'Super lice' resistant to over the counter treatments

'Super lice' resistant to over the counter treatments
Posted at 2:55 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 14:21:19-04

(CBS) - Alright, so we're warning you up front.  This story is gross, because we’re talking about bugs.

Not just any bugs.


New studies are finding some populations of the bug have mutated to become resistant to over the counter treatments, earning them the nickname “Super lice.”

“The reason I have the clinic is because we went through this multiple times. And nothing was killing them. And so, that is where I was at. That frustration because there was nothing working. We had tried everything,” Michelle Repp said.

It’s an odd way to find your life's calling, but lo and behold, Repp now owns a lice clinic in Spokane, Washington. She implements an "AirAlle" device which blows heated air, targeted at the lice and eggs.

She said it's effective, even with lice that aren't killed by over the counter products.

“It's really sad because I have a lot of clients come in and they're like I just spent hundreds of dollars on all of these products and I'm still seeing live lice,” Repp said.

Of course, the ideal is preventing the spread of lice in the first place.

Even though sharing is caring, it's important your kids know not to share things like hats and towels.

“A lot of times when the kids do get the lice, they don't want it again and they will remember more so. Sometimes when you share the pictures of what they look like, they may be like 'Uh no, I don't want those bugs in my hair,’” Repp said.

If someone in your family does get lice, Repp said get it taken care of quickly, because, again, lice spread.

“You keep fighting it, keep fighting it, keep fighting it, and now lo and behold you have everybody in the family that has it,” Repp said.

Repp also said to make sure you tell others - including family members, your kids’ friends, their school - if you see lice pop up.

Notification is a critical step to stop lice from spreading, and you shouldn't feel embarrassed, getting lice has nothing to do with being dirty.

Copyright 2017 CBS News / Rob Harris, KREM. All rights reserved.