Facts about Head Lice

There are many myths and legends surrounding head lice. We would like to clear a few up.

Head Lice MythsMyth: Head lice can fly or jump from person to person.

Head Lice FactsFact: Head lice cannot fly or jump. They’re wingless insects which move by crawling through hair.

 


Head Lice MythsMyth: Children are most likely to pass head lice to friends by playing together.

Head Lice FactsFact: Children can only contract head lice via direct head-to-head contact or indirectly through the sharing of personal items, such as combs, bedding, towels and hair accessories that have come in contact with an infestation.


Head Lice MythsMyth: Head lice prefer individuals with long/short; clean/dirty; straight/curly; thick/thin; blonde/brown/black/red hair.

Head Lice FactsFact: Head lice do not discriminate on the type of hair, age, gender, hygiene, ethnicity or demographics. As long as your scalp is warm and has a fresh supply of blood, they’ll take up residence on anybody’s head.


Head Lice MythsMyth: Spraying the house or your children hair with insecticides/chemicals will get rid of head lice.

Head Lice FactsFact: No only will it NOT get rid of them (Numerous research* has shown that the new strain of head lice are becoming increasingly resistant to chemical based treatments), but it also extremely dangerous to treat your children with any household chemicals that is not intended to treat head lice.


Head Lice MythsMyth: Children found with head lice or nits should be sent home from school immediately.

Head Lice FactsFact: The presence of mature head lice is not considered a valid reason to exclude children, but merely a cause for prompt treatment (Be sure to check all other family members for head lice too!).


Head Lice MythsMyth: Head lice may live on furniture, bedding or the family pet.

Head Lice FactsFact: Head lice are parasitic by nature and rely solely on warm human blood for their existence. Live head lice rarely fall from the hair so it is uncommon to discover head lice on furniture, bedding or family pets.


Head Lice MythsMyth: Expensive chemical-based head lice treatments are the most effective.

Head Lice FactsFact: Chemical insecticides often seem like a quick and easy fix, experts however, recommend trying a much more cost effective, simpler and safer method. Combing is a no-frills method which also reduces the risk of allergic reactions or skin irritation commonly associated with chemical treatments.


* Lapeere, H.; Brochez, L.; Verhaeghe, E.; Vander S., Robert H.; Remon, J.; Lambert, J. & Leybaert, L. (2014). Efficacy of Products to Remove Eggs of Pediculus humanus capitis (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae) From the Human Hair. Journal of Medical Entomology, 51(2), 297-488. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/ME13106