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St. John’s woman runs business that treats head lice

Tammy-Lee Joyce demonstrates how she uses sticks to search through hair for traces of head lice at her St. John’s home on Monday night. Joyce is in the business of getting rid of head lice. As owner of the franchise Lice Squad NL, she visits families’ homes to use non-toxic products to treat head lice.
Tammy-Lee Joyce demonstrates how she uses sticks to search through hair for traces of head lice at her St. John’s home on Monday night. Joyce is in the business of getting rid of head lice. As owner of the franchise Lice Squad NL, she visits families’ homes to use non-toxic products to treat head lice.

Tammy-Lee Joyce remembers the day a family member came home with head lice.

“Oh my goodness, it was unbelievable,” she said. “I was completely overwhelmed. They’re so hard to get rid of, I was at my wit’s end.”

As a nurse, she said she knew better than to trust traditional pesticide treatments. None of the drugstore products seemed to get rid of the pesky, tiny parasitic insects completely.

The lice were finally gone after many days of Joyce trying various treatments and spending endless hours combing.

“It was a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” she said. “My back was killing me.”

After that experience, Joyce knew there had to be an easier way to deal with head lice and she set out to research it.

An Internet search led her to a company, Lice Squad, which offered non-toxic lice removal products and services for families, school and organizations.

Joyce decided to buy a franchise for this province, and for the last year and a half she has been in the business of helping other families deal with head lice.

“My experience left me realizing just how much misinformation is being given out,” she said. “Most parents just go by what the box (of a drugstore product) tells you to do, but, unfortunately, in most cases, that doesn’t work.

“I just don’t want any other family going through what we did.”

The business, Lice Squad NL, offers mobile service, whereby Joyce comes to families’ homes and uses the non-toxic formula (enzymes) with the proper tools, she said.

“I will immobilize (the head lice) until they’re gone,” she said.

Joyce who said her treatment can often take just over an hour, instead of the eight to 10 hours most families experience.

She also does followups, if necessary.

Her treatments are $75 an hour, which is a small price to pay, she said, to have the problem taken care of.

“There are a lot of parents who just don’t want to deal with lice. They just want them gone,” Joyce said. “I take care of it so they don’t have to.

“When I leave people’s homes, I know I have given parents the tools and knowledge to deal with this effectively.

“I get a lot of hugs when I leave.”

Joyce also works to educate parents, children, teachers, as well as home-care providers and other organizations.

She will have a booth at the Kids and Family Expo, which is scheduled for June 3-4 at the Techiplex soccer field in Pleasantville.

She plans to expand the business and open a clinic is St. John’s, as well as hire consultants across the province in the near future.

“It’s been a wonderfully rewarding experience for me, helping others,” she said. “It ranks right up there with nursing in terms of job satisfaction.”

Joyce can be reached by calling 325-LICE (5423) or by email at nl@licesquad.com.

 

rmullaley@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelyRosie

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