By Myles Ma |
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on September 03, 2014 at 6:00 AM, updated September 03, 2014 at 9:44 AM15755184-large

Back-to-school is the busiest time for Marta Alfano. “Last week we worked non-stop from 9 a.m. to practically 9 p.m. due to all the sleep-away camps coming back,” she said. Alfano’s business is lice. The Wyckoff resident owns Head to Head Lice Treatment Center in Hawthorne and New City, N.Y.

This time of year parents flood the business, not just to have lice removed, but also to check their children for the blood-suckers. Alfano went into the lice business when she couldn’t find anywhere to treat her own children for lice. The more she researched the insects, the more she realized how much havoc they could cause: They close schools all over the country. Between 6 and 12 million children are affected each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I didn’t feel that they should be closing a school due to a lice outbreak,” she said. Alfano has been in business for four years. She knows what to look for when she examines someone’s head. She and her employees search for nits. The lice eggs aren’t white, like most people think, Alfano says. Rather, they are grey-brown and attached to the hair. The lice themselves are often close by or on the scalp. A common misconception is that they live near the neck or ears, Alfano said. “We find that in the beginning stages, a lot of clients have nits and bugs right on top of their head,” she said.

Another misconception: No itching, no lice. Alfano said about half the time, lice can be present without itching.

But the biggest misconception parents have is that they have tear through their homes, eliminating every last louse. Lice won’t survive long unless they’re on our heads, drinking our blood. Read the full article on >>