PARENTS

Super Lice, Treatment-Resistant Bugs, Are Taking Over North America

03/08/2016 03:18 EST | Updated 03/09/2016 07:59 EST

As if lice weren't unpleasant enough, now they're even tougher to eradicate.

A new strain of bugs is more resistant to traditional treatments. These super lice have shown up in at least 25 U.S. states, according to research published August 2015 from the American Chemical Society.

head lice

"They have been exposed to the over-the-counter products for years and years and years," Toronto lice removal expert Shawnda Walker told the CBC last fall. As a result, they are less easily wiped out by those products, many of which contain insecticides called pyrethroids.

"What we found was that 104 out of the 109 lice populations we tested had high levels of gene mutations, which have been linked to resistance to pyrethroids," researcher Kyong Yoon said in the American Chemical Society press release.

head lice

The easiest way to deal with the critters is to stop the infestation at the beginning, pediatrician Dr. Hannah Chow-Johnson told Relaxnews. She suggests checking your kid's hair once a week using a fine-toothed metal comb. Part their hair in small sections and run the comb through it, rinsing each time and using either water to wet the hair or a spray that dyes the eggs, or nits, to make them easier to see.

Pharmacist Anil Goorachurn also told Global he suggests using an item called the Nitview LED Lice Detection Device, which uses a UV light to help the eggs and lice glow, making them more visible.

In the video above, the Mayo Clinic takes you through one family doctor's tips to deal with lice, and how to tell if they're rebuffing your treatment efforts.

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