With school back in session, your child may be excited about starting a new year at their local elementary or middle school. If your child comes home itching their head or complaining about tiny movements in their hair, there’s a good chance they have been in contact with another child with head lice. These tiny bugs, which are spread through direct head-to-head contact, thrive on children playing, having sleepovers, and hanging out close to each other. In this blog, we’ll discuss 10 things you probably didn’t know about head lice, so you can separate the facts from the myths.

If you live in Houston and you suspect that your little one has head lice, it’s important to seek professional help right away. At Lice Treatment Solutions, we’ve helped hundreds of parents remedy their child’s head lice infestation through safe and effective treatment measures. From professional lice removal to lice treatments and prevention, we’re dedicated to providing our clients with the best lice removal services possible. If you have questions regarding head lice, or you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians, contact us today!

Head Lice Are Nothing New

With the recent head lice hysteria in Texas, you may assume that head lice are a new problem in schools, daycares, and camps. This couldn’t be further from the truth! According to Dr. Richard Pollack, PhD, a public health entomologist, “they’ve been around since our ancestors were walking on their knuckles. There are mummies that show evidence of having had head lice, and if you look back in archeological records, there are louse combs that date back thousands of years.”

Head Lice Can Live Up To 30 Days

Nits, also known as head lice eggs, take about eight to nine days to hatch. When lice are born, they are almost translucent in color, but once they begin feasting on human blood, they turn a brownish-red color. Once a louse reaches adulthood, they can live for up to 30 days.

Female Louse Have Sticky Saliva

Have you ever wondered how those tiny lice eggs stay so firmly attached to hair follicles? The female head louse uses a special saliva that has strong glue-like qualities. She uses this saliva to secure the eggs to human hair, usually near the scalp so they don’t easily fall out.

Head Lice Spread From Head-To-Head Contact

As we mentioned above, head lice often spread from one child to another through head-to-head contact. Why? These pesky insects are attracted to specific temperatures and levels of humidity that are often found on the human scalp. This means if they find their way to your child’s legs, back or arms, they will likely wander off without biting. If your child is prone to sharing hats, scarves, coats or earphones, they’re basically opening themselves up to a head lice infestation. Be sure to speak with your child about the proper precautions they need to take should their classroom experience a lice outbreak.

There Are No Health Risks Associated With Lice

While head lice can pose an itchy and annoying problem, these little critters do not pose any significant health risks in and of themselves. Many moms and dads will be happy to know that lice have not been shown to transmit disease or cause infection, and having head lice doesn’t mean that you’re dirty. In fact, according to Wendy Beck, the co-founder of Licebeaters, lice are actually more attracted to clean hair than dirty hair. Despite these facts, head lice still carry a terrible social stigma.

If you or a loved one has been infested with head lice, it’s important to seek professional treatment right away. While louse pose no serious health threats to humans, all of the itching can lead to sores that can become infected.

One Lice Treatment May Not Be Enough

Lice are pesky little insects and they love to find new ways of hiding in your hair and near the roots of your scalp. Since nits, or lice eggs, take about a week to ten days to mature, you may not see these tiny lice eggs at first. This can make it very difficult to effectively remove lice with one treatment, so multiple treatments may be recommended, depending on how serious the infestation is.

There Are Many Species of Head Lice

The term “louse” actually refers to a group of more than 5,000 related insects. Pediculus humanus capitis is the species name of the head louse, but there are two other very common species as well. Pediculus humanus corporis is the body louse, and pediculus pubis is the pubic louse. There are a variety of other louse species that live on chimpanzees, horses, dogs, and other mammals.

Female Lice Can Lay Up To Eight Nits A Day

What may start out as a mild lice infestation can quickly develop into a serious issue. Since female lice can lay up to eight nits per day, it doesn’t take long for a few lice to reproduce and turn into several hundreds. The sooner a lice infestation is discovered, the easier it will be to treat.

You Can’t Spread Lice To Your Pets

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot spread lice to household pets like dogs and cats. There are other species of lice that infest these mammals, so you don’t have to worry about snuggling up with your furry friend after you’ve been diagnosed with head lice.

Lice Don’t Always Cause Symptoms

Did you know that you can be infested with head lice and have no idea? While common knowledge is that head lice can cause people to itch and scratch to no avail, the truth is that many people experience little to no itching when they are infested with head lice. Your level of discomfort will depend on how heavily you’re infested and how sensitive your scalp is. This is one reason why it’s so important for school-aged children to be checked regularly for lice.

If you live near Houston and you need professional head lice removal, contact Lice Treatment Solutions today.