If you’re looking for information about head lice, you’ve come to the right place. It’s a popular topic among many families as nobody with hair is immune to a head lice infestation. We’re experts, so you can find answers to all of your important questions regarding head lice here.
Most Common Questions About Lice
What Is Lice?
When dealing with lice, educating yourself can be the most valuable thing you can do to help get rid of an infestation effectively. Head lice are parasites, both male and female, that live on the head of the affected individual. You can find out more about how lice reproduce in our blog “How Do Lice Reproduce?” As lice are required to mate to reproduce, you may wonder where do lice come from? In short, often a lice infestation is contracted from someone else with lice. Once on the head, lice require sustenance, so you’ll want to know what do head lice eat? When an infestation is present, it is important to know what lice look like, and how to tell the difference between lice and nits, and how nits are different from other objects that may be found on the head. We’ve got you covered - you can find all this information in our blog “What Do Lice Look Like (With Pictures) And How To Identify Them”.
Types of Lice?
For humans, there are 3 different types of lice we can be affected by. The type of lice that affects the human head is the common head lice. If you are finding lice in other areas of the body, such as the eyebrows, chest hair, facial hair, etc, that is body lice. Regarding lice that infest the pubic region, these are known as pubic lice, or commonly known as crabs. It’s important to note that head lice do not venture from the head, body lice stay to the main body area, and pubic lice stay in that region. They do not cross-infest.
How Do Lice Spread?
Lice are very contagious, and there are a number of ways someone may contract a case of head lice, however, by far the #1 way is a direct contact with the head of another person. There are alternative ways that are less common, such as sharing helmets, clothes, hair accessories. From there the lice life cycle starts on that person and a full-blown infestation occurs.
Who Can Get Lice?
The type of lice that affects human heads stays on the human head. You do not have to be concerned about your pets getting human head lice from a person. So you might wonder who can get lice? While school-aged children are more prone to have lice, any human with hair can get head lice. This includes men, pregnant women, teenagers, and babies.
Where Can You Get Lice?
It may be impossible to identify a situation where you or a family member contracted head lice. As you’ve learned, there are a number of ways an individual can get head lice from someone else, and avoiding all human contact is not possible or healthy. There are a few scenarios, however, that may make someone more prone to head lice, like participating in “high-risk lice activities” like sharing a hairbrush, sitting in a seat occupied previously by a lice-infested person, and a number of other ways.
What Hair Types Are Most Likely to Get Lice?
It’s a common misconception some hair types cannot contract head lice. If you have hair, you can get head lice. So unless you are completely bald you are susceptible to getting head lice. The longer the hair, the easier it is for the bugs to access the hair. You might be surprised to learn that even some blood types are more attractive to lice bugs.
Signs of Lice
Head lice symptoms can be broad and non-specific, however, you should be alert to a number of things if you or a loved one have been in contact with someone else who had an active case of lice. Itching is one of the most common symptoms individuals watch for. Another telltale sign is sores on the head and the neck. You may feel the lice moving in your hair at night as that is when they are most active.
How to Identify Lice?
There are a number of different pests that can bite individuals that can set off your lice radar. One of the more common types of parasites that are mistaken for head lice are bed bugs. Another ailment commonly mistaken for lice is everyday dandruff that people experience. Sometimes, just the fact that someone has been around someone with lice can set off “phantom lice syndrome”. So it is important to increase your knowledge about lice so you can be sure to identify it accurately. Infestations vary, and it may be impossible to know how long you’ve had lice, but often, lice cases are identified after 3 weeks to a month for mild cases.
How to Get Rid Of Lice?
Getting rid of head lice is something we specialize in. In the age of the internet natural home remedies, and information about them abounds. Choosing the right treatment and head lice removal product is a personal decision. However, all share one commonality: all of the lice and eggs have to be removed from the head to end an infestation, so a good technique is vital. After treatment, ideally, no eggs or bugs should remain in the hair.
Cleaning a Home from Lice
Many people are concerned with cleaning their home to help aid in the eradication of lice, however, head lice live in the head, not in the home. So if the head is properly treated, the rest of the home will take care of itself.
Head lice prevention is very important especially if you or a loved one are in a setting that may cause you to be more at risk of getting head lice. A few habits you can implement to lower the risk of head lice include:
- Avoid direct head to head contact with others
- Keeping the hair in a hairstylethat minimizes contact area for lice to grab onto
- Ensure the hair stays artificially dirty with a non chemical lice repellent spray, hair gel, hairspray, mousse, or other product
- Educate children on head lice, and help them to make a plan to avoid “high risk” situations
Lice Outbreak at Daycare and School
When you receive a letter from daycare or school informing you that there is a lice outbreak, don’t panic. It’s common for children to experience head lice, but we know you want to do your best to ensure YOUR child and family never encounter it. Regarding daycare, school, and summer camps, the facility likely has a plan. Be sure to keep communication open with them and check your child regularly for lice.
Finding head lice in your family often raises many questions. We have answered some of the most common ones. If you have any others or need professional lice treatment, call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537. We are available 7 days a week from early morning to late at night and are eager to help you.