Lice & School - Nitpickerz Talks With Channel 5 News

Super Lice in the News

By: Katherine Johnson

It's a problem leaving kids across the east side scratching their heads and looking for a solution.

"We've seen probably about 100 people since school started," Angie Anderson, co-owner of Nitpickerz De-lousing Salon, said.

Researchers out of Indiana say Minnesota is one of about 25 states with lice that have become resistant to the insecticide shampoos and other over-the-counter treatments found at drug stores.

"We washed my hair a bunch of times with this mint shampoo I have and I still had, like, a lot," said fourth grader Ciarra Garcia as she went in for removal services at Nitpickerz.

They're being referred to as "super-lice." Anderson said she's seen them on kids coming from at least six different cities on the east side of the metro.

"A lot of things I tell them to do is keep their hair up, pulled back, away from other kids," Anderson said.

She said lice don't like the smell of mint, so even a mint-infused oil used as a perfume can act as a deterrent.

Anderson added she's starting to see a lot more lice on older kids in middle school and high school and believes it's partially due to the popularity of the selfie.

"It only takes a matter of seconds for the bugs to transfer to another person's head," Anderson said.

Most school districts allow students to return to class after treatment but policies don't specify just how in-depth that treatment should be.

Since super-lice are survivors, researchers note, without a prescription or visiting a special service salon kids could still be carrying them when they return.

"It just scares me to know how many of my friends have lice and they're not telling me," Garcia said.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS called districts across the metro to ask if they're seeing a lice outbreak. Lakeville, Bloomington and Minnetonka said no.

Minnetonka did say it will be proactive if lice is found in its schools by putting backpacks and coats in plastic bags to help stop the spread.

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