Recently while treating a little girl at the Lice Treatment Center, she asked if she had regular lice or super lice. I asked her why she asked and she said that the local pharmacist informed her that one of the elementary schools in the area was “infested with super lice.” I asked her if she wanted regular lice or super lice, to which she said enthusiastically, “I want super lice!” I said well you’re in luck because you do have super lice. Of course in reality I would have no idea if she really had super lice or not but it made her feel special. It also brought the subject of resistant head lice to my mind.
Super Lice is a term used to describe lice that are resistant to the over the counter treatment methods that used to work. Recently researchers from several states reported 100% of lice found carried the resistance gene to the traditional over the counter pesticide treatments. Pyrethrin based products such as RID, NIX, and even the stronger prescriptions are proving to be less effective than they once were.
This may be news to parents, however, we see proof that super lice really do exist on a daily basis. We have had several clients who have tried numerous treatment options including pesticides only to still be dealing with the problem weeks sometimes months later. I believe if people really knew how ineffective RID has become, they would not rush to the drug store to buy it. Most people assume that treating lice effectively has to include applying a product to kill the bugs. This is absolutely not true. The most effective lice treatment method involves manually removing the live lice and the nits ensuring that the life cycle is broken.
If you absolutely feel you must use a pesticide, make sure that you completely follow the instructions on the label as these are potent neurotoxins with dangerous side effects. RID and NIX are only to be applied once and then not applied again for at least seven days. The treatment is not safe for repeated daily application at all!!