AUSTIN -- A new, FDA-approved device promises to get rid of lice in just 30 minutes. The device is called the LouseBuster. The key is that unlike other treatments that use potentially harmful chemicals, the LouseBuster uses only dry, warm air.
You'd expect nothing but happy, giggles from two young girls playing with a puppy. You'd expect nothing but horrifying shrieks when their mother, Christina Taylor, first discovered lice years ago.
"We were in the grocery store and pushing the cart and saw something in her hair that was little and white," said Taylor. "My mom was with me and she goes, 'That's head lice!' We both freaked out."
"It made me feel embarrassed," said Delanie Taylor, who is 10 years old. "I didn't remember having lice, and then my mom pulled one big bug out. I just got really scared."
Taylor began to investigate.
"I wanted to know how my kids got it," she said. "What did I do wrong? Did I let them down? It turns out people think you are dirty, and you don't take care of your kids and your health. Lice actually live in clean hair. They can't breed in dirty hair with a lot of stuff in it. So washing my kids hair every day is probably how we got it. It was the perfect environment for them."
Taylor also began investigating the recommended chemicals, such as Lindane, she was using to treat her daughter.
"On the back it said 'May be fatal,'" said Taylor. "I was just kind of taken aback by that."
Now, years later, when Delanie's class was beset with another lice infestation, Taylor began looking for a natural remedy. She found it in the LouseBuster -- a device developed by University of Utah biologists.
"It's effective because lice cannot develop a resistance to it," said Jessica Creasey, the LouseBuster owner and operator in Central Texas.
Creasey, also a mother of two who's endured the weeks of frustration stemming from lice infestation in her children, heard about the LouseBuster. She researched it and realized it wasn't available in Central Texas. She's now a certified operator of the FDA-approved device.
It looks similar to an old fashioned, portable hair dryer with a long, plastic hose pumping out heated air, but there's no plastic hood -- just a large comb.
"We're basically drying them (the lice) out and dehydrating them and changing their environment, which kills them," said Creasey. "Lice have become resistant to many of the over-the-counter products, not to mention they are harmful to put on your children."
Taylor had been combing a natural lice treatment through Delanie's hair for six hours a night with no success until Creasey brought the mobile LouseBuster treatment right to her door.
"I treated her for 30 minutes with the LouseBuster and that was it," said Creasey. "So, 30 minutes or six hours (a night)? It is a no brainer."
The LouseBuster treatment costs $185. Research shows it kills 99 percent of the lice eggs and 95 percent of all living lice. If another treatment is needed, Creasey says it's covered in that initial cost.
Click here for more information about the LouseBuster.