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Why is it so Difficult to Get Rid of Lice?

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Updated on June 25, 2020

By Lice Technician Kelli Ogle

We get it. You have tried various ways to get rid of these unwanted pests, but just when you think they are gone, they are baaacck! Why is so hard to eliminate lice?

You are sitting in your TV room or are out and about in St. Paul and you notice your child furiously scratching her head. Saint Paul mother child lice treatmentAt first you ignore this, hoping that the scratching will stop. After all, you don’t want to be an alarmist. When the scratching continues you start to get nervous. Please, please let this not be head lice.

Ok. You decide you must check her head. Now the challenge, you think, is will I be able to determine if what I am looking at is head lice. You look at the head and ughhhhh, I think I see little things in the hair. Are they sticky or flakey? Are they white or brownish? Does it matter? Well the answer to that is yes it matters. You don’t see any bugs, is that a good thing? Not really; it is unlikely that you will see the bugs. They run away fast when the hair is moved or a light is shone on them.

You need to be able to recognize lice and nits. 

Head lice are surprisingly tenacious. Their tiny claws give them a tight grip on the hair strands. They can withstand chlorinated water, shampoo, and high temperatures, and they have become resistant to chemicals. They can even block their respiratory passages to avoid being affected by airborne pesticides.

Their offspring, called nits, are even tougher. Each nit has a shell that protects the baby bug (nymph) inside. That shell is so tough that nothing penetrates it...not chlorine, lice pesticides, or any other topical treatment.

That is why the best treatments are the options that suffocate the bug and extract the nits (lice eggs). This is effective, but most people do not know how to implement this strategy and their first instinct is to run out to the store or pharmacy to grab expensive, chemical-filled treatments that just do not work.

LiceDoctors was interviewed for Popular Science Magazine.

Sokoloff recommends the old-fashioned approach of physical removal. Saint Paul Popular Science interviews LiceDoctors ownerFirst, spread a lubricant throughout the victim’s hair to make it easier to work with and to slow down the live bugs, she says. Any conditioner or hair oil or olive oil (what Sokoloff and the team at LiceDoctors use) should work. Next, work through the hair with a fine-toothed nit comb to pull out the tiny eggs and scoop up the live bugs. After you’ve gone over the entire head, wash the hair.”  Popular Science How To Get Rid Of Lice

A female louse can have 200-300 babies in her 28-31-day life span. Lice can lay 5-10 nits a day. This is why quick treatment is always encouraged; lice can get out of control very quickly.

Here are some of the reasons why it is so hard to get and stay rid of lice:

  • Over the counter medications and treatments no longer work on head lice. They have built immunity to the chemicals. Most of the head lice found in the US are super lice, and they are resistant to the chemicals and pesticides that are in traditional lice treatments.
    Saint Paul lice treatment technician happy child

  • While nit picking is a huge step in the lice removal process, you must stay on top of it. Nit picking is very time consuming and takes patience and dedication. If nits are missed and not removed, they will hatch within a few days and a re-infestation will then occur in a very short period of time.
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  • Missing a person infected inside of the home. Failing to get everyone in the home properly checked can lead to more spreading and a repeat treatment of everyone. Every member must be checked and treated accordingly.
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  • Continued head to head contact with an infested person. Getting treatment will not do any good if you share items with an infected person or come into direct contact. Head to head contact with someone with lice will continue the infestation in your home.

Educate yourself and know what you are up against. Getting rid of lice is a challenge and it does take time, but it is possible. For assurance that you will completely eliminate lice, call LiceDoctors in St. Paul and nearby areas at 612-328-9210 . A lice professional will handle your lice problem and leave you lice-free and with an easy follow-up that ensures that this infestation will not return.