2015 Minnesota State Fair

Minnesota State FairLadibugs will be at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair from August 27 to September 7. We will have exclusive State Fair special deals on our head lice product lines. Have questions? Stop by and get answers from our lice experts. We’ll be in the Grandstand, booth 282. See you at the Great Minnesota Get-Together!

Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year

Ladibugs Inc. 2015 TwinWest Chamber of Commerce Emerging Entrepreneur of the YearLadibugs, Inc. was named the 2015 Twin West Chamber of Commerce Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year at its annual Small Business Awards Luncheon. Candidates for this award are judged on business strategies, financial success, community involvement and growth potential. Here is an interview with us from the event:

Press coverage:

Stars are just like Us

Jennifer Garner reminded “Tonight Show” viewers on Wednesday that head lice can terrorize the rich and famous, too.

The actress, who is married to “Gone Girl” star Ben Affleck, said her whole family suffered through a lice infestation “years ago” when one of her daughters brought home the bug from school.


“Stars are just like us,” Garner joked (above) while warning Jimmy Fallon what may be in store for his own family. “We all got lice. It’s making me itchy just to talk about it.”

Garner — who can currently be see in theaters in Jason Reitman‘s drama “Men, Women & Children” — says she had to regularly comb oil through her hair, which led to an awkward encounter with George Clooney at a party Affleck took her to while she still had an oily head of hair.

The first person I see is George Clooney, and I’d never met George Clooney,” Garner said. “I can see that he smells me, but he’s trying to be polite. So anyway, people keep asking why we weren’t at George’s wedding, and we were ‘both working,’ but I think he didn’t want licey there.”

While visiting the NBC late night show, Garner also joined Fallon, drummer Questlove and comedian John Mulaney for a game of Catchphrase. Watch the segment, below, to see who won.

Five Secrets About Head Lice Every Parent Should Know

A nightmare common among parents with school-age children is one your family can avoid.

The Problem

A notice comes home from school about an outbreak of head lice. Head lice infestation is the most frequent health issue (after the common cold) facing children ages 3 to 11, with 12 million cases reported in the U.S. annually.

Expert Advice

School nurses, teachers and parents need to know  how to respond in the case of an outbreak. These five facts and tips can help you save time, worry and money, not to mention the misuse of potentially harmful pesticides.

• Today’s pesticide-based products have become largely ineffective. Lice have developed resistance to many of the over-the-counter treatments that have been around for years and in certain areas of the country, these “super lice” are the norm. All of Ladibugs products are pesticide-free.

• The lice life cycle can be difficult to break because nits are hard to eradicate, often leading to prolonged infestations and a frustrating series of treatments with chemical products that can be harmful if overused.

• Recent breakthroughs in pesticide-free products kill lice and nits. New innovations in lice treatment options have led to effective, pesticide-free consumer products that can eradicate and prevent lice infestation, even among the pesticide-resistant super lice.

• A lice comb should be used to remove all lice and nits. A professional-grade steel lice comb should be used to ensure that hair is completely free of any lice and nits post treatment. In fact, a full comb-out performed weekly on your kids is a good habit to start.

• A preventative shampoo and spray can break the life cycle. A shampoo that kills lice before they can lay eggs is critical for closing the “bridge” from one head to another.

Ladibugs experts recommend parents seek effective, pesticide-free options.

History of Peppermint

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is one of hundreds of species in the genus Mentha which also includes spearmint, water mint and forest mint. Peppermint is actually believed to be a naturally occurring hybrid of spearmint and water mint. While some claim peppermint was not hybridized and cultivated until the 18th century in England, peppermint is referenced in ancient texts. The confusion seems to be that it is mentioned interchangeably with spearmint and the generic term mint. Peppermint has a long history of cultivation and has been used in cooking and herbal medicine since about 1500 BC. Until 1696, peppermint was not classified as its own subspecies, but most historians believe it is reasonable to assume that the mint mentioned in many historical texts is peppermint.


