Lice Killing Pesticide treatment verses Non-Pesticide Lice Removal Treatment

The Pros and Cons between over the counter Rid , Nix and generic brand pesticide lice killing shampoos as compared to non pesticide, and household treatments.

As one of the oldest and respected head lice treatment and removal  services in Md., Dc., and Va.  Advice On Lice  has formed opinions based on the hundreds of cases we have seen and treated over the years.


Rid , Nix and generic brand pesticide lice killing shampoos:

Pros of using the over the counter Rid product is simple. Using the shampoo according to our instructions, and as we apply when shampooing in our salon, has been the closest to 100% effective as one could possibly expect. When applying it similar to applying a hair coloring, saturating the hair from the scalp to the ends, and leaving it on for 20-30 minutes the results are dead or dieing bugs with many coming out in the comb as the shampoo is combed in. Unlike the directions which say not to leave in longer than 10 min, we advise leaving the shampoo in for 20-30 minutes to reach its full effectiveness. We have found that if you or your child is going to have an allergic reaction to the product this reaction will occur in the first 5 minutes.

The same opinion applies to the generic brand lice killing shampoos sold in CVS and other drug stores which have the same lice killing active ingredient pyrethrum extract (equivalent to .33% pyrethrins ).

Unfortunately we have found no Pros to using the Nix lice killing cream rinse. The active ingredient is a synthetic .33% permethren. The instructions are to wash the hair and towel dry before applying. Our opinion has been when the hair is washed with a shampoo or even wet with water prior to using the Nix the lice go into a defensive mode by the closing their spiracles and not allowing the Nix to have its full effect.

Rid , Nix and generic brand pesticide lice killing shampoos

Cons for using any of the above mentioned pesticide shampoos are they do include a neurotoxins pesticide.  Many parents are against using these products although they have been approved by the FDA. At Advice on Lice we truly respect this and offer alternative non pesticide lice removal treatments for those with this opinion.


Non pesticide, and household treatments:


Listerine: Although we do not recommend,  it does contain alcohol which will stun a live bug and thus more likely get caught in a lice comb during comb outs.

Mayonnaise: Although we do not recommend,  it can soften up the eggs so they more readily can be combed of with an effective lice comb. Opinions that the mayonnaise will suffocate the live lice in our experience are unfounded.

Lice MD Non Pesticide: Of all the non pesticide lice removal shampoos we have found this to be the most effective treatment and at Advice on Lice this is the only non-pesticide over the counter product we will recommend. The Lice MD does not have an active lice killing ingredient but does contain a synthetic lubricant which makes comb-out smooth and easy, even for long, thick or curly hair.

Olive Oil: Although the idea is the olive oil will suffocated the head lice if left on for long periods of time we have found this to be unfounded as well. Time and again we have had clients come in to our office saturated with olive oil only to find live lice. What we have found is they will slow the bug down so they can more effectively combed out.

More important is the effect the olive oil has on the nits/eggs. We have found the olive oil when left on will soften the shell of the nits/eggs considerably so they more readily slide off the hair when combing.

Cons: Non pesticide, and household treatments:

Listerine: Does not contain any lubricant to facilitate the removal of nits and does not contain any lice killing ingredient.

Mayonnaise: Although it will be helpful in removing the nits there is no lice killing ingredient to kill the lice. Left in for long periods of time as suggested may cause the  mayonnaise to become rancid. A young child might play with her hair and then lick their fingers which can result in food poisoning.

Lice MD Non Pesticide: There is absolutely no lice killing ingredient in this product. The removal of head lice depends on combing with the lice comb with the active ingredient Dimethicone which is the synthetic lubricant included with this product.

Olive Oil: Will not kill the head lice. This is a messy treatment process and will only facilitate in the removal of head lice (not killing) and the removal of nits.



Here at Advice on Lice we discourage applying food products or other home remedies which are not produced as hair product.

