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Some Things That You Should Know About Head Lice

Some Things That You Should Know About Head Lice
Updated on 
April 3, 2020

How Do I Recognize Lice and Lice Eggs

Head lice can be brown. Lice and nits (lice eggs) are small,

suffolk how to identify head lice nit bug

but they are visible to the naked eye. They are most often found in the hair around the ears and at the back of the neck. Nits are oval specks that are tightly glued to the hairs near the scalp. Lice (bugs) are tiny six-legged insects that cling to the hair to feed on human blood, which they do multiple times every day.

Head lice are usually spread by head to head contact that allows the bug to crawl from one person’s hair to the other. They can also be spread by sharing personal items such as brushes, combs, hats, and hair accessories, although this is  much less common. Lice are most prevalent in young children who attend daycare or young children in elementary school because of the close contact with other children. Lice can only crawl; they do not jump, hop, or fly from one person to another.

13 Lice Myths That Need to Be Dispelled

suffolk facts about lice information myth true false

Head lice are a scourge of lower income groupsLice do not care how much money you have. They do not check your bank balance before moving onto your head. If you are in the company of other people then you are at risk for getting lice. It is not easy to prevent lice from being transmitted unless you live a solitary existence.

Lice are a sign of poor hygiene—They affect people of all degrees of cleanliness. Body lice are a different story and affect mostly people who live in unsanitary environments and are unable to shower often. Head lice actually are more often found in people with clean hair as their claws can more easily grab and stick to clean hair.

You can wash lice out of your hair— Lice can survive under the water for up to 6-8 hours, so people who bathe regularly are just as vulnerable to getting head lice, as people who are dirty. Unless you are a super person with a large lung capacity(!),  that would not be a viable lice killing option. 

Lice are a wide-spread health hazardLice do not carry disease like mosquitoes can carry zika, malaria, and West Nile Virus. They are a nuisance and the itching may be annoying, but they will not make you sick. A secondary problem can occur if you scratch lice bites too much and you cause a bacterial infection. If possible try not to scratch too hard.

To kill lice at home, put belongings in plastic bags for weeks or place in freezer— Lice cannot live off of their host for more than a few hours. You can wash and dry the pillowcases and sheets and do some light vacuuming, but you don’t need to do anything else. If you are doing a follow-up plan like what LiceDoctors provides, you don’t need to do any cleaning of the home following your treatment. Lice that climb out of the head will be short-lived, dying within a few hours. You definitely do not need to put items away in a bag for weeks. That makes no sense.

Sharing a comb, brush, or hat can spread liceThis is very unlikely. Lice use their claws to grab hold of thin human hair, so it’s not likely that a comb or brush will pull these bugs off of one person‘s hair to transmit them to another person. Along those lines, nits are cemented to the hair and also are not easily pulled off. If they are, by some unlikely possibility, nits will not re-attach to hair on another head. Lice want the warmth of human heads and will not voluntarily go onto a brush or comb.

Most schools still maintain no nit lice policies—It used to be the case that children were checked for head lice in school by the nurse. Now, going by recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses, children with lice and nits are allowed to remain in school. The thinking is that too many children were missing too many days of school and that most children are not in head-to-head contact with their friends at school.  This is a double-edged sword. Yes, children missed a lot of school because of head lice. By allowing children to attend school even if they have lice means that some children are in school who are contagious. Among younger children who may put their heads together in class or on the playground, allowing children in school with lice may increase your incidence of head lice. The National Association of School Nurses notes that class or school lice checks have not  been effective at slowing down the number of lice cases in schools. The  American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has proclaimed that no-nit policies are not fair and should be eliminated. 

You won't get lice if you have short hair or a buzz cut—As long as you aren’t totally bald, ie. with no hair at all, you can get head lice. Lice need  only a little piece of hair to hang onto in order to feed from blood in the head. It is easier to get lice if you have long hair. Lice transmission between two individuals with short hair is not as likely as if one or both have long hair for the simple reason that the hair is more accessible to the lice. It is also more likely that you will not get rid of lice permanently in long hair as there is more hair in which the lice and nits can hide.

Only children get head liceWhile children are the most likely candidates to get lice, anyone can get lice. Adults often contract lice from their kids. 

Natural treatments for lice are safe and effective—Many of these products do not have FDA approval so they are not regulated.  They can be essential oils like anise, neem, or tea tree oil that may be contra-indicated for young children. Some people may have allergies to these lice remedies.

Lice spread by jumping or flyingLice don’t jump or fly, they crawl very fast and are very contagious. . They move from one head to another via direct head-to-head contact between two individuals.  Even if you share hats or helmets, you will likely not share head lice.

Itchy head equals head lice infestation—Not necessarily so. If a person is itchy, he or she may have lice because they may be allergic to the saliva injected when lice bite. Itchy scalp is one of the common symptoms of head lice, but there can be other causes of itchy scalp, such as seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff),  dry skin, or some other skin irritation. In addition, some children with lice have no symptoms. 

Chemical lice treatments are the best option—Several pesticide-based treatments are available, either over the counter or by prescription. OTC treatments such as permethrin (Nix Lice Shampoo) and pyrethrin (Rid Lice Treatment) have been over-used to the point that lice are resistant to them. The resistant lice are dubbed “super lice”. Then prescription lice treatments such as malathion (Ovide), Sklice (ivermectin) and lindane may also be ineffective because they don’t kill all lice or any nits. Another prescription medication, Ulesfia Lotion 5%(Benzyl Alcohol) has been discontinued for business reasons. FDA.gov.They all may have harmful side effects, especially for babies and young children. In addition, the cost of prescription lice treatments is very high.

Where Kids Get Lice

suffolk where do lice come from playground school sports sleepover

Once someone in your home has a confirmed case of head lice, it is important to check everyone in the home. Head lice treatment for kids is most important but unless everyone is checked, you risk becoming reinfested within the family. All it takes is for lice to be missed on one person in your home, and you risk everyone else catching it again. It is best to get ahead of the problem, and get treatment immediately, at the first signs of a lice infestation.

The most common places for children to get lice are:

  • Playgrounds
  • Home
  • School
  • Birthday parties
  • Sleepovers
  • Friend get togethers

Boys do get head lice, but girls are more likely to suffer from a head lice infestation because they tend to have  more head to head contact than boys and their hair is usually longer and, therefore, more accessible to the bugs. Head lice is far less common in African Americans than any other race, but it does happen.

Signs of Head Lice

Most of the time, there are signs in someone who has head lice, so be on the lookout for:

  1. Itching and scratching
  2. Feeling something moving
  3. Sores or wounds on the scalp
  4. Sleeplessness—head lice can cause discomfort

The best way to check heads is by doing a comb through with a fine-tooth comb (nit comb). It is best to do this with wet hair, and make sure to do it layer by layer, so that you do not miss anything. If head lice are found, a treatment option should be put into place as soon as possible to avoid any further spreading.

Let the professionals get the job done the first time when everyone is rested and alert.  What may take you days to do will take a professional a couple of hours. LiceDoctors is the cost efficient way to eradicate head lice, and head lice treatment is available in the comfort and privacy of your home at your convenience. Professional lice treatment will eradicate your head lice problem so give us a call in Suffolk at 757-609-0509 for same day service day or night.

We provide a friendly in-home lice removal service

Book your appointment today

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