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About Us

Insect Testing Laboratory

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Ian Burgess


A world-leading authority on head lice, Ian Burgess is the Director at Insect Research and Development Limited and the former president of the International Society of Phthirapterists. Having led numerous head louse clinical trials, written in excess of 100 journal papers, directed clinical trials and book chapters, Ian is considered to be the leading World expert in the head louse field.


Ian, along with Elizabeth Brunton, set up EctoMedica Limited in 2012, a company to develop novel products for human, animal and domestic use against insect pests.


The success of the company has meant the development of some of the most innovative head louse and flea products to reach the marketplace globally in the last few years. EctoMedica Limited are currently working on novel head louse products, and insect repellents with patentable technology that will become market leaders.

Insect Research & Development Limited


Insect Research & Development Limited is a contract research company specialising in investigations of methods for controlling insects and other arthropods of public health significance. The activities of the company are mainly divided into two focuses. Firstly, we focus on insect research and laboratory testing to establish baseline activity of products at various stages of the product development process. Insect Research also conducts clinical trials and field work.

Insect Research & Development has extensive experience of evaluating products since its foundation as Medical Entomology Centre in 1984. During that time, Insect Research & Development screened most of the leading products used as topically applied treatments for control of lice infestations. We have also screened mosquito repellents, and home flea sprays. We have developed a series of novel techniques for measuring the effectiveness of products and materials designed to manage house dust mites and their allergens, bed bugs and other household pests, and evaluation of insect repellents.


Through Medical Entomology Centre, the company has been at the forefront of protocol design and implementation of good clinical practices in the conduct of clinical investigations of head louse treatments.

We engage in a range of activities including the identification of animal-derived foreign bodies (not just insects) found in consumer goods on behalf of leading retail companies.


We also offer specialist and bespoke training on public health pests, ectoparasites and forensic expert witness work involving interactions between humans and arthropods.

Medical Entomology Centre


As part of Insect Research & Development Limited, the Medical Entomology Centre runs clinical trials to test the efficacy of a product in a consumer setting.

The Medical Entomology Centre Limited also works in the community providing a free service to schools, doctor’s surgeries, individuals who may have difficulties successfully using head louse treatments, detection methods, or who simply need some more information and advice on head lice. If you would like to speak to someone who can help, please contact

Ian Burgess
Head louse and hair

Interested in learning more?

Unit 6,

Quy Court,

Colliers Lane,



CB25 9AU,


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