Peppermint is thought to have originated in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. In the Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text dating to 1550 BC, mint is listed as calming to stomach pains. Mint was so valued in Egypt that it was used as a form of currency. In the Bible (Luke 11:39) Jesus tells the Pharisees:

But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

In Greek mythology, Minthe was a river nymph in the Cocytus River (one of the five rivers of Hades). When Hades was driving his golden chariot, he came upon Minthe and was about to seduce her when his wife Persephone caught them. Persephone then turned Minthe into a lowly mint plant that people would walk upon. Mint supposedly got its pungent, sweet smell when Hades softened the spell so that when people walked upon his lover they would smell her sweetness. Peppermint gets the descriptor piperitafrom the particular peppery, pungency that distinguishes it from other members of the mint family.

The Roman natural philosopher Pliny wrote of mint and of peppermint in particular that it stimulated the appetite stirring “the mind and appetite to a greedy desire of food.” He also wrote that mint should be bound into a crown around the head in order to stimulate the mind and the soul. Pliny, Hippocrates and Aristotle all considered mint to be a discouragement to procreation, saying that it discouraged sexual intercourse. However, the Greeks said that mint encouraged sexual behavior and forbade its consumption by soldiers in order to maintain control.

Peppermint was eventually introduced to Europe where it also became a popular culinary and medicinal herb. It was mentioned in the Icelandic Pharmacopoeias as early as 1240 AD as an herbal remedy, and gained in popularity over the next two centuries. Monks in the Middle Ages were known to use peppermint as a tooth polisher and during the same period, cheese makers learned that the strong smell of peppermint would keep rats and mice out of the storeroom.

Peppermint appeared as a distinct species in the London Pharmacopoeia in 1721 and was listed as a remedy for treating all manner of ailments from sores, venereal disease, colds and headaches. As peppermint continued to gain in popularity the cultivation increased from just a few acres to several hundred acres.

When European settlers came to America they found that the American Indians were already aware of the importance of mint, though they were growing different species of mint, native to North America. The settlers brought peppermint and other non-native mints with them and they quickly became naturalized and spread.

In North America, peppermint is grown commercially almost exclusively in the north and east from Indiana to New York and the very southernmost areas of Canada. Michigan has the most acres under cultivation in the US, and altogether the US produces about half the world�s peppermint. However, American peppermint oil is considered much inferior to English oil, which is considered the best, followed by French peppermint oil. The difference is typically in the variety; in the US, the black variety is most often grown, while in Europe the more delicate white variety thrives.

A Customer’s Thank you Note left us Speechless

We have a grateful clients page in our website, but this testimonial left us speechless and thought we should share it on our blog. The below testimonial was sent to us by a grateful mom. Notes like this reinforce Ladibugs mission: to provide our customers with pesticide-free head lice products made with the highest quality.

“Hello…Just last Friday, my 10 year old daughters 4th grade class had a HUGE lice outbreak!! They sent everyone home early to take care of it!!  My Daughter is in a mainstream class but is deaf and with her hearing aids she can hear (and speak) like a “typical” child!! When I was called at home to come pick her up I panicked!! Not because of her and I how she would cope with the treatment but I also have a 13 year old Autistic/Deaf/Non-Verbal son (my husband and I are not deaf but that is a whole different story)!! How could I explain the situation to him?? How was he going to handle his home, his sanctuary, turned upside down with this issue??

  I had seen your product at a Great Clips and headed right over to purchase it. I purchased the Elimination Kit for her (I thought I saw a nit so if you see one, I knew more were around), the Prevention kit for the family (after checking everyone we did not have it) and several bottles of the shampoo and conditioner and spray. It was a costly purchase but I had to do it to make sure these little “buggers” did not stay or come back!!
  I was so nervous using it on my son but turns out he LOVED it!! I was worried that the product might have a ‘mediciney’ smell that he would react to but he was fine!! What he especially loved was the mint smell from the spray!! I followed directions and vacuumed and sprayed everything that couldn’t be laundered or put in the dryer and he really enjoyed the smell, As did my daughter, because she received a lot of compliments when she returned to school!! Everyone is now using it!!
  Thanks Again for making products that have turned a stressful time in our families life to a more positive one!!”


