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On the Job: Allan and Karen Franco — Nitpickers

Margie Pensak

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year head lice infect 6 to 12 million American children, ages 3 to 11 in theUnited States. Meet Allan and Karen Franco, ofSilver Spring,Maryland, who are doing their part to help rid us of these culprits.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

illustration MJ: What made you choose this job, Mrs. Franco?

I started checking for head lice as a volunteer in my children’s schools and summer day camp programs. I knew at a very young age that I had a good eye for detail. This is important when you screen for head lice infestations.


MJ: Where did you get your training?

I didn’t receive any formal training for my job. I originally volunteered to try to prevent my children from getting head lice. Over the years, different parents and programs asked me to help with screening groups and nit-picking individuals. I eventually started to charge money for my services, and through word of mouth, I developed a list of clients.


MJ: What is your business called and how did you build it up?

Our business is called Advice on Lice. Five years ago, a newspaper reporter who had heard of my services wrote an article about me that was published in the Washington Post. I began getting calls from people who lived all over the region. I decided to quit my part-time teaching job so I could work in the head lice business, full time. My business grew so quickly, about four years ago, I rented an office inKensington,Maryland, and began to see clients there. Later that year, my husband left his job and joined me in the business. Last year, we moved to a larger office where we are able to do shampoo treatments for head lice, as well as the manual nit and lice removal services. 


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