Successful non-pesticide home remedies to remove head lice and nits should include hair conditioner containing Dimethicone and Alcohol such as Pantene Classic Care Conditioner, a good Lice Comb (Lice Meister Comb), and lots of patience for continuous combing for 10-14 days.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the crew at Advice On Lice

Karen and Allan Franco

Head lice treatment: Over the counter vs. prescription

As one of the oldest and most respected head lice treatment center in the Maryland, Washington, and Northern Virginia area, Advice on Lice has always recommended treating head lice infestations with medicine. We believe the head lice shampoo option, either the brand Rid or it’s generic equivalent, is superior to the head lice cream rinse option, Nix or it’s generic equivalent. Over the past few years, new head lice prescription medications have been developed, and we have found some of them to be good options for head lice treatment; although, many doctors, pediatricians and dermatologists, often refuse to prescribe them or are completely unaware of them. These include the following:

Ulesfia       a combination of Benzyl alcohol and mineral oil

Sklice         a topical ointment version of ivermectin

Natroba     a bacterium ingredient called spinosad which has been                        found to be an effective pesticide with little effect on                              humans.

We have seen clients who have experienced all three head lice treatments at various times, and have found they are generally effective; however, as with the over the counter products, we find that lengthening the time the products remain on the head an additional 15-30 minutes improves their effectiveness. The prescription head lice treatment, Ovide, containing the pesticide with ovicidal properties called Malathion, says to apply it and leave it for 8-12 hours. Advice on Lice never approves of this medicine for children, and only support its use in the most extreme of infestations in adults.

Advice on Lice, Inc believes that the over the counter head lice treatments are the best option because they are the most economical, easily available, and effective when used with our instructions.

Head Lice Treatment in the Washington Post

What an interesting week we had last week, The Washington Post wrote an article about the 7 myths of head lice and it certainly had an effect on our business of treating head lice in Washington DC and Maryland. One can only assume the article prompted parents to check their kids as well as raise their awareness level. While the article never mentioned our Head Lice Treatment center by name ( Advice On Lice)  it certainly had a positive effect on us. Frantic mom’s called all week requesting screens for Head Lice as well as many first timers who had no idea how to begin the head lice and nit removal process and treatment for head lice. As always no matter how busy we became we tried so hard to accommodate their needs.

One recommendation we always leave with our clients is once the problem has been completely eradicated we urge parents to comb out their kids once a week as a preventive measure. The earlier you detect a problem the easier to completely remove them.

Allan Franco

Head Lice Treatment and the Holidays

As we become focused and pre-occupied with the upcoming holidays we tend to ignore the obvious signs for head lice. Don’t ignore them. The most common signs will be your child’s constant scratching of  his or her head. When you see this its time to take out your Lice Comb,  add some conditioner and water to the hair, and comb through. As you wipe the comb on a white paper towel you will see those nits which will appear as coffee color specs in the shape of a sesame seed on the paper towel. If the nits show up then you must take aggressive action to eliminate the head lice and nits. At Advice on Lice our head lice treatment consist of applying a lice killing shampoo (Rid) in the manner your beautician would apply a hair coloring . Once the hair is saturated with the shampoo we recommend leaving the product on for 20-30 minutes. Once you rinse its time to comb, comb, comb. For more tips on our combing method you may visit our website and click the frequently ask questions page.
Good luck and happy Holidays from the crew at Advice On Lice

Head Lice Checks, Head Lice treatment and Thanksgiving

As we near the thanksgiving holiday more and more parents worry when that dreadful note comes home from the school that head lice was detected in their child’s class. The last thing a parent needs to worry about is head lice when either the family is traveling or friends or relatives are visiting. At Advice on Lice in Kensington, MD our recommendation is not to just check your kids but actually use the lice comb to detect any signs of head lice or nits. Head Lice may not be that obvious on your child’s head if it is in the early stages but with a good lice comb and some conditioner head lice or nits are more likely to show up if they actually exist.

Thanksgiving need not be  canceled! Follow our detailed instructions for head Lice treatment and removal on our website in the frequently asked questions page and your child will no longer be contagious to visiting friends and relatives.  Good luck and happy turkey day from Allan & Karen Franco.

Head lice treatment services: housecalls vs. office/salon visit

Head lice removal services are most often offered as a house call by a company technician. All companies offer these services at various hourly rates and always include a travel fee. As a result, it never costs less than $150. to have a nitpicker come to your home to work on your head lice problems. The various companies who offer head lice removal services often have an origin in one state, and offer house call services in many areas. How do they train employees who live in other states? Who is the technician, and what is their level of experience? Where is the best place in your home to have the work done? What light sources are available? What will your children do while they are having their heads worked on? What will they do while you are having your head worked on? Is the process at home really efficient?

