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Lice experts hoping to tackle uptick in Southwest Louisiana

Posted: 12:12 AM, May 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-16 01:13:35-04

About eight to ten people are being treated for lice daily in Lafayette.

Lice Clinics of America reported an eighty percent increase in lice activity in Southwest Louisiana this past winter compared to 2017.

Part of the reason for the spike is super lice. Experts say super lice is a mutation of the parasite, causing the bugs to become immune to standard treatment.

“With super lice being in effect, which is a real thing, that the over-the-counters are not working like they used to in the old days. It’s not effective like it has been, so people treat, and they’re not getting rid of all the eggs,”
said Shanna Castille, owner of Lice Clinics of America, Lafayette.

The solution to super lice is professional lice treatment. Specialists use controlled heated air to kill both the lice and their eggs.

A common misconception is mostly kids get lice, but Castille says everyone is susceptible.

“Head-to-head contact, living in a house with somebody, sitting on the couch… A bug falls out; well, it’s looking for its next host. Mom sits on the couch. Guess who’s the next host?”

Another easy way to contract lice is a trend made popular by smart phones.

“Selfies are a huge part of spreading lice, especially with junior high and high school kids,” said Castille.

Some things you can do to prevent getting lice is to wear your hair up, use hairspray, and check your hair regularly. Another suggestion is if you or your child gets lice, let others know.

“Making other people aware that your child does have lice, especially if they have been around each other, just so they know to start looking to make sure their kid doesn’t contract it,” explained Castille.

Once you receive treatment, here are some of the things you’ll need to do at home:

  • Brushes, bows, ponytail holders, etc. need to be put in a resealable bag in the freezer for 48 hours.
  • Anything that goes in the dryer needs to be in the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat.
  • Anything that cannot be put into the freezer or dryer needs to be put in a trash bag for 72 hours.