Head Lice In The News

At Lice Spies, we believe that education is key in the fight to safely eradicate head lice.  With increased awareness, we hope that everyone has enough information to make the safest choices when it comes to treatment/removal.  There is absolutely no need for anyone to be put in harms way when dealing with these pesky critters.  Here are some interesting news articles we’ve found that hopefully you find useful:


The Shepherd Institute for Lice Solutions Continues the Global Fight Against Head Lice in Colon, Mexico

Editor’s note: Lice Spies was so happy to be part of this volunteer expedition to help and empower at-risk youth in Mexico.

A team of Shepherd certified lice specialist travel to Mexico to help eradicate head lice in home for impoverished children.

WEST PALM BEACH, FL, February 28, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — In a continuation of their global outreach program, Katie Shepherd, Founder and CEO of The Shepherd Institute for Lice Solutions and her team of certified lice specialist recently returned from a children’s home in Colon, Mexico. Working with the team at Santa María del Mexicano, a children’s home for poor and disadvantaged youth, Katie and her team identified 78 cases of head lice. Through their global outreach services they identify all cases of head lice and then teach local teens and staff how to treat the lice, thus enabling them to maintain a lice free environment in the future.



Sponsor Spotlight: Head lice and Halloween costumes

This time of year, news stories start popping up telling people not to try on Halloween costumes in stores for fear of getting and spreading head lice. Is this fact, or fiction?

Head lice do not jump or fly; they crawl. They have six legs with claws at the end of each leg. These claws are strong, so strong that lice can hang on for dear life and survive even after multiple washings.

Lice are after only one thing: your blood. In fact, they have to feed on the same human blood type as their very first feeding. If a louse transfers heads and feeds on a different blood type, it will die. So, a louse really doesn’t want to leave their food source unless they sense another’s head is a tastier treat.



Sponsor spotlight: Don’t let lice head back to school

School supplies… check

Backpack… check

Lunchbox… check

Head check… check!

Don’t let lice head back to school. Start the school year knowing that everyone in your household is lice free.

Know how to identify signs of lice. Lice eggs, or nits, can range from light tan in color to dark brown. Eggs themselves do not grow in size; they turn darker in color as they get closer to hatching.



Help prevent your child from getting lice this school year

Kids are heading back to school, and school administrators are reminding parents to get your kids checked for lice.

Lice Spies held a lice inspection over the weekend at the “Girls Soar” empowerment day in Everett, providing free lice inspections to any kids who wanted them.



Comparison Comb Study of Three Leading Combs: A Secondary Data Analysis

The purpose of this study was to compare three leading nit combs (Terminator®, Licemeister® and Rid®) by evaluating their overall effectiveness in removing head lice and their eggs/nits.



Sponsor spotlight: No summer vacation for head lice 

Head lice, unfortunately, do not have “seasons.” Just because school is out for the summer, doesn’t mean that lice take a vacation.

Summer activities are perfect breeding grounds for lice to crawl from head to head: sleepovers, camps, hanging out with friends on the couch watching movies…



Exposure to pyrethroid pesticides may cause early puberty in boys, study finds

New research has linked exposure to a frequently used group of pesticides called pyrethroids — also found in domestic products like mosquito sprays and head lice shampoos — with the early onset of puberty in boys. The study was presented at the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting, April 1-4, in Orlando, Florida, USA.

Researchers at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, studied the effect of a class of pesticides called pyrethroids on puberty in 463 Chinese boys aged between nine and 16 years old.



Head lice killer linked to abnormal behaviour in children

Ingredients found in head lice and scabies treatment products have been linked to behavioural difficulties in young children, scientists say.

A team of French researchers investigated whether prenatal or childhood exposure to pyrethroid, which is a group of synthetic chemical insecticides, had any impact on neurobehavioural development.



Lice Spies head lice evidence

Local business takes aim at head lice

You can’t fit a head under a microscope, but you can fit evidence of head lice. Cathy Baran, owner of Edmonds-based Lice Spies, uses her microscope and the Shepherd Method of Strand-by-Strand Nit Removal to detect and eliminate a lice infestation.



Lice Spies, The Latest Shepherd Certified Clinic To Battle “Super Lice”

Lice Spies is the newest addition to the list of Shepherd Certified head lice awareness and control centers servicing Western Washington. It is helping to fight the growing problem of “Super Lice” through education and safe, non-toxic, pesticide-free head lice treatment and removal options.


