If your child has ever come home from school with head lice, the first question you probably asked yourself was, “Where did these little critters come from?” As you start thinking about which one of your son our daughter’s friends could have passed these pesky bugs to your child, you may start to wonder where head lice originally came from. Lucky for you, the lice removal experts at Lice Treatment Solutions in Houston are here to give you the answer to this question. If you need assistance removing lice or you’re looking for natural lice treatments to use at home, contact us today!

The History Of Head Lice

Head lice are among the most widespread infestations among children in the United States. The origin and early evolution of head lice can be a but obscure, as the fossilization of lice requires some unique circumstances, and the fossils of lice are very scarce. A few of the earliest head lice facts we do know are:

  • The oldest human head louse nit was discovered on a hair follicle from an archeological site in northeastern Brazil, dating back to 8000 B.C..
  • The oldest lice discovery in the Old Word was approximately 9,000 years old and was obtained from a hair sample from an individual who resided in the Nahal Hemar cave in Israel.
  • Head lice have been found at various archeological sites in the southwestern USA, Peru, Greenland, and Mexico.
  • Head louse were discovered on mummies that were Incan sacrifices.

Typhus, Trench Fever & Body Lice

The human body louse, also known as pediculus humanus humanus, are very similar in appearance to head lice and they are often spread when people are amidst unhygienic conditions. While these lous don’t actually live in the body, they make their homes in the host’s clothes, particularly around the seams. These pesky insects feed on the host’s blood, moving from the clothes to the skin to feed. The two most common diseases carried by lice are typhus and trench fever.

The History of Typhus

Typhus is a disease that is caused by bacteria (mainly Rickettsia typhi or R. prowazekii) and there are two main types of this condition: endemic and epidemic. These bacteria are small and often hard to cultivate, and they were originally thought to be viruses. Typhus can be transferred to humans by vectors like fleas and lice that have acquired the bacteria from animals such as rats, opossums, cats, and racoons. One of the first written descriptions of this disease dates back to 1489 in Granada.

In part two of this series, we’ll discuss the history of typhus in further detail before we dive into trench fever. If you’re afraid you or a loved one may be infected with head lice, contact the lice removal specialists at Lice Treatment Solutions in Houston today! We’re proud to be a leading provider of head lice removal, treatment, and prevention services and we would love to answer any questions you may have. Browse our school and camp resources online or check out our FAQ to learn more about head lice and the best treatment solutions.