a peek inside the fishbowl

24 Jan, 2017

Looking for lice removal services in Ottawa? Here’s the info you need right now (sponsored*)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa|Sponsored posts

I can’t even tell you how many cases of lice we’ve had here at Casa Fishbowl. I’m thinking at least four or five, but it’s all a blur. I do know this (a) lice never arrive at a convenient time and (b) it’s awful for all involved.

If you’ve had lice in your house too, you already have an idea of how many hours are spent washing heads and combing hair. And when that washing is done for the day, there are sheets to be washed and dried, sofas to vacuum, and plush toys to stuff in garbage bags to await happier days.

Our most recent case of lice was only about two years ago. You think teens can’t get lice? HA. I’m pretty sure we picked them up while we were zip-lining. Once again, hours of washing, combing, scratching, worrying.

I have never had lice myself, but it has always been something I worry about. What would I do if I got it? As much I love Mark, bless his heart, I couldn’t imagine him combing my hair out and (I’m so sorry to say this honey) but Doing A Good Enough Job.

When Anne Doswell of Lice Services Canada sent me an email and asked me to come over for a visit I had to say yes on behalf of Ottawa mothers everywhere. I knew this was a service that people needed to know about!* And it’s right around the corner from us too!

Lice Services Canada is located in a nondescript little place on Churchill Avenue in Westboro, just a short walk from the main strip. Anne is lovely, and so friendly too. She is exactly the kind of person you want to chat with at a cocktail party.


She gets it. She understands the stress, the heartache, and the social stigma that unfortunately still comes with lice.

If you have lice, it doesn’t mean you’re dirty, or don’t wash your hair. It just means you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Here’s where I see Lice Services Canada to be the most useful:

They will save time
Expert staffers can get through All The Hair in a fraction of the time you can do it at home. A first appointment generally runs 60-90 minutes. Follow-ups are an hour. (!) I think I spend three hours washing and combing that first night of Home Treatment along.

They use great products and they’re pesticide free.
Not only are they very thorough but they also have the proper lighting, tools, and treatment. Apologies to all the parents who think that slathering a kid’s head in mayonnaise will kill lice, but it doesn’t work. What’s more, lice are becoming resistant to chemical treatments. I was never comfortable buying that box of Nix at the drugstore but I felt like I had no choice. Now I do! Lice Services Canada uses a safe and effective enzyme-based treatment that is appropriate for all ages. They also use the best lice comb on the market, which you get to keep.

Have I mentioned they are experts?
I like to think that I am an expert in Lice Matters. There should be a parenting merit badge for this. In fact, I mocked one up in case someone wants to start making them and awarding them to survivors:

Parenting Merit Badge idea (LICE)

I know exactly what to look for now and I know (more or less) how to deal with lice… but many people do not. The staff at Lice Services Canada – there are 13 of them – are REAL experts. I am willing to bet there aren’t many people in this world who know as much as they do about lice. Many staffers also work as nurses, teachers, or educators. They know kids! Their goal is to get the lice out of your hair, out of your life, provide a shoulder to cry on, AND teach you to know what to look for next time. Hopefully, there is no next time. But it’s good to be armed with knowledge, right?

Their goal is to get the lice out of your hair, out of your life, provide a shoulder to cry on, AND teach you what to look for next time. Hopefully, there is no next time. But it’s good to be armed with knowledge, right?

They are equipped to deal with all of the worst-case scenarios
Imagine the whole family gets lice, mom and dad included, and you’re all just about to go away on vacation. Also: the volume of hair that needs to be treated for an entire family. Can you imagine combing through all of the kids’ hair AND the husband’s hair? Just thinking of this makes my fingers ache. I had partial hand paralysis just combing out ONE kid’s head.

Related to this: some people would just prefer an objective third-party going through their hair. Imagine, for example, a wedding party needing treatment. It’s happened!

I got the tour of the space at Lice Services. The business has taken over the interior of an older single-family home on Churchill Avenue. It’s kind of perfect because it was quite warm and welcoming, not to mention, discreet.

There was a family getting treated upstairs so I didn’t take photos there, but I will say the spaces are big and bright and there are plenty of things to keep the kids busy. Also: cookies. (I am not above bribery in times of need.)

Lice Services Canada

Lice Services Canada

I think most of us have already told our kids not to share hairbrushes and pillows at sleepovers, but I asked Anne if she had some other helpful tips for Ottawa families. She did! And they are worth sharing here:

  • If you’re about to participate in an activity that requires the use of a helmet that is shared by other people, give the inside a good wipe with a moist towelette. Even a baby wipe will do! The goal is to squash any live critters hiding in the helmet.
  • Lice can’t jump, they crawl, and they can loiter while they’re waiting for a new host. Places to watch out for: movie seats, and airline or train seats. Basically, if there is a cloth surface someone can lay their head upon, lice can be there, WAITING. Pro tip: lay a shawl over the headrest before sitting down. Anne says they always get a rush of appointments after March Break.
  • Lice don’t like the smell of tea tree oil, lavender, and mint oils. Instead of adding it into the shampoo as many parents do, Anne suggests making a hair spritz out of your favourite essential oil and spray heads in the morning before school. This way the smell is stronger. The shampoo smell dissipates too quickly to make enough of a difference.

Does someone in your family have an itchy head but you’re not sure if it’s lice? Take a photo and email it to info@liceservicescanada.com for a free diagnosis. You can also take a peek at their Facebook page – they’re myth busting over there! – as well as their Twitter account.

Part of the issue with lice (other than the fact that the process of getting rid of them is so onerous) are the mistruths out there. Some people are still spraying their kid’s head with RAID or think that they can get rid of lice by swimming in a pool. (Wrong and wrong.) So just getting people out there talking and sharing good information, is a great way of helping other parents and eliminating the stigma.

I recommend you bookmark the Lice Services Canada website in case you need it. I hope you don’t, but if you do, I’m glad that there is a service that’s there for us whenever we need it.

*This is a sponsored post but opinions are my own.

3 Responses to "Looking for lice removal services in Ottawa? Here’s the info you need right now (sponsored*)"

1 | Misty Pratt

January 25th, 2017 at 1:57 pm


We had a terrible case last year that went on for 6 weeks. Mainly because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. Sadly, we couldn’t afford a lice removal service at the time…but trust me, if they ever come around again, I will definitely seek some professional help!!

(and I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only wife who doesn’t trust her partner to do a good job, lol!)

2 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Welcoming a new patron, plus a giveaway for Ottawa families - a peek inside the fishbowl

February 23rd, 2017 at 2:32 pm


[…] in January I visited an Ottawa-area lice removal service and wrote about it here. To summarize: I was really impressed with what I saw at Lice Services Canada. The owner, Anne […]

3 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Ottawa lice removal with a fundraising twist (sponsored*) - a peek inside the fishbowl

September 19th, 2017 at 12:46 pm


[…] back I wrote a post about lice removal service here in Ottawa that happens to be handily close to where we live in Westboro. We’ve had kids with lice. […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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