Sybilla Hart: How she battled nits and hornets

PUBLISHED: 10:04 01 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:06 01 August 2016

Nits attack!

Nits attack!


Sybilla Hart reflects on her new life in Essex after leaving London. This time, it’s pest control as Sybilla and her family contend with creepy crawlies

We have head lice. Alarm bells started ringing when my nine-year-old son proclaimed that, ‘a yellow tinged spider’ had fallen out of his head onto his art project. Though he assured me that he had, ‘scratched all of his nits out’ this was not the case. The baby has now fallen host to these despicable creatures, as have Charlie and I. Given that they are known to favour clean hair, I’m surprised they have managed to take up residence in the Hart household. Trying to get a nit comb through my dried out, bleached hair was a thoroughly thankless task, so there was only one thing for it – get the scissors out.

Charlie successfully gave our two daughters a semi respectable haircut a month ago, so what was there to lose? This time the stakes were higher, but he managed to give me a reasonable haircut (although one side is definitely shorter than the other!).

The result of the haircut is not great, I must concede (some people do just suit longer hair and I am one of them), but frankly, anything to get rid of head lice! I would have shaved all my hair off to stop that incessant itching and scratching. I have come to the conclusion that I am the furthest cry imaginable from the lady who goes to a top London salon for a haircut. Nevermind getting to London for a haircut, it would be a miracle if I actually managed to get to a hairdresser.

Hornets are another pest that we have had to contend with, now that summer is here. I heard what I thought was a small citation jet outside the window, but on closer inspection it turned out to be an African hornet trying to make a bid for freedom. I count myself and the children very fortunate, as a friend’s daughter has just been stung by one of these devils – apparently it dive-bombed her in the bathroom after one of its friends was swatted. You might expect this sort of aggression somewhere suitably exotic like the Seychelles, but not in Essex surely?

Meanwhile, poor Charlie is experiencing chronic hayfever and asthma. Apparently breeding bees on the locality is the answer to all of his seasonal respiratory problems. Add bees to the long list of other creatures and we will be charting Doctor Doolittle at this rate. I have a Shetland pony on my wish list, Charlie has the bees on his, Beatrice would like a golden Labrador and Florence wants a cat. Thankfully Isaac hasn’t put a request in (apart from a holiday in the Caribbean and a new laptop) and Celestia is too young to do so. In any case, she and Seymour are still thick as thieves. They share toys, his dog basket and snacks. Thankfully they won’t be sharing head lice, as dogs can’t contract them from humans. Phew.

Sybilla Hart

Sybilla Hart is a freelance writer and mother of four. She has contributed to The Telegraph and The Lady magazine among other titles. She recently moved to North Essex from Fulham and she shares her experiences of this change of lifestyle in Essex Life. She has just passed her driving test and tries to stay on top of things with four children under the age of eight.

Follow Sybilla on Twitter @hart_sybilla

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