What are Super Lice?

Not so super after all! “Super Lice” are lice that have developed a resistance to pesticides and they no longer kill them effectively. 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. Arizona is battling its own super-lice outbreak.

These researchers have found that over that period, lice have become 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.

All this means, however, is that lice are resistant to one type of treatment. “Super lice” is a misleading term because it conjures mages 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. Lice have evolved resistance to other types of pesticides in other countries as well. There is no evidence showing that lice can evolve resistance to heated air (which is how AirAllé® kills lice) or manual removal.

Why don't over-the-counter treatments work?

Head lice are easy to kill - you just need the right information

Many of the traditional methods don’t work very well any more but we have the best method for solving this problem. We invite you to check this US News and World Report article about myths, misconceptions and solutions to super lice and head lice in general.

On April 27, 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated their report on head lice and added AirAllé® as an effective treatment method. The AAP report recommends not using OTC products in areas where pesticide resistance is known.


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    I want to express my gratitude to Kim and AirAllé for not only eliminating and treating the head lice lice from my daughter’s hair, but for treating her so kindly. Head Lice Treatment can be stressful for the whole family...

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    Having your kids infected with lice can be a very traumatic experience. It’s often an inevitability if you have young girls with long hair in school, where it can spread like wildfire. Needless to say, despite being meticulous about it,...