A “TI mutation” of the traditional form of head lice makes Super Lice resistant to pyrethrins and pyrethroids, the key ingredients in many of the cost-effective and seemingly safe anti-lice shampoos, creams and spray insecticides. A study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology confirms a new generation of this Super Lice accounts for 97% of Canadian cases. This same percentage is deemed “knock-down” resistant meaning, previously used treatments have not caused lice to die, but rather, have allowed them to adapt superseding the mutation. What were once miracle killers and go-to cures for the headache that is head lice, are now mere cupboard clutter. Only 2.9% of Canadian and local head lice cases can expect to see any success with these products.
Sarah Bottaro, Head Lice Specialist with Lice Warriors concedes that the traditional anti-lice products will work to combat some lice, if used in high concentration and frequency, but will not eradicate the issue in most cases. Moreover, the only way to ensure all lice and Nits (eggs) are removed, is to seek professional treatment using the strand-by-strand technique. This non-invasive procedure using non-toxic enzyme based products has been in demand for more than a decade, and requires professional inspection of the entire head, and combed assessment and removal of the problem areas strand-by-strand.
Regular inspection and pro-active cautionary behaviour are the only reliable methods of prevention for, and spreading of head lice. Lice Warriors is urging parents and caregivers to communicate with their children the importance of resisting head to head contact, including the widely popular group ‘selfie’ photograph. Tying hair back is also important in bridging the gap that invites lice to spread. School administrators are encouraged to initiate routine head checks for all children, and regularly report case findings to the parent community.