It all started with a frantic phone call from her sister. She needed help: Her kids had contracted head lice, and she couldn’t keep missing work to try to get rid of it.
“After helping my sister, it inspired me to think there’s got to be a better way,” said Nancy Fields, a co-founder of Lice Happens.
Now, 10 years later, Fields and M.J. Eckert, fellow Lice Happens co-founder, have expanded their head lice removal business to eight locations across the country.
The company’s unofficial motto is “We’re putting ourselves out of business one family at a time.” When Lice Happens visits your home, the business makes sure to leave you with the skills to accurately check for and remove any future cases of head lice.
“We look at it as a one-time investment so they get that positive return on the investment versus just an expense that they have to pay in order to get rid of head lice,” Fields said.
When Lice Happens leaves your home, all cases of head lice are gone.
“As far as a job is concerned, we have to operate to a very high standard. You need 100 percent when it comes to head lice and 100 percent when you’re defusing a bomb,” Fields said. “The vast majority of the time, we achieve that 100 percent.”
A typical visit requires all members of the family to be present and screened for head lice. Those who are affected will have their hair meticulously combed for the lice by one of the specialists.
“We don’t leave the house until we’re not finding anything, but the nature of the beast, there could be some stubborn nits remaining, so they have to do some follow-up combing,” Eckert said. “We teach them how to do that.”
On average, a Lice Happens visit lasts two hours, but it depends on how many people are in the family and how many have contracted head lice. Combing takes about an hour for women, and men take about half an hour.
When the specialist leaves a client’s house, the farewell is different from the initial greeting on the phone.
“We always leave with a hug,” Eckert said. “We hug them and we say, ‘Here’s our guarantee. Our hair is making contact. You don’t have lice, or we wouldn’t be touching your head with our hair.’”
Lice Happens offers free educational seminars to school nurses, PTAs and pediatrician offices. Its community outreach presentation is called “Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Head Lice.”
In honor of September’s being Head Lice Awareness Month, it’s important to acknowledge common myths about head lice. Head lice do not jump or crawl, and the only way to contract head lice is for two heads to be touching, Eckert said. Another myth is that everything in your house has to be bagged and washed out of fear of contamination. Head lice cannot live off the human head, so they will not survive on any other surface.
Lice Happens uses pesticide-free products and a customized comb to remove head lice. Lice Happens charges an hourly rate of $100 per hour. To request a visit, call the 24-hour “lice line” at 443-510-4480. You can also email Lice Happens at email@example.com.