Want Another Reason to Practice Social Distancing? Head Lice.

Most people are practicing social distancing due to the current pandemic, so contracting head lice might not be a top concern right now.

However, many families with young children have at least one encounter with head lice at some time or another. Finding effective ways to manage these pests can be difficult, but it is possible. And remember, anyone can get head lice.

In the newly updated Pest Notes: Head Lice, authors Victoria Leonard and Dawn Gouge bring their public health and pest management expertise to the topic of head lice management, providing easy, safe, and effective ways to control a head lice infestation. 

The authors state that while normal shampooing, hair-conditioning, brushing, and hair-drying will kill many lice, care givers should take action as soon as live lice are discovered. Treat the infested person's hair, then comb with a metal lice comb and clean the person's bedding and other belongings.

Choosing a treatment can be challenging since many common insecticidal shampoos no longer work well due to resistance. Regardless of the product chosen, always follow the label directions for safe use and reapplication. For detailed instructions on combing for head lice removal and discussion of prescription and non-prescription head lice treatments, consult the Head Lice publication.

Eventually, we will all return back to normal so we hope this information prepares you ahead of time dealing with head lice.


By Belinda J. Messenger-Sikes
Author - Urban IPM Writer Editor
By Karey Windbiel-Rojas
Author - Associate Director for Urban & Community IPM/ Area IPM Advisor