Lice Happen: Be Armed with the Facts


Any parent of a school age child should be aware that wherever kids gather in groups there is a chance of exposure to head lice.  The buggers know no cultural or geographic bounds.   In addition to the prevention methods we’ve discussed in other blogs, to aid our understanding, it’s a good time to examine some of the myths and facts about lice.

It is a MYTH that lice can jump

-There is a common misconception that lice can fly and jump, when the truth is that lice don’t have jointed bodies, hind legs or wings.  Lice can only crawl from head to head.

It is a MYTH that people who get heal lice are dirty.

-In reality, it is true that head lice are equal opportunity parasites.  It is actually easier for them to travel on clean hair.

It is a MYTH that you need to clean your entire house and bag up linens for two weeks.

-Head lice need blood to survive.  They will die within 24 hours when off the human head and without food source.

It is a MYTH that hairspray will prevent lice.

-Hair spray is not a deterrent for lice. Adding products to the hair can impede identification and complicate the treatment process.

It is a MYTH that using mayonnaise or olive oil will kill lice.

Although the oils may help in the combing out process, lice are not suffocated by them.

It is a MYTH that a nit or egg can hatch anywhere.

Once dislodged from the head nits/eggs cannot hatch, reattach or breed in the environment. Eggs do not travel!

Massachusetts lice profesional

Now that we are armed with the facts, we can turn our energy to preventing re-infestation:

Reduce risk of re-infestation with these tips:

-Keep hair pulled back when socializing with others

-Shampoo regularly with a mint-based shampoo or a lice prevention shampoo

-Use a mint-based leave in spritz/repellant before leaving home

-Comb with lice comb once or twice a week and watch for signs of lice

-Don’t let fear of embarrassment paralyze you from telling others

More tips can be found here