Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Super Lice: How To Fight It

According to the Southern University Illinois, a species of what has been dubbed "super lice" has appeared in at least 25 states. This species of lice is resistant to over-the-counter treatment products. It has been recommended that should your child acquire lice, you should seek a prescription from your healthcare provider. The news of this new "super lice" is very disturbing. It's back to school time and the last thing you want to hear is that there is an outbreak of resistant lice. First let's dispel some of the myths about lice in general.


Having lice means you're dirty.

This isn't true at all. The cleanest, healthiest homes have become infested with lice. All that is needed is a living, human scalp to transport lice. Depending on how long the person has had lice, the nits will jump from one head to another. Think for a moment, you sit on sofas, movie theater seats, naptime at daycare, gave baby a piggyback ride. It is very easy for lice to jump from one person to another.


You have to delouse your dogs.

This is also false. Dogs and cats do not carry or transmit lice.


You have to use Rid to get rid of lice.

Not true. In fact, this is part of the reason that the "super lice" exist. Like all pests, if you use the same chemical treatment repeatedly it will become ineffective. This is either because they learn what to avoid or because they evolve and become immune to the treatment. Rid is expensive but is the most popular and recommended over-the-counter treatment for lice. But it isn't the only treatment.

Alternative treatments for lice

Tea Tree Oil

Another myth about lice is that African Americans can't catch them. This myth is rooted in some fact but is ultimately false. At the time this myth emerged, the general populous of African Americans used African hair oils and a product commonly known as hair grease. The main ingredient in these products, Tea Tree oil. The other popular ingredients are coconut and lavender oils. Tea Tree oil is a great disinfectant and it repels lice. This is why African American children rarely catch lice. Apply it directly to the scalp or add a few drops to a spray bottle of water and use daily to repel lice.

Lavender oil

It was reported less than five years ago that an entire school was so infested with lice, that it had to be shut down temporarily. They could not get a handle on the outbreak. But they learned that the "hippie" parents previously ridiculed by the PTA were the only ones not afflicted. It turned out, the parents that everyone laughed at had been treating their children's scalps with lavender oil regularly. The lice did not like the lavender oil and were moving on to the other children. The other children had used OTC treatments for lice so frequently, the lice became "super lice" and resisted the treatments.


Like tea tree oil, vinegar is a disinfectant. It kills and repels lice.

Other essential oils:

Removing Lice

The key to treating your child for lice is removing them from the scalp. The scalp is their food source. You will need a lice comb to comb out the eggs and the nits. Focus around the back of the head and near the ears, though they could be anywhere. Use a shower cap to suffocate full grown lice. This makes it easier to catch them and remove them. Add a few drops of oil to the lice comb rather than applying it to the hair. Combing out the nits is a slow and careful process. The oil soaks into the hair too quickly. Apply it to the comb instead as needed. Use any shampoo when done, but add some tea tree or lavender oil to it. The same as with OTC treatments, monitor daily and repeat the process.

Wash clothing or bedding in hot water or add bleach to kill any lice. For items that can't be washed, place in a bag and seal for 2 weeks. It will suffocate the lice, and they will have no access to food. Lysol Disinfectant Spray can be used on the mattress.

There are several websites with recipes for the home remedies for lice. Here is one of them.


  1. Dawn dish soap is another home remedy. Tried it and it worked.

  2. Blow dry hair for 30 to 45 minutes. It works to kill off whatever survives the treatment and is supposed to kill nits too.

    1. I read that as well but some kids can't handle the heat of a blow dryer.