After decades of bombarding them with chemically charged shampoos and conditioners we've helped the common head lice build resistance to the point in some cases of total immunity.
"There have been reports of different resistance to different insecticides even in different schools." Said Medical entomologist Doctor Craig Williams who has been studying the blood suckers for years and says he's seen nothing like the latest resurgence.
"You could have a treatment that works in one spot not works in another leaving parents scratching their heads like figuratively and maybe even literally." He said
As chemical strengths increase to kill the lice the risks to us increase also chemical burns on the rise.
It's a concern for mother of two Yanina Russel every month she spends countless hours and dollars trying new treatments on her children. She's yet to find one that'll kill them and keep them away permanently.
Australia has one of the highest levels of louse infestation in the world. We're up there with the US, Israel, Denmark and the UK. This year 850,000 school children will bring the blood suckers home with them and they often can't go back to school until they've been treated.
It's why Moti Grau extended his specialist children's salon to help parent's and save them the trauma. But how's this for a result? The next generation in bug busting technology a decade in the making "Lice actually breathe through gill like structures called spiracles and what neutralice does is actually stun those spiracles open and prevent the lice from being able to breathe." He said
Death by suffocation and dehydration but without the insecticide or pesticide head lice can build a resistance to. Neutralice brand manager Belinda Clare explained "It actually works physically on lice rather than chemically and as such resistance is unlikely to develop with neutralice advance because of the mode of action. Really signal potentially a new dawn It's literally preventing oxygen from getting to the eggs and the adults of the lice."
While Doctor Williams holds a lot of hope in the product he says it shouldn't replace the old fashioned method of removal using conditioner, a fine toothed knit comb and vigilance. We'll never get rid of them, but together we can reduce the spread.
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