They are considered horror in every kindergarten and school: lice. When there are head lice around, many parents panic and try to protect their children from tiny insects. But even if your child has lice, don’t worry – as long as you initiate targeted treatment quickly to stop the parasites from spreading rapidly. This article will tell you what you can do against head lice like using lice removal Houston tx for instance and which home remedies against lice have been successful for many years.
Note: In this guide, we mainly deal with the topic of “head lice,” pubic lice, and clothing lice are neglected in this text.
Lice: What Is It, Who Gets Them, And How Long Do They Live?
Head Lice: Tiny Blood-Sucking Insects That Prefer To Infect Children
Lice, whose Latin name is “Pediculus humanus capitis,” are tiny, elongated, wingless insects with six legs. Together with the pubic louse and the clothing louse, they form the human lice family. The head lice, which are only around two to three millimeters in size, are blood-sucking parasites that feed exclusively on human blood and prefer to nestle on the scalp, especially on children.
Thanks to their specially designed legs (also known as clamp grippers), the lice can cling to hair very well and hide almost unnoticed in the hairline due to their almost transparent, slightly grayish, or reddish-brown body-color (depending on the amount of blood consumed). Mostly they stick behind the ears, in the neck, or over the temples. In addition, they crawl very quickly, which makes it difficult to see with the naked eye.
About four to five times a day, head lice sting to eat and suck blood from the skin. Initially, the sting does not cause pain because the lice secrete a blood-clotting agent with their saliva, numbing the puncture site. Only later do the bites become noticeable, sometimes severe itching – the first indication of head lice!
Lifespan And Transmission Of Head Lice
If left untreated, head lice can survive for about three to four weeks; Without food, i.e., human blood, they only live daily. However, because lice lay up to 300 eggs (so-called nits) during their entire lifespan, which they attach to the hair with a water-soluble substance near the scalp, they can sometimes spread quickly. Small larvae hatch from the eggs after seven to nine days, and they can multiply again after another eight to ten days. The newly hatched lice cannot crawl up to the tips of their hair because of their underdeveloped legs and, therefore, usually prefer to stay close to the head.
Note: Lice can neither fly nor jump. Only adult head lice with fully grown legs can crawl up to the tips of the hair and from there switch to other people’s hair upon direct contact.
Is Poor Hygiene Responsible For The Transmission Of Head Lice?
While it is often claimed, poor hygiene is not why head lice are passed from one person to another. Whether you wash your hair frequently or infrequently, whether you use a natural shampoo or not, it does not matter: anyone can get head lice if they have close contact with someone infected with lice, use the same brushes, combs, towels, or pillows. Since children in particular often stick their heads together when playing, in kindergarten or at school, the tiny animals are usually transferred from one child to the other as adult head lice crawl onto the other child’s hair. It is advised to use lice treatment like lice removal Houston tx for example.
Good to Know: While head lice are bothersome and persistent, they are usually not dangerous to children or adults. Due to the increased body contact when playing and romping around.