5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Head Lice
We do not like to talk about head lice, just hearing the words can cause any parent to have nightmares and phantom itching for a week. No one wants to hear that their child has them. Other than that they make you itch, how much do you really know about these little bugs?
1. They only live on humans.
They have an extremely narrow environment, only human hosts can support head lice. They can not live on your cat, dog, or any other species of animal. They can only go for about one day without a person. They live on human blood, as it is their only food. Not only that but they need the body heat of a human host.
2. Lice do not get around on their own.
Lice do not fly or even jump. This is good news, as it limits their movement from host-to-host. Lice spread mostly through head-to-head contact, which is why head lice are more commonly spread through children. This is because they have more contact with one another than adults do. Children often get close to one another, huddling up, telling secrets, just being kids. Often times in the course of their closeness, they are even touching their heads together. As parents, when we get the head lice it is usually from our children.
3. Lice are extremely adaptable.
Not only have head lice adapted to live on humans and nothing else, most of the lice in the United State have also developed a resistance to the popular insecticide remedies that are available over-the-counter. A study in 2016 took lice samples in 42 states and found that 98 percent of them had a genetic mutation that made them resistant to pyrethroids, the insecticide used in most of the lice treatment products.
4. Lice do not hurt you.
Other than the itchiness commonly associated with head lice, they really do not hurt you. They do not spread diseases, cause illnesses, or cause any other health problems. They are really just annoying, but they are really good at annoying us.
5. The eggs are the hardest part of lice removal.
The adult lice are easy to remove because they are larger and get caught by a fine-toothed comb. The eggs, or nits, are very small, and they blend in with light-colored hair. A louse lays her eggs one at a time on individual hairs, attaching each nit to a hair with a glue-like substance. It is hard to get them loose from the hair, and that is after you find them. Miss just one or two nits and you will have more lice in a week to ten days. This is how long they take to hatch.
This combination of pesticide resistant lice and hard to see and remove nits makes head lice an even bigger challenge than ever. Fortunately, the medical community has been working hard to find new and better ways to deal with the problem.
Among the most promising of the ways they have come up to deal with head lice is the AirAllé medical device, which we use at Lice Clinics of America lice treatment centers. Researchers at the University of Utah developed the AirAllé, which is an FDA-cleared medical device. The device uses carefully controlled warm air to dehydrate both the lice and the nits in a single treatment. Clinical trials found that it kills all the adult lice and 99.2 percent of nits.
At Lice Clinics of America – Columbus, OH, we know you do not want to deal with this problem any longer than necessary. We offer a complimentary head check, 30 days after initial treatment. If there was treatment failure during the 30 days, we will retreat for free. We invite you to contact us for more information on how we can assist you in being rid of these pests.