Head lice treatment companies who offer in office/salon services seem to be at a great advantage. In the salon environment, the technicians have everything set up to allow for the most efficient treatment. If a prescription or OTC treatment is applied by the technician it will be rinsed out in a salon type shampoo bowl before the removal process begins. For the lice and nit removal, clients sit in comfortable salon chairs that swivel and adjust in height. Lights are directed at the same level and section of the head to allow for the best visual detection of lice and nits. Multiple family members can be worked on at the same time. The hourly rate for services is reduced because the technicians are not traveling which costs time and money. And the ability to diagnose people at a reduced flat rate is a service the salon can offer. The other amenity of the salon is television entertainment as a distraction, whether it is a favorite movie, and educational program, or a cable television station.

Advice on Lice, Inc. offers both options for head lice treatment, but our clients seem to agree that the salon visit is preferable to a house call. Those who have the need for a home visit due to difficult circumstances are always accommodated. Our technicians will come to your home well equipped to do their job if that is your request. And their experience and expertise is always exceptional.

Are “Super lice” for real?

A recent article on suggests that “Super lice” have been found in Pittsburgh, and the response in the school community there and elsewhere in the United States is to relax the school policies, so that infected children do not have to miss school. Deborah Pontius, the school nurse for Pershing County School District in Lovelock, Nev. is quoted several times. She believes “It’s not infectious, and it’s fairly easy to treat.” She also says that in all likelihood by the time a student is found to have lice in school, s/he has probably already had it for about three weeks to two months, so classmates already would have been exposed. “There’s little additional risk of transmission if the student returns to class for a few hours until the end of the day, when a parent would pick up the child and treat for lice at home.” She doesn’t send lice notes because “It gets out who had lice, and there is no need to panic parents.” She goes further and says “Parents with elementary school -aged kids should check their children’s hair for lice once a week anyway. If they are doing that, then there’s really no need for the notes.”

The article also refers to new policies in Hamilton County, Tenn. as well as California, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Carolina and elsewhere which state that “Children with untreated lice should go home at the end of the day, be treated and then return to school. This is the recommendation of the Tennessee Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Needless to say, this article received many incensed and incredulous comments. At Advice on Lice, Inc., we strongly believe this is an alarming trend. We are currently collecting specimens for a study at the University of Massachusetts to help determine if “Super lice” or actual resistance to OTC treatments is real. We have always maintained that children with active head lice infestations should not be allowed to stay in school, and we hope the school districts our clients live in will continue to see the need for removal of infected students from the moment of detection until proper treatment and nit removal procedures have been performed.

What is the best method for head lice and nit removal?

After using the head lice treatment shampoo, it is always necessary to manually remove the nits and dead lice from the hair and scalp. We have found that the most important tool to have for this process is the LiceMeister comb. The LiceMeister lice comb works best on hair that is conditioned and wet and detangled. We have found that one of the best conditioners for this combing is Pantene Classic Care Conditioner because it stays moist and creamy unlike others which may become grainy and dry. The application of conditioner facilitates the removal of nits by softening them and making them slide off the hair shafts more readily. We have found that spraying water on the conditioned hair as we work through sections (as shown below) also promotes the removal process.

Karen and Allan Franco
Advice on Lice, Inc

What is the best treatment for the head lice?

In our experience, the most effective treatment for head lice is the application of a real lice killing shampoo. We have found Rid to be very effective, when it is applied carefully like hair colorant, and timed for at least 20 minutes. Although the directions say 10 minutes, no longer, the warnings in the product directions are in place to protect the drug companies from liability. We have rarely seen or heard of any adverse allergic reactions to this product. And in these reports the reaction occurred within the first 5 minutes.

Our method of application at Advice on Lice, Inc, , has proven to be very effective at killing all of the live bugs. For those who chose not to use a pesticide, we recommend the prescription product, Ulesfia. The application and timing should follow our directions as mentioned above.

More to come: effective combing techniques for lice and nit removal.

Karen and Allan Franco

Advice on Lice, Inc.