Catching head lice early is vital to helping stop the spread of these itchy pests. It can take 2-4 weeks for outbreak symptoms such as itching to show up, if they do at all. By making weekly lice checks a habit at home, you can help stop an infestation before it gets out of control.
How to perform head lice checks
Work under a bright light and use a nit comb to help remove anything you find. Part your child’s hair and watch for movement as lice will quickly travel away from the light.
Look for eggs stuck to the hair shaft near the scalp. About the size of a poppy seed, they often look like dandruff that can’t be easily removed.
Pay particular attention to the nape of the neck, behind the hears and on your child’s bangs to the crown of their head. Recently laid eggs are nearly transparent so it’s helpful to examine hair from different angles.
Do lice jump from person to person? Only dirty hair attracts lice, right? Is scratching the best sign lice are present? No, no and no. Myths are about as common as lice itself. Learn the truth with this easy-to-read and share info graphic, and take control of lice. Click here for a downloadable copy plus a $2 coupon for one Vamousse product.
5 easy steps to reduce infestation risk
- No sharing. Remind kids to keep belongings that touch the head to themselves.
- Give them space. Tell them not to share cubbies or lockers with friends.
- Go for on updo. When possible, have children wear long hair pulled back.
- Play smarter. Encourage children to avoid games that avoid head-to-head contact.
- Keep alert. If you notice your child has symptoms of lice such as excessive head scratching, immediately do a thorough check so you can treat it right away.
For a downloadable version of these instructions and tips on performing lice checks, click here.
Wondering how to apply Vamousse Lice Treatment? Because it’s a mousse, Vamousse is easy to use and precise to apply to impatient and squirming kids! And Vamousse is fast acting. One application is all you need to kill lice and their eggs – including super lice
This how-to video will walk you through how to apply Vamousse Lice Treatment and demonstrate how to use the enclosed steel-tooth nit comb. There are four keys to successful applications:
- Shake the can well before application
- Thoroughly saturate the hair, to the point of dripping, and keep it that way for 15 minutes. You can add more mousse if the hair starts to dry.
- Be sure to apply in all the lice hiding places. Key spots that are easy to miss are the nape of the neck and the area above the ears.
- Comb thoroughly after the 15 minutes. This will help remove lice and eggs that may have been missed during treatment.
There’s never a good time for head lice, especially when it’s back-to-school time. Parents are busy with new schedules, early mornings and helping kids with homework. Who has time to treat and retreat for lice? Listen to how this busy mom of three relies on Vamousse Lice Treatment to tackle lice head-on, safely and effectively. One treatment is all you need to get kids back to life – and school – quickly!
As super lice spread, parents can still get effective treatment over the counter
Back to school can mean the unpleasant possibility of coming in contact with head lice. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lice infestation affects more than 12 million U.S. children each year, and is the second most frequent health issue for kids ages 3 to 11.
Adding to parents’ concerns is the recent news from the American Chemical Society that pesticide-resistant super lice have been identified in [more than] 25 states(1). Genetic mutations have occurred over time enabling strains of lice to become increasingly resistant to the active ingredients permethrin and pyrethroids used in many pesticide-based OTC treatments.
According to the ACS, “Scientists report that lice populations in at least 25 states have developed resistance to over-the-counter treatments still widely recommended by doctors and schools.” This statement could be misconstrued to imply that all OTC products are ineffective, and that only those treatments available by a prescription will work. Thankfully, that’s not true.
Parents deserve a more complete picture of the effective OTC options available to them, without feeling like the only solution is a potentially costly prescription which may not be readily available to all families.
Jason Schmidt is the Director of Research & Development for TyraTech, whose groundbreaking work produced Vamousse, the latest innovation in effective, pesticide-free head lice solutions.
“While it is perfectly fine to get a doctor’s advice, parents should be aware of new options available to them without a doctor’s visit, such as Vamousse, which dehydrates lice and nits,” said Schmidt. “Vamousse kills lice without the use of the pesticides to which some strains of super lice are becoming increasingly resistant.”
