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Rio Bug Zapper

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4 Reviews

Brand: Rio / Type: Headlice Treatment

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    4 Reviews
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      23.08.2010 13:55
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      a waste of money

      At one point in time my daughter seemed to always have head lice, as soon as I treated her hair and got her nit free she would be reinfected due to the fact one of her friends mothers never bothered treating her child. After spending a fortune on over the counter potions and hours wet combing her hair with the nitty gritty comb I was at the end of my tether so figured that an electric nit comb would be a good investment.

      The electric nit comb is powered by a single AA battery which lasts a good long time and if you don't want to electrocute your child you must only use it on dry hair. It is meant to work by detecting the besties as you comb through the hair and electrocuting the little blighters. You hear a soft humming noise as you pass the comb through the hair and it pauses when it zaps a louse.

      The electric comb sounds like a good idea in theory but in reality I found it severely lacking. The reason for wet combing is that head lice are inanimate when wet so cannot move around the head, when you dry comb they are still free to roam around so you cannot guarantee that you have caught all of the nits. If it does catch a nit it is either left in the hair or it gets caught between the teeth of the comb and you have to use the little brush provided to clean it away. I found that it actually caught very few live lice and certainly was far less effective than wet combing.

      The second problem with the comb is that it gives a false positive result sometimes, you will hear the pause it makes when it catches a nit but there is no beastie there and only a bit of dry skin.

      The third problem is that if you catch the comb against your childs ear then they will get a very mild electric shock which is not nice.

      The only thing the rio bug zapper is good for is clearing away sticky bits left behind on the hair when an egg hatches as the prongs of the comb are so close together they can strip them away and normally I would have to do that manually, it is not any good at clearing the eggs themselves away.

      Thankfully my daughter is now nit free and has stayed that way since she left primary school but it is no thanks to the rio bug zapper which proved to be £10 wasted.

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        07.07.2010 12:57
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        A fabulous idea which saves a lot of heartache - and also stops you being overcome by chemicals!

        As I'm sure parents across the UK will agree, head lice treatments are very expensive. Not only that but they are basically pesicides and in these days of eating and living as organically as possible, to put such noxious smelling pesticides on your child's head is not ideal. I am fully aware of the safer method of using a fine tooth comb and conditioner to delouse children, however recently I was faced with the prospect of eradicating the lice who had found their way into all three of my granddaughter's flowing tresses - there simply wouldn't have been enough hours in the day!

        I had heard of these electronic head lice combs and after a quick visit to my local chemist had one in my hand, ready to create destruction in the head lice kingdom which was slowly colonising the girls' hair. My Rio Bug Zapper (what an awful name!) cost £14, although briefly looking online I can see that Argos and other such online stores are selling the same product for £9.99 which in my opinion makes it very good value indeed compared to previous infestations when I have bought leading brand head lice solution.

        You may be wondering why the head lice duty is left to me rather than the girls' mother, and the fact is that my daughter has a ridiculous phobia about them (the lice, not her children!) and simply cannot bear to see them. In fact, a number of years ago she paid a mobile hairdresser a large sum of money to deal with the problem - and of course, Nanny Joy will do it for free.

        Going back to the Rio; it's a clever little gadget which will 'zap' headlice on contact, basically through a small electrical charge which runs through the metal teeth of the comb. It is run by a single AA battery so there is certainly not enough electricity to harm your child, yet my experience with the Zapper has proved that it does contain enough power to kill a head louse - as the littering of small, unmoving 'bugs' on my granddaughters' shoulders after treatment shows.

        I definitely recommend you give the hair a good brush prior to using the Rio as the teeth of the comb are extremely close together and this can cause painful snagging should they become caught up in a stray tangle of hair. This, I have found, is particularly the case with the finer hairs at the nape of the neck and around the ears - of which both areas are the main 'breeding ground' for head lice so particular attention is required.

        The Rio is extremely simple to use, simply switch it on and comb through the hair as you would with a manual nit comb. You may or may not feel a very slight buzz through your hand as the comb encounters and destroys a louse, presumably this is dependent on the size of the louse you are executing at that particular point in time.

        It will not destroy any eggs in the hair, some may be swept out through the sheer force of using the Rio but it is completely possible to miss some so please be aware of this as missing just a couple of eggs may result in reinfestation. You are, however, advised to use the comb periodically to destroy and lice which have hatched from their eggs since you orginally began the electrocution process.

        The Rio is designed to fit comfortably in your hand, it has a pleasant rounded design which is both comfortable to hold and easy to grip. The one problem I have found is with the location of the large power button, it is situated on the front of the comb and many times I have held the Rio at an angle to comfortably get to a section of my granddaughter's hair - only to discover I have accidentally turned the comb off as my hand brushed past the button. This is a minor irritation, however, and once you are aware of this you will certainly be able to alter the way you hold the Rio to avoid it happening again.

        There is a cleaning brush included with the Rio, this has stiff bristles to get between the teeth of the comb should a louse become stuck. This doesn't happen as often as you might think though and really the dead lice will tumble downward through the hair rather than sticking in the teeth, and frankly should a louse become stuck in the comb it is far easier to press it out using your fingers than struggling to use the cleaning brush.

        I certainly recommend the Rio Bug Zapper to anyone with school age children, head lice are unfortunately a fact of life and this clever little gadget will help you eradicate them quickly and easily.

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          25.06.2010 17:32
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          Excellent and useful.

          It's that dreaded time of year again when every day at school pick-up there is a notice in the class window "Head lice please check". The warm weather brings them out in droves and I absolutely hate having to go through the awful routine of wet combing. This particular time my daughter had come home with one of 2 of the devils every day for a week. I wasn't sure if I was missing them when I was checking or if they were new ones that had just jumped on for a bit of fresh meat.

