Updated on July 19, 2020
Karen Sokoloff, co-owner of LiceDoctors along with Wendy Beck, is an expert on the subject of head lice and has traveled across the country to educate people on this issue. Below she addresses some commonly asked questions:
Why are lice so prevalent today?
Lice are very common today. While 6-12 million cases are estimated each year, the number is likely higher as many people don’t report it to anyone. Lice are incredibly hearty and have survived for millions of years. Cases persist and get passed along because people use chemicals that are no longer effective as lice mutate and become resistant. People unwittingly transfer cases to family and friends either because they falsely think that they have been cleared or because they are unaware that they are carrying lice.
Why am I having difficulty getting rid of lice on my child?
Lice are elusive on the head. They can be notoriously difficult for an untrained eye to find. In addition, their eggs (nits) can also be very difficult for a novice to see. If you inadvertently miss a couple of nits or bugs, you have not gotten rid of your case. In addition, topical products do not penetrate the shell of the nit so are not effective in “killing” these eggs.
Are “super lice” real?
Yes, they are. They have been definitively identified in university studies in 47 states. We have seen them firsthand all over the country. This term describes lice that are resistant to pesticides; our experience is that many lice are not vulnerable to chemical products. These lice must be physically removed from the hair.
We are clean-freaks; why does my child have head lice?
Head lice are more likely to be found on clean hair than dirty hair. The reason for that is that lice have claws that grip the hair and climb to the scalp to feed. When the hair is dirty or oily, it is harder for the bugs to grasp the hair.
Should we scrub down the house after a case of head lice is found?
You may be surprised to learn that it is unnecessary to spend hours cleaning your house. Similarly, you can save yourself time and hassle and not bother doing loads of laundry, boiling brushes, and bagging toys. Here's the reason why: unlike bed bugs, head lice die shortly after falling out of the head…and they rarely climb off the head and onto a couch or brush or toy. The only time they want to leave your head is to move onto another head…that is where more food, in the form of human blood, awaits them.
My child’s best friend has lice; what should we do?
Bring your child to a bright spot and check her head. Do you see translucent sticky eggs close to the scalp glued onto the strands of hair? If so, those are nits. Not sure what you are looking at? LiceDoctors can help you. Call us any time of the day or night at 951-381-2240 and we can send a professional to your home to check, treat, and give you 100% peace of mind.