(1)When the original article was published, super lice was identified in 25 states. Since, then it has been identified in 48 states: Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 53, Issue 3, 1 May 2016, Pages 653–659, https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjw023
Tackle Lice Head on With Vamousse Lice Treatment products
Follow simple steps to defend your kids against head lice
The good news is Vamousse Lice Treatment is clinically proven to kill lice and their eggs in a single treatment. So, parents don’t have to spend time treating and retreating for lice. Also, Vamousse is effective against super lice that have become resistant to two major pesticides – permethrin and pyrethroids.
The makers of Vamousse recommend three simple steps to defend kids against lice when school starts.
- Use Vamousse Lice Defense Daily Shampoo. Lab studies have shown that Vamousse Daily Defense Shampoo kills lice with daily hair washing. Use Vamousse in place of your child’s regular shampoo for 10 to 14 days.
- Conduct head checks. The best way to catch head lice early is by doing regular head checks as described above.
- Eliminate lice with Vamousse Lice Treatment. If you find lice, pesticide-free Vamousse Lice Treatment allows you to end the infestation in one 15-minute treatment
For families dealing with lice, it is important to keep the problem in perspective. Although lice are a nuisance, they do not carry diseases, and they are very common among preschool and school-aged children. In fact, the CDC estimates as many as 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States.
Vamousse Lice Treatment enables parents to defend their kids against lice with ingredients they can feel good about. Kids will appreciate it too – the mousse is a fun component and smells good. Unlike other brands, Vamousse resolves the situation with the first application – “one and done” – so families can get back to focusing on school and life, not the itchy effects of head lice.
For more tips on choosing a lice treatment click here.
Head Lice Tips and Facts
Head lice are very common among young school-age children, largely due to their frequent physical contact during play. And lice can easily spread among children at sleepovers, during play dates, and at school. Here are some ways families can defend and protect against these nuisance invaders.
1. Don’t share items that touch the head. Although the most common way for head lice to spread is through direct head-to-head contact with an infested person, it’s possible to transfer head lice by sharing items. It’s important to teach children to keep their hats, helmets, brushes, headbands, scarves other items that are on or around the head to themselves.
2. Avoid shared spaces. When children are at school, encourage them to not share a cubby or a locker with friends. Encourage children to keep their belongings, including hats, coats, scarves and other articles of clothing to themselves
3. The “star method.” At a sleepover, it’s difficult to avoid contact between children as they wrestle, cuddle and play. When it comes time to sleep, utilize the “star method”, where everyone is placed in a circle, with feet touching in the center rather than heads. This may help prevent the spread of anything extra that guests have brought with them.
4. Catch it early. The key to controlling a head lice infestation is to catch it early. Be aware of the signs and symptoms related to lice, including excessive itching or an irritated scalp. If you notice your child scratching, do a thorough check to be sure he or she doesn’t have lice.
5. Act quickly. When head lice are discovered at school, a notice is usually sent home to the parents of other children. When this happens check your child’s hair, searching for nits close to the scalp or sores from scratching at the nape or behind the ears. A fine-toothed louse comb can help detect live head lice by trapping them in their teeth as the comb is pulled through the hair near the scalp. Catching an infestation sooner rather than later makes treatment more manageable.
6. Proactive defense. Consider a daily-use defense shampoo to help avoid an infestation before it starts. Vamousse Lice Defense is a non-toxic daily shampoo that kills stray lice 1As shown in lab studies[/red] without the use of chemical pesticides. Used as a replacement for your usual shampoo, it adds no extra steps in a family’s grooming routine.
7. It’s not the end of the world. If lice do take up residence, it’s important not to panic, chastise, or humiliate a child for having them. Although it may make your skin crawl, having head lice is a relatively mild condition that impacts as many as 12 million school-aged children annually in the U.S. And safe, non-toxic products from Vamousse help families treat and defend against these unwelcoming visitors without applying pesticide to a child’s head.