Head lice trend: ‘Selfies’ are causing head lice

It doesn’t matter your age, gender or income– head lice can still get you.

Rachel Knutson, from Ladibugs Inc. stopped by KSTP to talk about this new head lice trend: selfies.

As teens join their head to take their photo for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, among other social media channels, they are capturing more than a photo, they are passing along head lice and causing an increase in head lice cases in Minnesota.

Watch the interview with KSTP’s Eric Kahnert:


KSTP_Feb 2014


Lice evolve faster than their human and chimp hosts

L.A. Times

By Geoffrey Mohan



Human and chimpanzee head lice



When humans and chimpanzees parted ways about 5 million to 7 million years ago, they took their head lice with them. But since that mutual divergence, those lice have evolved far more rapidly than their primate hosts, according to a new study.

The head-scratching study, published Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, was the first to compare genomes of these primates and their blood-sucking parasites, and offers a window into how the pace of evolution can vary considerably, even between co-evolving species.

“What we found out is the lice are in fact evolving faster than the primates across the entire genome,” said Julie Allen, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the authors of the paper. “At basic DNA level, they’re evolving about 14 times faster, which is really fast.”

A closer comparison of the DNA that is changing most rapidly also suggests that the same genes may have been crucial to both host and parasite over those millions of years of cohabitation, according to the study.

Geneticists sleuthing out the traces of evolution at the molecular level focus on substitutions among the lettered base pairs (A, C, G, T) that make up the rungs of nuclear DNA. In this case, they scrutinized such substitutions in 1,534 actively coding genes common to all four genomes.

“Those genes have a common ancestor a long, long time ago,” Allen said. “Presumably, they’re important in the function of these organisms. We just don’t know exactly what they do.”

Because different combinations of base pairs can code the same protein, though, not all swaps are created equal. For the lice, a lot of swaps didn’t change the protein, in fact.

But across their genomes, the primates and their irritating guest had an important phenomenon in common, the study found.

“The genes that are evolving faster in the lice are also the ones that are evolving faster in the primates, and those involve changes that actually affect the protein – changes that could make a difference in how the protein functions,” Allen said. That correlation, Allen noted, strongly suggests there was selective pressure applied to both host and parasite at those gene locations.

“So, some genes that are really, really important in lice are likely many of the same ones that are really, really important in primates,” Allen said.

The simplest explanation for the overall accelerated pace of evolution for the lice species could be that they had more generations in which to experience change – they live just 30 days. But the researchers can’t discount the possibility of selection “relaxation.”

“Lice are really interesting, in that they have really small genomes, have lost their wings and have really reduced eyes,” Allen said. “So, potentially there are a lot of genes that just aren’t that important for them anymore.”

What all these genetic changes have meant to either host or parasite is not well known. Even for “priority” species such as humans and our chimp relatives, scientists don’t fully understand what every gene does and how they interact. Not surprisingly, the genome of lice has not been a high scientific priority, either. No one had even sequenced the chimp lice genome before this study.

And how does one get the chimp lice, exactly? They must be picked off the chimps, a task delegated to veterinarians at the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda.

Our First Year Supporting The Toys for Tots Campaign

Kare 11 Logo                                                                             Toys-For-Tots-Logo-300x102

This year was Ladibugs first year joining Kare 11’s Toys for Tots campaign. It was very cold outside, but we had a blast. We collected 150 toys to be able to make a child smile this Christmas. Thank you for all of your support!

Watch the Clip

Toys for Toys--Ladibugs,Inc.