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Super Lice—NOT a Sci-Fi Movie

The word ‘super’ paired with most words is a good thing—think ‘Superman’ or ‘superstore,’ but when it comes to the bug world, no one wants ‘super’ anything. The words ‘super’ plus ‘lice’ are particularly fear-inducing, and, sadly, quite real. This isn’t an imaginary plague from a science fiction flick.

Super lice are very real, and chances are they’ve made their way to your town. These lice are simply regular head lice that have become resistant to the active ingredients in many common head lice treatments. This frightening strain of lice has now been found in 42 of 48 states tested, according to the Journal of Medical Entomology. The same study said that 100 percent of the lice tested are now resistant to over-the- counter treatments. These mutant lice have now spread across almost the entire United States.

This is of particular concern now that school has started, as children so easily spread lice to others. The best treatment against super lice is prevention; however, once you’ve identified lice as a problem, here are some tips to help clean up your home:

  • Vacuum any and all floors and furniture wherever there is any possibility that hair could have fallen.
  • Wash everything! Use the hottest water and air cycles possible, as lice and eggs are killed in temperatures of 128.3 degrees Fahrenheit and above. Include clothes, towels, sheets, stuffed animals, hats, and scarves worn by the infested person.
  • Bag and seal clothing items for two weeks, which can suffocate and kill lice.
  • Teach children the repercussions of sharing hats or brushes and to avoid contact with others’ hair.

The Mayo Clinic still recommends medications containing 1 percent permethrin or pyrethrins as the first choice of treatment for active lice infestations. If you’ve correctly used an over-the- counter treatment and you’re still finding lice and their eggs, contact your health care provider for a stronger treatment regimen.

If you have any encounters with lice (super or not), contact the bug removal experts at Green Pest Control, and relax with the assurance that your home is free of these and any other unwanted houseguests.