It's a common childhood ailment, but it one that people don't like to talk about: head lice.

Late winter and early spring is a typical time for people to notice the parasite, but those in the know say this year seems to be particularly bad.

Nancy Gordon started her head lice eradication company several years ago, and right now, business at Lice Knowing You is going gangbusters, courtesy of these tiny bugs and eggs.

(Lice is) very difficult to get rid of, said Gordon.

Susan is a mom whose children attend school in south Seattle. She says head lice is becoming an almost annual problem.

I'm a little itchy, so I want to make sure what's going on with my head, said Susan. Every time we have been struggling with it or friends of mine have been struggling with it, it happens to be early spring.

After spending days battling her child's head lice, she figured she better get herself checked, too.

So I've been really itchy on my ears and my nape of my neck, she said.

Her hunch was right, and the lice check soon shifted into a lice cleansing.

Nancy Gordon says the only surefire way to get rid of head lice is to go through hair one strand at a time. Her business uses only organic treatments, instead of the pesticide-based shampoos that have been used for decades, because she believes they are part of the problem.

It's just overuse in our environment and they've built up a resistance, an immunity, said Gordon.

Some tips for getting rid of lice:

- Use effective lice combs and magnifying glasses.

- When looking for lice, dampen hair with a detangler or olive oil.

- Keep kids out of school, play dates, and after school activities until the problem in eradicated.

- tell your circle of friends if you or your child has lice with so they can check their families.

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