Everyone knows how annoying head lice are, both because they can cause itchiness and irritation, and because they require a top-to-bottom treatment for the entire home to ensure they’re gone. Lice don’t carry diseases like some other household pests, but they can lead to infection due to constantly scratching the places they’ve set up camp.
Within the last decade, as humans have developed more and more advanced ways to deal with lice, a new phenomenon has emerged in the form of Super Lice. These Super Lice are evolved versions of their weaker lice cousins, and are resistant to many common lice pesticides.
Just like regular lice, Super Lice feed on blood from the human scalp, laying eggs — or “nits” — on the shaft of hair, and multiplying from there. Super Lice don’t go away on their own. And since Super Lice are immune to many over-the-counter solutions, you’ll have to go above and beyond the traditional methods to beat them.
The good news is that newer treatments are better for you anyway, because many of those so-called standard treatments are filled with chemicals and pesticides. To help you in your efforts against lice and Super Lice, below are the best ways to get rid of them in an effective way that keeps the whole family safe in summer and year-round.
The wrong way to treat lice
First off, even if you don’t have Super Lice and simply have regular lice, it’s time to stop using out-of-date, harmful methods, including many over-the-counter methods, like chemical shampoos. You should also stop using household remedies that you may have heard about from a friend or relative, as many of them are ineffective as well.
The key problem is not the Super Lice themselves, but the nits. Home remedies such as olive oil and/or mayonnaise might work when it comes to smothering the pests, but the nits will survive — and soon, you’ll have to do it all over again.
Even worse are the aforementioned shampoos and ointments, rife with chemicals. In fact, 60% of over-the-counter shampoos and treatments contain the highly toxic Permethrin. Even if you’re still going to try a treatment over the counter, make sure to check the label for this chemical.
It’s likely best to avoid those treatments altogether, however, because research has shown that head lice in 42 states are completely resistant to them. In the end, this means you’re covering your head in harmful chemicals for no reason.
Frequent misconceptions about lice treatments
Like the household remedies that only sort of work, there are many misconceptions about lice. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what is true about the pests. Treating your Super Lice means knowing the facts. One misconception is that lice can fly, which is not true. Both lice and Super Lice are spread via physical touch.
One other common misconception is that lice or Super Lice are dangerous, spreading disease to their victims. This isn’t true, so there’s no need to panic when you get lice or Super Lice. Instead, when you discover you have lice, stay calm and develop a plan of action. And make sure not to scratch too much, as the scratching is what sometimes leads to infection.
Lice treatments to avoid
When you start taking action to get rid of the lice and Super Lice in your hair and home, it’s important to choose a treatment that harms only the lice, not you or your kiddos. In addition to Permethrin, many chemical lice treatments also include Pyrethrin.
Some doctors and specialists will prescribe treatments that are effective to some degree, like Ulesfia, Ovide or Natroba. These carry a risk of skin irritation, and Ovide lotion is even flammable. The last thing you want on your hair is something that could catch fire!
What to do instead
To truly get rid of lice and Super Lice without harming yourself or your loved ones, an electric comb like Robicomb is a safe, harmless solution that doesn’t use any harmful chemicals or pesticides to get rid of the lice.
This is possible because an electric comb uses technology to zap the pests on contact, without harming the scalp. There’s no messy toxic shampoo or lotion to apply afterward. Instead, simply run the electric comb through your clean, dry hair, eliminating the pests and their nits as you go.
Once you and your family are clean and clear of lice, it’s never a bad idea to discuss how the lice or Super Lice got there in the first place. Make sure your children know not to share hats or hair brushes, and why. You can also check your lice shampoo labels for other pyrethroid ingredients, since you now know how harmful they are.