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Facts About Lice

Updated on September 7, 2009

I have been a parent for eleven years now, and last year some friends got lice. I remember counting myself lucky that we hadn't had to deal with that yet. But as almost a childhood ritual that each family must go through, it wasn't long before we were dealing with it ourselves. Frantic to rid our household of the lice before we had to leave on vacation the next morning, I sent my husband to the store to get every lice killing product on the market. Yes, I know that wasn't the most frugal thing to do, but I panicked and didn't think I really had time to deal with it naturally. While he was gone though, I searched the internet as quickly as I could to gain information about this nasty bug. Here is what I learned and I hope that you learn too.

Head lice are human parasites. You can not catch them through animals; they must have human blood to survive. Lice are transmitted by direct contact from the infected person's hair or head to another person's hair or head. Realistically, it should be pretty hard for lice to be transmitted, but yet they seem to be thriving and have been around for thousands of years. My guess is that the world won't ever be rid of them. Aside from head to head contact, lice can be transmitted when something from one person's head is then put on another person's head. For example, sharing batting helmets, hats, headphones, towels and brushes are all ways to catch lice. Lice can not jump or fly, because they have no wings or hind legs.

We did not catch lice by any of these ways though. My daughter was working out at a local work out center with her gymnastics studio. The center had a fake grass field in which they were working out in -laying down for many exercises. Someone, at some point had lice and worked out on the field. The live bugs can survive for a few hours without a host and when my daughter came along she was the perfect host.

Once a louse lays an egg, it takes 7-10 days for it to hatch. If it hatches and does not have human blood to feast on, it will only survive a few hours. A louse can survive up to 24 hours without human blood. I had always heard that you had to wash the whole house in hot water immediately and bag up any stuffed animals or items that couldn't be washed, for at least two weeks. If the eggs hatch within 10 days though, that is as long as you need to quarantine items. A female louse lays 3-5 eggs a day and can live on a human for about a month. When a louse hatches, it needs another week or so before it can lay eggs.

Once you discover lice on you or your child, you will be dealing with it for at least a week, probably a few days longer. There are plenty of natural treatments though, so don't go running to the store like I did. And if you keep a few specific items on hand all the time, you will always be prepared to deal with it.  To find out the natural remedies that worked for us, check out this hub.


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      Kim Garcia 8 years ago

      Not fun to read, quite disgusting, but very very informative. Since we moved to the shores of South Carolina my daughter has acquired lice about four times. They are extremely pesty down here and what an ordeal to get rid of. Thanks for the info and useful tips. I have since threatened to chop all her hair off if she brings lice home from school ever again.LOL!! We've spent hours upon hours combing them out. That's where the term "with a fine tooth comb" derived from. Makes sense. Peace n' Blessings. ~K

    • Vizey profile image

      Vizey 8 years ago

      I can not imagine that blog on lice can be written. In my childhood, I was suffering from it. Later it became all right itself. Well thanks for info.