LEMOYNE, Pa. - Hilary Reeser has found a new calling: to help eradicate lice among area children and families.
Her commitment to it is so strong that she is resigning from her role as a teacher at Cedar Cliff High School to focus on the business she launched late last year at the Cumberland County office of Lice Clinics of America.
It started when her daughter got a case of lice that was not going away after the use of over-the-counter remedies, and searched for alternatives.
"The closest one at the time was in Rockville, Maryland and took her down there and I was so impressed with the device I said, 'We're opening one, that's it,'" she said.
She opened the local clinic last September, but the demand for the service has been so large, she is committing to it full-time.
She even tapped one of her colleagues at Cedar Cliff--a school nurse--to pitch in and help offer an alternative form of lice removal to families.
"It's just frustrating because they'll do that and two or three weeks later, oh no, they see something else in the hair and it's freak out time, parents are on edge because they have been dealing with it," Teresa Stoner, who will continue working at the school and at the clinic, said.
The clinic says they are seeing more cases of what's known as super lice: bugs resistant to the over-the-counter and prescription remedies.
"Although they may have gotten rid of the first initial batch of hatched eggs, they now are dealing with it ten days later when they hatch, it's a reinfestation," Stoner said.
The clinic says it is working on changing the notion that only people with poor hygiene get lice, saying that it can spread very easily to almost anyone.
Even though school may be wrapping up and kids aren't in such close quarters, the summer months can be the worst for the spread of lice.
"They thrive in hot, humid conditions and so you're going to have more bugs that are surviving, you're going to have more eggs that are hatching, plus you have kids doing sleepovers, summer camps, so it's prime season to spread lice, unfortunately," Reeser said.