More Facts of Lice
- Head lice will not infest your home the way fleas or
bed bugs can. They can only survive for a short period of time without a host; at
the most from 24 to 48 hours. It is possible for a newborn louse to survive in the
environment until shortly after it hatches.
- Itching is an allergic reaction to the louse's saliva.
Most people, around 60%, are not allergic and do not get the itching that is usually
associated with having head lice.
- Pets cannot contract or carry head lice. They are human
parasites and can only survive on human blood.
- A female louse can lay around 6 to 10 eggs (nits) per
day. The nits will hatch in about 7 to 10 days. It takes the newly hatched louse
another 7 to 10 days to mature and reproduce its own eggs.
- Head lice usually live up to 30 days when on a host.
- Head lice do not carry or transmit diseases. The only
medical concern is the possibility of a secondary infection due to scratching the
- They cannot jump or fly. They do not have knees to bend
for jumping and they do not have wings for flying.
- Head lice are most commonly spread through direct hair to hair contact, but they
can also be transmitted through items such as contaminated clothing and hair accessories.
It is possible, but much less likely, that they can be spread through furniture
that has been used by an infested person.
- Head lice do not just appear out of thin air; they are
transmitted through humans and human contact. They have been around since before
recorded history. Dried up lice and their nits have even been found on the hair
and scalps of Egyptian mummies.
- A female louse only needs to mate once and can continue
to lay viable nits for the duration of her lifespan.
- Recent studies are showing that lice are becoming increasingly
resistant to the chemicals and pesticides commonly found in over the counter, as
well as prescription, shampoos. These treatments are not only working less effectively,
but they also do not kill the lice eggs.
- The nits (eggs) must be laid by live lice. You cannot
- Nits are small yellowish-white to dark brown, oval-shaped
eggs that are attached "to the side of a hair shaft" and glued "at an angle."
- Head lice are clear in color when hatched. They quickly
develop a reddish-brown color after feeding.
- Head lice can infest anyone, regardless of personal hygiene.
They prefer clean living environments just like we do.
- A louse can hold its breath for up to 8 hours.
Contact us today to get rid of your lice problem!
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2. Mumcuoglu KY, Gilead L, Ingber A. New insights in pediculosis and scabies. Expert Rev Dermatol. 2009;4(3):285-302.
3. Takano-Lee M, Yoon KS, Edman JD, Mullens BA, Clark JM. In vivo and in vitro rearing of pediculus humanus capitis (Anoplura: Pediculidae). J Med Entomol. 2003;40(5):628-635