Head lice is a common ailment that affects most families at least once in their lives. While there are some simple things families can do to minimize the chances of getting head lice, there are other factors that are beyond their control – like a person’s blood type. Believe it or not, head lice and blood type may go together; blood type is a biological factor that can determine whether or how often a person may get head lice. Considering this, what blood type do lice prefer?
Can Lice Feed On Different Blood Types?
When we receive calls from clients who have never dealt with head lice growing up, but found it on their child, they often are not just trying to figure out who their child got lice from, but maybe why their child tends to get lice more frequently than others, or than they themselves did growing up. Often the conversation begins like this: “I never got head lice when I was a child, but my daughter gets it constantly…why? Do we need to wash her hair better? Or is it something else? Are lice attracted to certain blood types? Does the human blood type have to be compatible with the lice blood type?”.
If you are wondering do lice like certain blood types – some studies suggest that yes they do. Studies that have been conducted indicate that head lice do prefer positive blood types over negative blood types. While this may be true, lice have the ability to feed and survive off of all different blood types. However, when head lice begin to feed after hatching from their egg, they prefer to stick with the same blood type throughout their life that they initially fed upon.
For example: If one member of your family with a blood type of A has lice that makes it to another family member’s or friend’s head whose blood type is B or O, the louse can infest then and feed off of their blood, but they do not like it. If faced with life or death from starvation, head lice will feed on a different blood type than what they were originally accustomed to if they have absolutely no other options.
Rhesus Factor Matters
Another facet that can determine if head lice are passed between family members is the Rh or Rhesus factor of their blood type. The rhesus factor is the protein found on the blood cells that make a person’s blood type of A, B, or O negative or positive. If a person’s blood cells have the rhesus protein on the surface of the blood cells their blood type is positive, and if they do not, their blood type is negative.
As stated previously, while head lice can feed on different blood types, they cannot transfer and survive off of different Rh blood factors. If moving from a type A blood to a type B blood, both of those blood types must have the same rhesus factor. For instance, if a louse has been feeding off of a blood type of A positive and subsequently finds its way onto the head of a person whose blood type is B positive, then they can continue to survive off of that particular blood type.
However, if the louse from the head of a person with the blood type A positive (Rh-positive) transfers to the head of a person whose blood type is B negative or O negative (Rh negative), they cannot survive. If the louse tries to feed off of the head of an Rh-negative individual after feeding off of an Rh-positive person, this will prove to be their last meal. When this happens, the louse’s intestinal tract will explode! As you can imagine, this will end the louse’s life. This scenario is the same if a louse has begun feeding off of a person with a rhesus negative blood type that transfers to the head of a person who has a positive rhesus factor.
What does this mean specifically for your family? If you are still wondering do lice prefer a certain blood type, and if so, what blood type do lice like, let’s review this information on a personal level.
If your child’s blood type is positive, they may be more prone to head lice infestations. If they tend to get them more frequently than you or other members of your family get them, it is possible that their blood types have something to do with it since lice do not like to transfer between blood types, rather, they would prefer to stick with the same blood type throughout their life. If someone in your household never gets head lice, it could be that their blood type is of a different rhesus factor than the rest of the family.
Do You Keep Getting Lice?
If you or someone else in your household seems to be plagued repeatedly by head lice infestations call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537. An experienced head lice technician will come to your home and check the entire family using an effective, all-natural combing process that will get rid of lice in the process. While she is there, the technician will provide you with a follow-up plan that will ensure this case of lice does not come back. She will also educate you and your family on her technique and show you the tools you need to treat your family in a breeze in the case of future infestations.