Toxic Pesticides No Longer Effective for Head Lice
While the mention of head lice makes one’s scalp itch, these highly misunderstood, yet very successful, human parasites are not a public health crisis and do not cause disease.
While some pediatricians, school nurses and even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still offer conflicting, outdated information about the diagnosis and treatment of these parasites, the good news is that head lice are manageable and can be safely treated without pesticides.
In fact, pesticides are no longer able to effectively kill lice and lice eggs, known as nits. Berit Pratt, RN, BSN, MPH, and founder of NitWits, in North Cambridge, helps families better manage head lice in their communities. It offers same day appointments for lice and nit removal, which includes education on effective strategies for the prevention of re-infestation. Pratt, who received a master’s degree in public health researching pesticides and their effects on human health, teaches parents about pesticide-free treatments and how to safely remove the nits and lice from their children’s heads without the use of ineffective toxic pesticides.