Meet the new Edmonds business: Lice Spies

Read More


New Ways to Fight Super Lice

Some six million to 12 million infestations of head lice occur each year in the U.S. in children ages 3 to 11 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite experts’ assurances that head lice pose no health concern, the insects are a regular source of angst for schools and families, who may spend as much as hundreds of dollars to get rid of them.



Management of head Louse Infestations in the United States – A Literature Review

Head lice are a source of scalp irritation, social disruption, and loss of school time. Health care providers need authoritative information to help avoid the costs and risks of ineffective treatment. A review was completed to provide relevant information on infestation treatments available in the United States. Three major biomedical databases were searched from 1985, when current products were first available, to 2014, focusing on U.S. reports. A total of 579 references remained after duplicates were removed. A search of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website and labels of approved products were reviewed. A marked decline in the effectiveness of permethrin and synergized pyrethrins was found, probably because of resistance arising from widespread and indiscriminate use, and the emergence of knockdown resistance mutations. The potential toxicity of lindane in the setting of readily available, safer, and more effective alternatives, should limit its use. Prescription products shown to be safe and effective with a single application, without nit combing, are topical ivermectin, malathion, and spinosad, whereas benzyl alcohol requires two applications. Home remedies such as mayonnaise, and essential oils, have not been demonstrated to be safe or effective, and may carry potential for severe adverse events. The high risk of failure of over-the-counter treatments in eliminating head louse infestations drives a need for health care provider recognition of the limitations of current treatments and for judicious use of treatments that remain effective.



Super Lice, Resistant To OTC Treatment, Are Everywhere: What To Do

The era of the super lice has begun and it will be itchy.

The authors of a recent study published this March in the Journal of Medical Entomology analyzed the genes of human head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) found across 48 states. They were specifically looking for a set of three mutations that allow lice to survive the most common over-the-counter treatments used to get rid of them, a class of insecticides known as pyrethroids. In 42 out of 48 states, the bugs tested had on average all three mutations, with the remaining six containing lice that generally had at least one or two mutations. Of the 138 different locations where the lice were taken from, only one in Michigan had lice that didn’t contain any of the three resistance genes.



Massachusetts toddler dies during head lice treatment

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Massachusetts police are investigating the death of an 18-month old child who suffocated, apparently because of a home remedy for head lice involving mayonnaise and a plastic bag.

A Springfield police department spokesman says officers responded to a city home last Saturday for reports of a child not breathing.

Sgt. John Delaney says the little girl’s scalp was covered in mayonnaise and a plastic shopping bag was placed over her head, a common home remedy for head lice. The girl was left unattended and apparently fell asleep, allowing the bag to slip down over her face, suffocating her.



Bravery of schoolgirl, 10, who suffered severe burns to her face when head lice shampoo ‘caught fire’

Editors note: Prioderm is a Malathion based shampoo used in the treatment for head lice.  The CDC has the following warning: “Malathion is flammable; keep medication and wet hair away from heat sources such as hair dryers, electric curlers, cigarettes, or open flames.”

The mother of a little girl who suffered appalling burns to her face believes a lice shampoo she was using contributed to the fire that caused the injuries.

Nichola O’Donohoe has set up a Facebook page called Justice For Jodie in tribute to her now 10-year-old daughter’s bravery.

And despite the fact that the accident occurred more than six years ago, Jodie is still receiving treatment for the burns.

Her mother, Nichola, 44, said she had used the lice shampoo Prioderm and believes this may have contributed to the fire.



UP kids’ killer disease spread through lice, expert panel finds

Editors note: There are many claims that head lice do not carry or spread disease.  Is it a matter of time before we find out that they do, or is there already evidence and it’s just a matter of time before more evidence is produced?

The micro-organism suspected to cause the disease is Rickettsia prowazekii, which is transmitted through the faeces of lice.

The mystery deaths of hundreds of children in eastern Uttar Pradesh last year was likely caused by a bacterial infection that is transmitted through head lice, an expert group has concluded.

The group of 20-odd experts from India and abroad, which was set up on November 19 last year, submitted its report to the state government last week.



Some itchy over FDA policy on lice treatment

After more than half a century of use and reports of illness and deaths blamed on the pesticide, the federal government has banned all uses of lindane–except by children and adults who rub it on their scalps and bodies.

Earlier this month the Environmental Protection Agency banned all uses of lindane as a pesticide, but the Food and Drug Administration has decided to allow its continued use in medicines for treating lice and mites.