Head Lice Facts | FAQs
Here is a list of head lice facts that will educate you before you ever make a decision on how to treat yourself or your family. These facts will give you a better understanding of where lice come from, how to get rid of lice, why lice eggs are the main problem, and so much more. We hope these head lice facts help ease your worries as well as open your eyes to all the great benefits of the LouseBuster™ device.
Where do head lice come from?
Head lice have been around for millions of years, and dried up lice and their eggs have been found on the hair of Egyptian mummies! Head lice do not come out of the air or from the ground. They are human parasites that feed on blood and travel from one head to another. Lice in hair cannot survive more than 24 to 48 hours off the head. However, head lice that are still alive off the human head are capable of infesting a new human host.
Who can get head lice?
Anyone can. A person’s degree of cleanliness or personal hygiene has little or nothing to do with getting head lice. A common misconception is that lice infestation is a result of poor hygienic practices. In fact, head lice actually seem to prefer clean hair to dirty hair.
How are head lice spread?
Head lice can be spread whenever there is direct head to head contact with an infested individual. Less frequently, lice are also transmitted between people by head-to-hand contact and by items such as hats, hair ties, scarves, pillows, etc. However, scientists disagree on how often this type of “fomite” transmission- that is, transmission from an object contaminated with lice- really occurs.
Is it possible to get head lice from sharing a pillow or hat with a person who has head lice?
Lice cannot survive off of a human host longer than 24 to 48 hours, and they are uniquely adapted for living in human head hair. They generally do not like to leave the protected environment created within head hair. If a louse did come off an infested individual and hide in a pillow or hat, it may be possible for the louse to infest another individual who uses the pillow or hat.
What are the Symptoms of Head Lice?
Head lice are most commonly found on the scalp, behind the ears and near the neckline at the base of the head. Unless seen, symptoms of infestation are easy to miss. Symptoms include a tickling sensation, or feeling something moving through the hair. An allergic reaction to the bites causes itching. Viable eggs are usually located within 1/4 inch (6mm) of the scalp.
What do head lice and their eggs look like?
lice and nymphs (baby lice). The adult louse is no bigger than a sesame seed and is grayish-white or tan. Nymphs are smaller.
Lice eggs (often called nits). These look like tiny yellow, tan, or brown dots before they hatch. After hatching, the remaining shell looks white or clear.
Do head lice jump?
No! Head lice do not jump, fly or swim. They are good crawlers, however, and will readily move from one person to another when the hair of the two people is in contact.
Do head lice carry or transmit any disease?
There are no reliable data to suggest that head lice carry or transmit disease organisms.
What can I do to get rid of head lice and the eggs?
Contact Lice Advice and a LouseBuster™ Certified Operator will assist you with options.
Increasing numbers of consumers are finding that the most popular treatments for head lice – including chemical shampoos and home remedies – are largely ineffective. Head lice are rapidly evolving chemical resistance to many of the traditional pesticide-based control methods [which have never been able to kill eggs (nits) effectively and usually require repeated treatments]. Louse combs can be effective for removing lice and eggs, but the comb-out process can be very tedious, and many busy parents do not have the time or patience for effective combing. In desperation, some parents resort to home remedies such as bug spray, mayonnaise or kerosene, but there is little hard evidence that these remedies are effective, and some home remedies can actually be harmful. As a result, parents and school authorities are searching for a safe, fast and effective treatment that will solve the problem and help keep children in or quickly return them to school.
The LouseBuster™ treatment provides exactly that: a safe treatment that is highly effective at not only killing the live lice but also their eggs thus making it a smart choice when dealing with head lice.
What is the life cycle of head lice and their eggs?
Eggs: Eggs are laid by adult female lice and usually take about 8 to 9 days to hatch into nymphs.
Nymphs: Nymphs are immature lice that mature into adults about 9 to 12 days after hatching from the egg.
Adults: Adult lice can live about 30 days on a person’s head. If they come off the host, they die within 24 to 48 hours. Female adult lice lay about 4 eggs per day and can lay about 88 eggs during their lifetime.
Do pets get head lice?
No. Head lice cannot live on pets. Head lice can only live on human heads.
What are some steps I can take to help prevent and control the spread of head lice?
Avoid head to head contact during play, sleepovers, or other activities at home, school, and elsewhere. Do not share combs, brushes or towels used by an infested person. Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, hair ribbons or barrettes. Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that an infested person used or wore during the previous 2 days using a hot water laundry cycle and high heat drying cycle. Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
Do I have to treat everyone if only one person is found to have head lice?
It is very common for close family or friends of infested individuals to also have lice. It is suggested that you check everyone in the household. You do not want to treat anyone who does not have head lice; however, we suggest you recheck everyone in a household where a louse infestation has been confirmed every few days for at least 10-15 days after an outbreak.
How do I treat my home for head lice?
Vacuum the carpet and furniture; wash bedding and clothing in very hot water; place pillows in a dryer at highest heat setting for 20 to 30 minutes; boil hair ties/hair brushes for 10 to 20 minutes or freeze them in a plastic bag overnight. Head lice cannot survive off of a human head for more than 24 to 48 hours. Larada Sciences recommends that you do not use pesticide sprays in your home; they will unnecessarily expose your household to harmful chemicals.
How many cases of head lice are there?
Precise data on how many people get head lice each year is not available. An estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States alone.