          I went into Lloyds pharmacy and had a bit of a grumble to the pharmacist and she recommended the Rio Bug Zapper. It was on offer for £9.99 which I thought was pretty good, especially as the usual lice shampoo I was using cost £2.89 a bottle, I figured I could make my money back within a few uses.

          The Bug Zapper comes complete with a AA battery and is designed for use on DRY hair. You separate the hair and make sure there are no tangles in it. Then just simply run the Zapper through the hair. It lets out a high pitched buzzing noise ( slighly irritating) and when it detects lice it stops buzzing as it kills them. Then you need to take the comb out and give it a good wipe with the cleaning brush provided. Then you start all over again!

          The Bug Zapper works by electrocuting the lice. It looks like the teeth of a nit comb but each comb has beads on the end of the teeth, just ensure that they are all on as this is what kills the lice.

          The only problem with this comb is that it doesn't kill the eggs, only the adult lice so you have to keep using it every day for a recommended 2 weeks to kill any new lice that have hatched. The trouble with this is that if the child is picking up the lice in school then the new lice may be laying new eggs so the process could go on for a while.

          The comb is easy to use, isn't painful to the child but will detect tangles as lice so make sure the hair is well brushed.

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          18.09.2008 11:13
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          Great item to keep in the house for checking or just in case

          I have to admit I'm not best pleased at having to post this review I really would have preferred never to have gone through the experience and don't really like sharing but due to the fact that headlice are becoming more and more resistant to the chemical treatments I've decided to stand up and be counted as someone whose children (2 of them so far) have had the dreaded lurgy and share how we annihalted the lousey little nits.

          Going back a few years I noticed No. 2 son was scratching his head a fair bit, not really knowing much about this sort of thing and hoping I would never have to encounter it I gingerly lifted up a few bits of hair and had a quick look. Nothing there - relief. He continued to scratch over the next few days and I checked again, I probably have to admit at this stage that I don't think I was looking properly because I didn't want to find anything.

          By this stage I was convinced there had to be something there. I got one of the boys really strong magnifying glasses and turned on the full height lamp and stood him directly underneath it. I raised the magnifier to my eye and lifted a piece of hair and you have never heard anything like the blood curdling scream I let out. This bug looked about an inch long and was on my child. Looking back I suppose magnifying his head wasn't the best idea I've ever had, I then checked No. 1 son and wasn't just as shocked when another giant beast showed up. In reality they are only a couple of mms long but under this particular magnifying glass it was more like an inch. As it was latish in the evening I I couldn't do anything for him, I spent the rest of the evening stripping bed clothes, cushions pillows etc. just in case any of the little buggers had decided to set up home.

          Another way to check I have read about since is to buy a special nit comb and after putting conditioner on the childs hair simply comb through it with this and the nits\louse etc. if there are any will come out because they cannot hold on due to the slipperiness of the conditioner.


          Even writing this is making my head itch, sorry if its doing the same to you.

          Obviously that evening I was straight onto the internet getting info. on removal methods etc. I read a number of articles on dangerous chemicals that had been found in the chemical treatments which had possibly led to very serious medical problems. There were also articles on how the varmints were becoming more difficult to kill as they were developing an immunity due to overuse of the chemical treatments. I kept searching I wanted something better, the fastest acting most deadly method of annihilation available. Then I found it The Rio Bug Zapper - perfect for me it was a gadget and it promised to electrocute the little uninvited guests to DEATH!!!!

          Next morning I was off down the town looking for this harbringer of death and picked it up in Argos I think for a very reasonable £14.99.

          - - How does it look - -

          On opening the zapper it is about the size and indeed shape of an epilator but instead of the rotating heads especially designed to rip out hair there is the equivalent of a very fine toothed comb made of metal. There is a little brush similar to what you would get with a lady shave to clean out between the grooves.

          - - Using the lovely killing machine (sorry Rio Zapper) - -

          Insert an AA battery and switch to on. There will be a bit of a buzz to show that its working. Section of the hair as best you can and comb this electronic device slowly and deliberately through each bit. Anytime the comb comes across a beastie the buzz will stop and at this point you need to lift the comb away from the hair and clean out between the teeth to remove the dead body\bodies.

          I don't mean to be gross and fair enough it was my husband who went on the killing spree but there was a great sense of satisfaction seeing all the little black dots on the kitchen roll. He did No.1 and No. 2 son in less than five minutes each.

          As the zapper only kills the living lice we (the royal we of course cos hubby always did it) ran the comb through the hair every night for two weeks just too be sure. As the nits which are the eggs of the louse can emerge and thus begins the cycle all over again.

          I have continued running this through their hair every few weeks just so I can catch it early, I don't mind being the checker I just don't want to be touching them if there are creepy crawlies in there. It does occasionally indicate that it has found a louse but luckily that has been a tangle or piece of fluff caught in the hair.

          This is also when I began to add tea tree oil to the final rinse when I was washing there hair as mentioned in my previous review and so far so good - no more infestations.


          - - Recommendation - -

          While this bug zapper is more expensive than lotions\potions it can be used over and over not just once so there is an immediate saving. It can also be used to easily and quickly check heads on a regular basis. The bugs cannot build up a resistance to being electrocuted.

          Easy to handle, quick to learn piece of kit, which really works and best of all no chemicals.

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        • Product Details

          No need for special shampoos or lotions, the bug zapper is able to detect and eradicate head lice on contact with the metal combing unit. AA battery and cleaning brush are included.