What Is Super Lice?

The Truth About Pesticide Resistant Lice

Not So Super After All!

What is super lice you ask?  “Super lice” means lice that have developed resistance to pesticides used for killing them. It is a term coined by the media in 2015 after published research showed strains of head lice had developed resistance to pyrethroids, the type of pesticide used in over-the-counter lice treatments.

Expanded research published in 2016 showed that lice samples from 48 states carried the pesticide-resistant genes. Southern Illinois biologist Dr. Kyong Yoon has been researching lice with Dr. John Marshall Clark at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for 15 years. These researchers have found that over that period, lice have gotten more and more resistant to pyrethroid products. In one report they noted that studies from 1995 indicated that permethrin was at least 96 percent effective, but recent reports are showing efficacy rates dropping to as low as 28 percent.

“If you have or your children are infested with head lice, there is a high chance that those lice are over-the-counter product resistant,” Dr. Yoon said at the time of the 2015 announcement.

All this means, however, is that lice are resistant to one type of treatment. “Super lice” is a misleading term because it conjures images of monstrous pests that can’t be killed by anything. The reality is that combing and nitpicking can still be effective, even if time-consuming and tedious; and so is the AirAllé® medical device, which kills lice and eggs (nits) through dehydration.

How To Get Rid Of Super Lice

What Works?

While super lice are not considered a serious health threat to humans, roughly 10 percent of all American school-aged children miss school due to lice infestations. So where are parents to turn when their child comes home with head lice?

Alternative treatments for super head lice are being developed on several fronts. There is some skepticism over the wisdom of investing in new pesticide-based treatments. After all, if head lice have developed immunity to one pesticide weapon, how long will it take before they can fight off the next one?

Invention of AirAlle

This is where the researchers at the University of Utah come in. They have taken an entirely different approach to head-lice treatment. Their approach is based on a medical device, not a pesticide, and was born out of an effort to keep lice alive, not to kill them.

The team was studying animal lice and found that the insects fared poorly in the arid desert environment. The lice commonly died of dehydration. When one of the researcher’s children came home with a case of head lice, and OTC products failed to remove them, he came up with the idea of attacking them by re-creating the circumstances killing animal lice in the lab.

Fast-forward a decade or two when the team unveiled the AirAllé medical device, a first-of-its-kind medical device used for killing lice. The device uses nothing more than hot air to dehydrate head lice on the spot, killing live lice and 99.2 percent of lice eggs, according to the clinical trial. The AirAllé device has been through rigorous trials and has been cleared by the FDA as a safe and effective means of treating head lice.

Kill Super Lice In 1 Hour

The AirAllé device is effective against so-called super lice because it doesn’t rely on pesticides or chemicals at all.

Lice Clinics of America in Ventura, CA uses this new technology. Our clinic is staffed by trained, certified technicians. The entire treatment process takes place in a single 60- to 90-minute session and is guaranteed to be effective.

This is good news for parents who have struggled for weeks, months—and in some cases years—against head lice using products that don’t work.

Call us today to schedule your free lice screening and take care of those pesky super lice today!

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