For parents with children in elementary school, getting a call from the nurse’s office about an outbreak of lice can be a nightmare. Many people believe that head lice only live in a person’s hair if it’s dirty. This simply isn’t true. Head lice love humans. Regardless of hygiene, lice are only too happy to take up residence on the human body.
A Look at Lice
Lice are less than 1/8” in length and look like tiny grains of rice near the scalp. These critters are often mistaken for dandruff. To determine the difference, try brushing the speck away. Dry skin flakes are easy to remove, but lice grab onto the scalp and hair and refuse to budge, and must be pulled out of hair. Magnifying a louse reveals that these bugs have six legs and long, flat, lumpy abdomens. Although there are over 3,000 kinds of insects that may be classified as lice, only three kinds of lice love humans: head lice, pubic lice and body lice.
How People Get Lice
Despite ample evidence to the contrary, many people are under the misconception that lice love humans with dirty scalps. If anything, lice prefer clean scalps because it makes feeding easier. In truth, lice are not picky and won’t choose to inhabit one person’s hair over another’s. A person can become a host simply by coming into direct contact with an infected person. Sharing clothes, pillows, hats, combs, brushes and other hair accessories with a person that has lice will almost certainly spread the infestation to someone that is not a host.
Lice and Humans: A Love Story
Hair, no matter where it happens to be located on the human body, provides lice with the perfect home, and is just one reason why lice love humans. But lice don’t just live in hair. Lice feed, reproduce and thrive in the well-protected shelter of an infected person’s body. Once the lice reach a person’s scalp, the pests help themselves by biting into the skin and sucking the person’s blood. A female louse will lay 50-150 eggs throughout the course of its life. The eggs are attached to the root of the hair. From egg to nymph to adult, the lifespan of a louse is around 51 days.
Getting Rid of Lice
Because lice love humans, treating an infestation can be tricky. With new eggs hatching every day, a multi-tiered approach is the most effective. First, acquire a nit comb. This tool is the main line of defense for removing lice eggs. Next, find an all-natural, SLS-free, pesticide-free shampoo treatment that will kill lice. Opt for a leave-in conditioner that will continue to repel lice throughout the day. Since lice most likely live in the clothes, furniture and carpet of a host, it is also important to use a spray that will sanitize household items, kill and repel lice and lice eggs.
Head lice love humans, and having lice doesn’t indicate poor hygiene. To get rid of these annoying creatures and put an end to scalp irritation, use an all-natural head lice treatment kit. To prevent an infestation in the future, choose 30-day all-natural shampoo, conditioner or repellent spray.