Pesticide resistant head lice

Pediculosis, or “lousiness”, is one of the most prevalent communicable conditions in the United States. Head lice can infest people of all ages, but children are prone to infestations due to their play activity and close physical contact. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.” 

According to a new paper (Yoon 2015) delivered at the American Chemical Society Smithsonian.com head lice are now tougher to control than ever. In 25 states head lice have become highly resistant to the most commonly used lice shampoo treatments, including pyrethrins and the pyrethroid insecticide permethrin. In fact, most states (104 out of 109 samples) tested so far have lice that are resistant to these over-the-counter lice treatment options (Yoon 2015). Continue reading

Managing Head Lice in Schools – EPA Webinar, October 20

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Center of Expertise for School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) will host a webinar, “Managing Head Lice in Schools,” on October 20 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

This webinar will explore the epidemiology, public health significance, diagnosis, treatment, and control of head lice. An emphasis will be placed on IPM-based control strategies. The webinar will feature:

  • Richard Pollack, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Harvard University
  • Nicole Bobo, Director of Nursing Education, National Association of School Nurses
  • Deborah Pontius, Health Services Coordinator, Pershing County (Nevada) School District

Continue reading

Head lice are beginning to show resistance

From Insects in the City blog

By Mike Merchant, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Sending your children off to the first day of school comes with plenty of concerns.  Will they enjoy their new teachers?  Will they make good friends?  But one concern often overlooked in the rush of the new school year is head lice.

Now the last thing anyone should stress over when it comes to schools is head lice.  But with a new school year, reports of head lice always go up.  And according to a new paper delivered at the American Chemical Society and reported this week in Smithsonian.com, this year’s head lice are running with a tougher crowd.

Continue reading

Dispelling myths about head lice

Bed bugs and head lice are the two insects that will most commonly send people into a sudden shudder, just from the thought of an infestation. Head lice seem to make a resurgence around the holidays, especially in schools. However, not many people are as well-versed in what to do about head lice, or even about the truths about lice. An article in the Washington Post has some facts–and debunks seven of the most common myths–about head lice.

Read the article.

New online IPM training tools for teachers

Staff education is crucial for school IPM program success. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has created two free online training modules for teachers to learn the basics of IPM and their roles. Some facts contained in the modules are specific to laws in Texas, but much of the information can be applied in any location.

Continue reading

Scruffles the Mouse Teaches IPM

Want to teach school staff some simple IPM techniques in just a few short minutes? Orange County Public Schools, in conjunction with Orlando Tech Animation, created several video “shorts” on IPM topics. The videos, which feature a cute animated mouse named Scruffles, run from one to two minutes long and include IPM basics, bed bugs, head lice, ants, rodents and cockroaches. In addition to presenting useful IPM tips, Scruffles has a tongue-in-cheek charm. In the rodent video, he comments that as a mouse himself, “I have certain expertise in these matters.”

Continue reading