Mutant Crabs: Yes, There Are Drug Resistant Pubic Lice, Too


Yesterday, the Voice reported on something both terrifying and gross: drug resistant head lice. Turns out, some strains of these bugs have gotten so used to common treatments over the years that their exoskeletons have grown thicker and as a result, they’re hardier and can survive all but the harshest of pesticides.

Today, we present you with something even more terrifying and gross: drug resistant pubic lice, AKA crabs.

We decided to look into the issue after yesterday’s news: We wondered whether what’s true for one louse is also true for another louse, etc.

What we found Googling around is a bit troubling.

In 2001, a case study in Australia identified public lice which were resistant to pyrethrin, an insecticide commonly used to treat this infection and head lice.

This might have been one of the first such epidemiological reports.

Some studies even put to question the effectiveness of lindane, a controversial pesticides that, along with malathion, is used when gentler treatments don’t work.

There’s some good news, however. Drug resistant pubic lice don’t seem to run quite as rampant as drug resistant head lice. And the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene told us that it had not heard reports of these nasty things in the city.

FYI: Prophylactics, such as condoms, don’t protect against lice. Like, at all.

Planned Parenthood says: “Pubic lice are easily spread, and there is no protection. The only thing that can reduce your risk of getting pubic lice is limiting the number of people with whom you have intimate or sexual contact. If you or your partner has pubic lice, do not have sex again until treatment is complete.”

And on that note, enjoy your summer lovin’ responsibly.