   800-966-6903
text: 404-704-2200
Calls, texts and emails are answered as quickly as possible.

You can also request information by filling in the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Please also note that we are by appointment only and cannot generally honor walk in appointments.  We also staff specifically for pre-booked appointments, do our best to stick to appointments and refrain from making our clients wait and appreciate adherence to our appointment booking policy.