9 important facts about head lice
Pediculosis, or infestation with the human head louse (pediculus humanus capitis), is one of the most common human parasitic infestations worldwide. 1 In the United States, an estimated 6-12 million people are treated for head lice each year, and studies have shown that it’s most common among preschool and school-aged children. 2 Head lice can infest anyone’s hair, regardless of gender, nationality, race, or hygiene. Even the cleanest classrooms and tidiest households can be invaded by this common nuisance. The CDC provides helpful information regarding transmission and risk factors here
You can help protect your family and educate your children by understanding more about the behavior of head lice and best practices for avoiding them.
- Head lice are parasitic insects that only attack humans. You won’t catch lice from the family pet, nor will you give lice to them.
- The most common way they spread is through direct head-to-head contact with an infested person. They can’t fly or jump.
- Head lice are very small — about the size of a sesame seed. They can be tan, brown, or gray in color.
- This parasite prefers a dark, warm environment and is often discovered behind the ears, under a ponytail and at the nape of the neck. They can also be found on eyebrows and eyelashes.
- Head lice stay alive by feeding on blood from the human scalp. They will die within 1 to 2 days after being off their host because they no longer have a food source.
- A female louse can lay up to 10 eggs daily; they prefer to lay their eggs ¼” from the scalp.
- At first glance, head lice eggs (or nits) might be mistaken for dandruff. But they are firmly attached to the hair shaft with a waterproof glue-like substance and won’t brush off.
- Anyone can get head lice. They know no socioeconomic or ethnic boundaries, and are equal opportunity infesters.
- Males are less likely to get head lice than females because they typically have shorter hair.
Lee, S.H., Yoon, K.S., Williamson, M.S., Goodson, S.J., Takano-Lee, M., Edman, J.D., Devonshire, A.L., Clark, J.M. (2000) Molecular analysis of kdr-like resistance in permethrin-resistant strains of head lice, Pediculus capitis. Pest. Biochem. Physiol. 66: 130-143 ↩Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Parasites – Lice – Head Lice, Epidemiology & Risk Factors, http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/epi.html ↩
Back-to-School brings an increase in head lice cases
Traditionally pesticide-based products have been the most common lice treatments available. These products contain the active ingredients Permethrin or Pyrethrum, which are pesticides introduced more than four decades ago as pediculicides –OTC drugs to kill lice. With these products, the formula kills lice but does little to kill their eggs, making a second application required 7 to 10 days later to kill newly hatched lice that were in the egg stage when the first treatment was performed.
A big concern today is pesticide-resistance. Researchers studying head lice across the U.S. have documented that strains of “super lice” exist in much of the country. As a result of having relied on the same chemicals to treat lice over decades, resistance has grown, leading to less consistent reliability of these pesticide-containing products.
Pesticide-Free Lice Treatments
This category of products is aimed at addressing the pesticide-resistance challenge and providing a different approach to ending an infestation. Within the pesticide-free category, there are two main types of products: pediculicides and combing facilitators.
This newer generation of treatments emphasizes safe ingredients and the ability to kill lice, including super lice without using the pesticides to which lice have become resistant. Often these products include a Drug Facts box indicating that the FDA recognizes the active ingredient as a pediculicide – an OTC drug for the treatment of lice.
Vamousse Lice Treatment is an example of a pesticide-free pediculicide. Vamousse is also proven to kill eggs, dehydrating them with the treatment. This means that both the adult lice and their laid eggs are killed with the application rather than needing to wait for eggs to hatch. Parents also get the benefit of ingredients that are non-toxic and safe to reapply as needed, so there is no waiting period to fully end an infestation or quickly treat a re-infestation.
Combing has long been the most basic and effective method of ending a lice infestation (evidence dates back even to the time of Cleopatra!). Some products in the lice treatment section serve to condition the hair for easier combing, supporting the manual removal of lice. These products can be recognized by language about “loosening the nit glue” or “eliminating lice and eggs.” For many parents, combing alone is a time-intensive, highly involved activity that may need to be repeated frequently to get complete removal, so they should be aware that these combing aids do not kill lice.
What Parents Should Know
The best way to identify a head lice infestation early is by doing regular head checks. If you find lice, check the rest of the family and alert playmates. With the range of treatments on the market, be sure to follow the directions carefully for the product you select as procedures vary based on the type of product.