Local mom making a career out of head lice

Local mom making a career out of head lice »Play Video
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Gilles San Martin
SEATTTLE -- Just the thought of head lice is enough to give most parents the willies, but one local mom is using the tiny, parasitic insects to jump start a new career.

Robin Lofstrom is a mother of three and an expert on head lice.

"They have these really adaptive claws and they're really good at holding on to the hair. If they fall off the hair, they're just sort of like, oh no," she said.

Lofstrom calls herself a lice-ologist, but that wasn't always the case. She, like most parents, didn't give head lice much thought until the little blood suckers invaded the heads of her own kids.

She still remembers her reaction when her son came home with lice.

"Oh my God. He was infested, it was everywhere," she said.

Lofstrom fearlessly deloused her children and, while she was at it, she also checked the heads of every other student in her son's class to end the infestation.

It was that episode that got Lofstrom thinking. After several years of unsuccessful job hunting, she decided to become a lice hunter for hire.

"You know, when you tell somebody I'm going to be picking lice for a living, their first impulse is to go 'What? Why?'" she said.

After a bit a brainstorming, Lofstrom started her own business, called Nitwit. She charges $165 for 90 minutes, which is the average time it takes to carefully pick through a head of hair.

She also teaches parents what to do after she leaves. A month later, she comes back and if the lice are still gone, she refunds the parents $25 as a reward for doing their part.

The Centers for Disease Control says anywhere from 6-12 million lice infestations occur every year, usually in kids ages 3-11 years old and more often with girls.

The insects don't spread disease, but they are annoying.