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Facts of Head Lice (Pediculus Humanus Capitis)
  • Head lice are unpleasant and a nuisance but not a health concern.
  • Head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene.
  • Head lice can be contracted by anyone. In fact, among childhood ailments, head lice are second only to the common cold.
  • A Canadian study published in 2010 by the Department of Pediatrics, Dermatology Division, CHU Sainte-Justine, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, discovered a 97.1% resistance to over-the counter products containing pyrethrins or pyrethroid.
  • There is NO 10-minute cure. Instead, head lice eradication requires time, a good lice comb, follow thru with a treatment process and vigilance. If done properly, your home should be head lice free in fewer than 2 weeks.
  • Head lice can be very difficult to see because they blend in with the color of hair. Use natural light and a magnifying glass to spot them.
  • The eggs of the louse are called nits. They are about the size of a grain of sand and vary in colour from white to brown.
  • When checking for head lice and eggs, look in areas where your child may be itchy. Lice are often found in areas around the ears, temples and nape of the neck.
  • Head lice feces and saliva may cause allergic reactions and become extremely itchy. Lesions caused by scratching may become infected (i.e. impetigo).
  • Head lice cannot jump or fly. They can move quickly and travel when two heads come into contact.
  • When they are full grown, lice have six legs and are about the size of a sesame seed. A mature female louse has a lifespan of approximately 30 days and can lay up to 9 eggs a day.
  • Dandruff can often be mistaken for nits, but can be identified by its white color and irregular shape. Dandruff can be easily dislodged by blowing on it or rubbing the hair with a hand. Nits do not move freely or easily.
  • Head lice are insects that live exclusively in human hair and cannot survive longer than 24 - 48 hours without a food source on non-human surfaces like carpets, floors, clothing, furniture, sports helmets, headphones, etc.
  • You cannot get head lice from a pet, they only feed on human blood, in a method similar to a mosquito bite.