Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Bug busting (wet combing) was less effective than malathion lotion for eliminating head lice in children

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

 QUESTION: Is bug busting (wet combing with a fine toothed comb) as effective as malathion lotion for removing head lice in children?


Randomised (allocation not concealed*), blinded (outcome assessors),* controlled trial with follow up at 7 days after completing treatment.


24 randomly selected primary schools in an area previously identified to have lice with intermediate resistance to malathion, in North Wales and the UK.


81 children who were 3–14 years of age and were identified by school nurses as having live, moving head lice; had not used insecticide lotion in the previous 2 weeks; and had no broken skin on the scalp. The sample included children from the participating schools and siblings at home who met …

View Full Text


  • Source of funding: Wales Office for Research and Development.

  • For correspondence: Dr R J Roberts, Department of Public Health, North Wales Health Authority, Mold CH7 1PZ, Wales, UK. Fax + 44 (0)1352 700043.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in Evidence-Based Nursing.

  • * See glossary.