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Lice Facts

  • Every year, more than 6 million children are infected with these harmless yet pesky parasites.
  • Head lice are six-legged wingless insects measuring between 2-3 millimetres, about the size of a sesame seed.
  • They can vary in color from greyish white to reddish brown and have the ability to adapt their color to their environment.
  • You cannot get head lice from your Pets.
  • Head lice can only survive off the human head for up to 24 hours.
  • Head lice do not discriminate; anyone can be affected regardless of cleanliness.
  • Most over the counter products and sprays contain toxic pesticides.  Lice and their nits have developed a resistance to these products.
  • Head lice is the #1 reason children are absent from school.
  • Lice have a 30 day life span.
  • It takes a nymph (baby louse) 7 to 10 days to become an adult.
  • Nits cannot reattach themselves.
  • There is less than a 2% chance of getting lice from personal belongings (clothing etc.).
  • It usually takes two weeks before one notices they have lice.
  • A louse will want to feed on the same blood type.
  • Head lice lay eggs by gluing them to the hair shaft
  • A female louse can lay eggs twice a day and can lay up to 5 eggs at a time
  • Nits, or lice eggs, hatch in 7-10 days
  • Lice feed every 3-4 hours
  • Lice prefer clean hair
  • Lice have claws on their legs, and their eggs are cemented to the hair follicles; therefore simply washing the hair will not wash them out
  • Only 50% of people with head lice experience an itching sensation and those that do experience itching have usually had head lice for 10-14 days!

These Lice Facts have been adapted from information by the Shepherd Institute for Lice Solution.

Head Lice Myths

An itchy head means your child most likely has head lice.

Itchy scalp is one of the common symptoms of head lice but there can be other causes of itchy scalp, such as dry skin.

Once you have lice you’re less likely to catch it again.

Actually, the opposite.  Lice leave a scent that actually “calls” other lice telling them you are a good food source.

You can get head lice from pets.

Lice cannot be transmitted from pets, and pets cannot get them from people.