Thanks to tremendous efforts of universities and researchers like Katie Shepherd with Lice Solutions Resource Network, Inc, we have so much more information about head lice and their impact on our health than ever before. Knowledge is the best tool for fighting this pest-y situation!
• Head Lice carries with it an undeserved stigma and that is unfortunate because parents need to be talking about lice if they want their communities to accurately and effectively get rid of head lice. The presence of head lice does not indicate poor hygiene. They can infest all classes of society and can be found on any ethnicity. That being said, how we handle it is what defines us. It does not go away on its own and we mustn't ignore it.
•Fun fact - Mixing blood types often ends badly for lice!
• While they do prefer certain hair types, allowing them to move with ease, let‘s be clear, they will take what they can get! No one is immune.
• They require human blood, warm head and hair to live. After 12 hours off the head, head lice are too dehydrated to survive. They don’t typically live longer than 24 off. And nits (lice eggs) are not likely to hatch off the human head. They’d have to feed within the hour to survive even if they did. So no need to bag up stuffed animals for two weeks or to pull up carpet or burn your house down. Let’s focus on THEIR environment (the head) and not OUR environment.
• Head Lice are crawlers. They cannot jump or fly. And they don’t want to come off the hair into an environment not friendly to their survival. Research shows lice tramissions by any other way than head to head contact happens less than 2% of the time. They can be shared (although not as often) through sharing brushes or clothing with a heavily infested person.
•Head Lice cannot live on your pets or in your home. They live on your head and the heads of your closest contacts.
• You cannot drown or wash head lice away. Similar to holding one’s breath, they have the ability to shut down their system for up to two hours. The claws of lice also allows them to clasp onto the hair shaft tightly to survive.
• Head Lice do not travel to other parts of your body. There are other forms of human lice... body and pubic. These are completely different and the cases are unrelated and treated differently. Please see a doctor of you have another type of lice other than head lice.
•Itching is a common symptom of head lice. However, those not allergic to the saliva of a louse, will not have an itchy scalp. Those allergic are estimated at about 50% of the population.
• Most over the counter treatments are toxic pesticides and should not be used excessively (or at all!) There are many other options including clinics like ours that can help with products, treatments, and even membership plans with included regular head checks to help you stay ahead of the issue, not behind it. Though lice do not directly affect physical health (moms mental health noted 😉) or spread diseases, it behooves everyone to rid themselves of lice immediately as sores from scratching can lead to secondary infections. Matted hair is another undesirable side effect. Also... lice poop and do all things living beings do so lets get that out. Mkayyy.
•Head Lice is one of the number one reasons for school absences. Allowing lice in your schools, as some are adopting more lax policies, may provide a positive impact on a schools overall budget and attendance charts, but consider the fact that it most certainly will increase the spread of head lice. Some would prefer you believe head lice is just a nuisance and while we agree kids need to be in school, you should make all efforts to effectively and safely eliminate lice from your children and not let it continue on and pass along to other families.
For even more information, please call us, email is, or visit us at our clinics!
Head Lice must be treated. It does not go away on its own.