What Are "Super Lice"?

Q: What are super lice?

Super lice are head lice that have genetically mutated to become resistant to the active ingredients in some traditional lice treatment products. Super Lice do not look any different from regular lice.  They can only be identified by their resistance to traditional lice treatments.

98.3% of lice collected in 48 states from July 22, 2013 to May 11 2015 were identified as pesticide-resistant "Super lice".*

Q: What are the symptoms of super lice?

A:  The symptoms of all kinds of head lice include the feeling of something moving in the hair, an itchy scalp, irritability and difficulty sleeping. Super lice and regular lice only differ in their response to treatment. If lice are still present after treating with a traditional over-the-counter product, they may be super lice. Nix® Ultra provides outstanding effectiveness at killing lice, super lice and their eggs.

Q:  How do super lice spread?  

A: Super lice and regular lice spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested patient. Head lice move by crawling, but they do not hop or fly. Lice can also spread by sharing clothing or hair accessories recently worn by a person with lice. Dogs, cats and other pets cannot spread lice.

Q: How do you check your children for super lice?

A: If you suspect that your child has head lice, there are a few easy steps you can follow to confirm that you need to begin treatment. Once you determine that it is, in fact, lice, you'll want to act quickly to kill the lice, remove the nits and stop the problem from spreading.

Gather these tools together to help you determine if your child has lice and, if they do, make it easier to treat them ASAP.

  • Magnifying glass
  • An old towel
  • Hair clips
  • Tissues
  • A timer
  • A sealable plastic bag
  • Disposable gloves
  • Something to keep your child busy (movie, game, etc.)

Check, then Treat

  • Inspect the Hair: Use the Nix® Ultra professional comb and a magnifying glass to look closely at the scalp. Start at the base of the neck and divide the hair into small sections as you search for adult lice and their nits (eggs).
  • What to look for: Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell whether you are seeing lice or just some other scalp condition like dandruff, or even dirt. Adult lice are usually light brown in color and look like sesame seeds. They often move quickly and can be found on the scalp or hair. Eggs (nits) are yellow, brown, or tan. They look like tiny seeds and are firmly attached to the hair shaft. They do not move.

Q: Do super lice pose any danger to my child?

A: Aside from being an annoyance, super lice are no more dangerous than regular lice, and can be treated with a safe, non-toxic and pesticide-free remedy such as Nix® Ultra.

Q: How are lice and super lice prevented?

A: Head lice are spread very easily in places such as schools, playgrounds and daycares, making it more difficult to prevent. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends teaching children not to share hats, combs or other items that come into contact with hair. Children should also be checked for lice if there is an outbreak at their school, even if they aren’t showing any signs of symptoms (e.g., itching, irritability).

* Read the full report (PDF).

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Why Nix?

The Academy of Pediatrics recommends the medicine in Nix® Cream Rinse as the first line of treatment for lice.