Updated on September 1, 2020
By Dana Garrett-Estrada, Lice Technician
Updated By Diana Doty
According to the CDC, “super lice” are head lice that have genetically mutated to be unaffected by over-the-counter lice shampoos and pesticides. Because most pesticides kill only 2% of super lice, super lice treatment is more challenging than regular lice treatment.
Super Lice vs Regular Lice
Head lice are parasites that live in human head hair. Lice need this specific environment (human hair, 98.6 degrees, and blood from the host) for survival, so they don’t infest homes or pets. Super lice are just a mutated strain of regular lice, so they behave and look the same, except when it comes to their reaction to pesticides.
What Does Super Lice Look Like?
...can you spot the difference?
Bad news...Super lice look like regular lice: They are sesame seed sized and shaped, translucent with a dark brown abdomen, and 6 claws to hold on to hairs. Super lice eggs look like regular lice eggs. An infestation of super lice looks exactly like an infestation of regular lice. So how do you know if you have super lice? Most parents find out by doing an OTC lice treatment, and finding live crawlers in the hair right afterwards. Because super lice have been found in 48 states in the US, LiceDoctors recommends treating any case of lice as though it may be super lice from the beginning.
An adult female louse lays 6-10 eggs per day for about 20 days (up to 200 nits in its lifespan). Before the itching even starts, before you know anything is amiss, the problem is compounding exponentially. Therefore, prevention is the best line of defense. Encourage your children to not share hair accessories, and wear their hair up in a bun. There are products that can help prevent head lice because they include scents that’ll lice find unappealing, such as mint. Oily hair products, like leave-in conditioner, also help reduce the chances of catching lice.
If you find yourself or your child with a case of super lice, inform other parents or family members with whom your child has had recent contact so that they can check and treat quickly. Consider notifying your child’s school nurse, so that other families can be informed and take a proactive approach to prevention and treatment. Your family benefits from collective prevention, too, because then head lice are not cycling through the classroom to be contracted again.
How To Get Rid Of Lice Super Fast?
One of the main reasons parents get so frustrated when trying to treat super lice on their own is the idea that there is a secret trick that could eradicate the problem instantly and easily, if they only knew what it was! While super lice are a real concern, they can be treated effectively with non-chemical methods. Instead of focusing on how to kill super lice, focus on how to get rid of super lice: remove them! None of the home remedies for super lice are completely effective without complete removal of all living lice and nits from the hair.
Super Help for Super Lice
That doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone! Parents may decide to outsource this task to a professional for many reasons: lack of time, bug phobias, poor eyesight, hand arthritis, even just a nagging sense that they might have missed something. If you want super lice treatment that is guaranteed to be effective, call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537 day or night, weekdays or weekends, and a friendly neighborhood LiceDoctors technician will be on her way to your home faster than a speeding bullet for private in-home lice and nit removal and the peace of mind that it’s not coming back. Take that, super lice!