5 Myths About Head Lice

Having a child come home from school due to a head lice diagnosis can be scary and frustrating.  Many parents find that they don’t know where to turn for proper treatments or facts about head lice.  Here are five myths that are associated with head lice, a lice infestation, and what to do about them.

#1:  People with bad hygiene are the most susceptible to getting head lice.

This is not true!  Head lice do not discriminate between a clean or a dirty scalp.  If a child has had head-to-head contact with an infected person, he or she can contract head lice.  Hygiene is not indicative of who gets head lice and it is impossible to determine the source of head lice. 

A child isn’t sick or unclean if they have head lice. Taking baths and washing your hair won’t kill lice or keep you or your child from getting it.  Read more…

#2: Over-the-counter remedies will take care of a head lice problem.

Super lice are becoming more immune to the toxic chemicals found in over-the-counter treatments.  These remedies are harmful and not effective at tackling a lice infestation.  Many parents find that they have to buy multiple treatments and still have a lice infestation.  Proper combing techniques are also essential for the removal of head lice, and unfortunately, over-the-counter remedies do not teach this skill adequately. 

#3: Head lice can live on pillows, sheets, and household items.

While it is true that lice can live on household items, they cannot survive without a human host for more than 24 hours. 

Adult lice can survive for only about a day or so without feeding off a human scalp, while baby lice can survive just for a few hours.  Read more…

Because of this it is not always necessary to completely sanitize the home after an infestation.  A lice removal expert or a doctor can explain what needs to happen for proper home care. 

#4:  Pets spread head lice.

Head lice are only able to live on human hosts.  Pets are unable to support the life cycle of human head lice, and humans cannot contract the three types of pet lice that pets can get.  Pets do not spread head lice and it is unnecessary to treat pets for head lice. 

#5:  Head lice transmit disease.

Though head lice are parasites and live off of human hosts by feeding on the blood, they do not carry disease.  In terms of disease, head lice are not dangerous.  They do spread quickly, and are a nuisance.  Head lice living on a scalp for too long can cause irritation and some people are allergic to louse saliva.  It is recommended that head lice are treated as quickly as possible to eliminate discomfort and stop the spread. 

 

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