Head Lice Control
We’ve all heard of head lice. These tiny wingless insects are ectoparasites that make their homes in human hair to feed on blood from the scalp. Though human head lice are not known to spread disease, they can cause a number of unwanted symptoms, including prolonged itching and irritation in the scalp. They are also adept travelers and can be transmitted from person to person quite easily. For this reason, head lice found in densely-populated areas such as schools and offices should be dealt with as quickly as possible.
On this page, our experts at EcoClear Products discuss human head lice, providing information on identification, treatment, and prevention. We also discuss super head lice — a new strain of head lice resistant to chemicals found in common treatment products — and provide information on our own eco-friendly products designed to control these chemical resistant insects. Read on to learn more, and stop head lice with our solutions today!
What Are Head Lice?
Head lice are tiny, ectoparasitic insects of the Pediculidae order that live in the human scalp and feed on human blood. (Head lice can also infest eyelashes, eyebrows, and even beards — anywhere where is there is ample hair on the human head.) The human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, is found worldwide. In the U.S., it’s most commonly seen in pre-school children attending child care, elementary schoolchildren, and the household members of infested children.
As adults, head lice are grey or translucent in color and only 2 – 3 millimeters in length. In the nymphal stage, head lice are about half this size and slightly redder in color. Head lice eggs are white in color and attached to human hair when laid. They are scarcely larger than a grain of sand and are often confused as dandruff, scabs, or hair spray droplets. Adult head lice, nymphs, and head lice eggs can all be identified upon close inspection of the human scalp with the naked eye. To prevent head lice transmission, it’s best to have an inspection performed by a trained healthcare professional.
Head lice are not known to carry disease, but they can still cause considerable discomfort for their hosts. Symptoms of a head lice infestation include itching, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and sores on the head caused by scratching. Head lice can be transmitted from person through close, head-to-head contact and, in some cases, through shared clothing. Historically, head lice have been treated with topical ointments such as Rid and Nix. However, a new strain of head lice — known by scientists and the media as “super head lice” — has begun to develop resistance to chemicals used in these products. Learn more about super head lice in the following section.
What Are Super Head Lice?
As if regular lice weren’t bad enough — property owners and parents everywhere now have to deal with a new threat: super head lice. The super head louse is a new strain of the human head louse with one evolutionary advantage: it is resistant to extermination chemicals used in common head lice ointments. Super head lice thus cannot be treated with common products such as Rid and Nix. To make matters worse, super lice head lice are a growing problem in the United States. Reports gathered by Scientific American show that super head lice have been found in 25 U.S. states as of 2015. Learn how to prevent and successfully treat super head lice and common head lice in the following sections.
Preventing Head Lice
Whether you’re dealing with normal common head lice or super head lice, there is no better way to keep your head safe than through proper protection and lice prevention. Take the following steps to keep your head safe and your home or business lice-free.
- Avoid head-to-head (specifically hair-to-hair) contact during all activities at home, school, or in the workplace.
- Do not share clothing — especially headwear such as hats, scarves, hair ribbons, or barrettes.
- Do not share combs, brushes, or towels. (To disinfest combs and brushes used by an infested individual, soaking them in hot water with a temperature of 130°F or greater for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Do not sit down or lie on furniture such as beds, couches, pillows, or carpets, that has recently been in contact with an infested person.
- Machine wash and dry all clothing, bedding, and other items used by an infested person within 2 days before treatment. Use the hottest water setting possible water and dry on high seat. Use Stop Bugging Me!™ Laundry Additive for extra effectiveness and prolonged prevention. (Clothing and other belongings that are not washable can be dry-cleaned or sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks to kill off remaining lice.)
- Vacuum your floors and furniture, especially in areas where the infested person sat or lay. Apply Stop Bugging Me!™ topical spray to these areas to ensure that lice are killed and deterred for up to 45 days.
Treatment Methods: Super Head Lice and Chemical Resistance
Even with the best preventative care, head lice infestations can still happen. In these cases, special treatment is needed. Head lice infestations on the human head are treated with topical head lice medicine called pediculicide. Pediculicides are available both as over-the-counter medications (including pyrethrins like Rid and permethrin lotions like Nix), as well as prescription medications (including benzyl alcohol lotions, ivermectin lotions, malathion lotions, spinosad topical suspensions, and lindane shampoos.)
Historically, pediculicides have been effective at treating head lice infestations on both children and adults. However, with the recent rise of super head lice in locations around the world, the effectiveness of many pediculicides — namely over-the-counter pyrethrins and permethrin lotions — has greatly diminished. If you are dealing with a head lice infestation on your head or in your home or business, you need a solution that really works — even against super head lice. Here at EcoClear Products, we have your solution.
Stop Bugging Me!™ From EcoClear Products: Eco-Friendly and Highly-Effective Head Lice Treatment
Head lice are irritating and highly contagious. If found on the head of a friend, loved one, or employee, they should be dealt with immediately. A head lice problem in your home can be incredibly disruptive, and an outbreak in your business can cause major issues for customers, employees, and bottom lines. With the rise of chemical-resistant super head lice, many common head lice medications have been rendered all but ineffective. Thankfully, our team here at EcoClear Products has developed an alternative that’s both highly-effective and safe to use in any setting.
Stop Bugging Me!™ is a powerful and versatile insecticide developed by our innovative, eco-minded engineers. Made from naturally derived ingredients, Stop Bugging Me!™ is highly-effective and safe to use around people, pets, and the environment at large. Unlike other over-the-counter head lice medications, Stop Bugging Me!™ contains benzyl alcohol and anise oil as active ingredients, both of which kill super head lice on contact. Looking for extra head lice protection and control in your home or business? We recommend Stop Bugging Me!™ Laundry Additive, which is designed to eliminate all traces of head lice and other bugs from washables and deter future infestations for up to 45 days.
Learn More About Head Lice and Shop Stop Bugging Me!™
Interested in learning more about human head lice? Our experts here at EcoClear Products are happy to help. Visit our Blog for informative guides and other resources, or contact our team directly here. Ready to give Stop Bugging Me!™ a try in your home or business? Shop online, or use our Store Locator to find an EcoClear Products retailer near you.