Top 5 Myths About Lice

Lice are usually associated with bad hygiene and disease. Although these insects are not

welcomed by anyone, they are more common than any of us would like to think. Many of the

things we are told about them are little more than old wives’ tales. Here are the top 5 myths

about lice, and the truth about each.

They Are Dangerous

Head lice are more of a nuisance than anything else. They simply feed on human blood, and may

cause some itching and discomfort. As much as that is an uncomfortable thought, lice will not

spread diseases to you or your pets. They are highly contagious though, and are spread from

direct contact with the hair of someone who already has an infestation. If left untreated, they can

spread for a long period of time between groups of people over and over again.

They Are Impossible to Kill

Many exasperated parents feel like lice are impossible to kill but the reality is that they cannot

survive more than three days without a meal. This means that all you have to do to kill them is

deprive them of food by combing them out of your hair on a daily basis, taking care to ensure

that you remove any eggs located at the roots of your hairs. Avoid infestation by avoiding direct

contact with the hair of anyone carrying the critters and you should be clear.

An Infestation Is Caused by Bad Hygiene

Lice are transmitted by direct head-to- head contact with someone who has an infestation. You

don’t need to wash your bedding and clothing every evening or scrub your house from top to

bottom every day to avoid lice. Simply avoid those who are infested. Check for insects and eggs

regularly and you should remain lice free.

All Lice are the Same

There are 3 species of lice that make their home on the human body, and each has their preferred

environment.  Head lice stick to the hair, while pubic lice inhabit private areas of the body. Body

lice live in your bedding and migrate to the body to feed. Treatment for each infestation varies,

as do symptoms of infection. Thankfully, head lice are arguably the least severe, and therefore

the easiest to deal with.

If You Have Nits, You Have Lice

Nits are the small eggs that the lice lay at the base of the hair follicle. They are easiest to find

when they are white and dried out, but this means that they are empty. Thankfully, it also means

that the larvae have already died and that the infestation is over, although this is only true if they

have not laid a new round of eggs.

The myths around lice and an infestation paint a worse picture of the reality, but that does not

mean that the situation should be left unchecked. Now that you have the facts, you are in a better

position to prepare for, and treat lice among your friends and family. If you suspect that you

may have an infestation, consult an expert, and do some research before trusting myths.

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