The Tale of the Super Lice

A parent’s worst enemy and every child’s nightmare—head lice have rained down their wrath on human beings for the past 100,000 years. Normally these pesky creatures can be treated with chemical insecticides, but lately, the chemicals have grown to become increasingly ineffective in the face of a new breed of lice—called the super lice. Let’s take a look at what super lice are, and what is the best method to get rid of them.

What are super lice?

Super lice are a new breed of head lice that have a genetic mutation that makes them resistant to active ingredients frequently used in pesticides. For decades, people have turned to over-the-counter treatments to treat head lice. The frequent use of these treatments helped head lice build up an immunity to two major chemical compounds used in pesticides—permethrin and pyrethrin.

Where did super lice come from?

They emerged during the Second World War when soldiers living in trenches used to get rid of hair lice using chemical pesticides. The use of permethrin and pyrethrin primed lice to develop resistance in the early 1980s. Now, resistance has spread at an alarming rate to several parts of the world, including the United States. Today, around 48 out of 50 states in America have an active presence of super lice.

How do they function?

The compounds used in chemical insecticides function by disrupting the nervous system of human beings. The pores in our membranes regulate the inflow and outflow of sodium on the scalp. The pesticides alter the functions of these pores and open them to increase the outflow of sodium. The increased amount of sodium leads to convulsion, paralysis, and death of the head lice. However, by developing co-opting mutation, lice can resist the effects of the sodium on their body, hence, rendering these chemical pesticides useless.

Are super lice different from head lice?

Super lice have the same biology as head lice when it comes to the structure of the body, survival mechanism and the number of legs. The main difference is the presence of a genetic mutation that allows super lice to survive amidst chemicals that would normally kill head lice. Lice Removal Treatments

How can you treat super lice?

Since over-the-counter treatments are no longer viable, people have resorted to home remedies to get rid of lice. However, there is no clinical evidence that head lice can be killed using home remedies such as putting mayonnaise, Vaseline or garlic and vinegar on the scalp. These remedies are best anecdotal, time-consuming and tend to leave a faint smell behind. Research has shown that the only way to effectively remove lice is to dehydrate them using a drying agent so they can be removed from the hair manually. This is done by professional lice removal services and can pose a health hazard if performed at home. Are you itchy yet? If you’re looking for a lice removal service near you, head over to Lice Troopers and avail our pesticide free and chemical-free full service lice removal treatment to get rid of lice. Contact us at 800-403-5423 today!