When head lice present themselves, parents like yourself tend to panic. But who wouldn’t? The constant itch and discomfort, especially in children, can make us feel both uncomfortable and downright useless in fixing the situation. You may think that a quick trip to the drugstore or supermarket could help resolve all your troubles. Well, that’s where you would be wrong. You see, today’s head lice are basically immune to over-the-counter products – not to mention the strong chemicals included in each bottle. Today’s head lice are stronger, faster, and more troublesome than ever. Arm yourself with knowledge – here are a few other gross facts about head lice!
Lice Don’t Infect Everything
Well, that doesn’t seem so gross, right? They will not actually infect everything. But it depends on your outlook, really. Are you a neat freak? Do you need everything in your home to be completely clean, especially after a bug infestation of any kind? Please understand that head lice will not live in your furniture, for instance, yet many homeowners will wish to wash everything. You don’t need to do that, though.
However, washing your bedding, clothing, and headwear entirely makes sense. But vacuuming each room and bagging anything the infested person has ever touched? That’s completely unnecessary. Lice will only live about 24 hours away from the human scalp. Then, thankfully, they’ll die off.
Lice Are Ancient
Lice are not a relatively new species. In fact, they’ve been around as long as humankind. That’s gross all right, but head lice evolved alongside people. With our living changes and safety procedures, head lice have adapted their own routines, and even their biology. We mentioned earlier that today’s species of head lice are generally unfazed by over-the-counter medications. That’s quite true! Over the years, head lice have grown accustomed to the pesticides and other chemicals designed to kill them off. Now, they can withstand those treatments and ultimately thrive on the scalp for far longer, and you don’t want that.
We detailed two primary facts that can make a significant difference to families and their comfort level. Now, we’d like to share a few weird facts that you may find interesting, or that might make your skin crawl a little with the thought. So without further ado:
- Louse – The singular term for head lice is “louse.” It sounds odd because no one ever says it aloud.
- Light – Typically, head lice do not enjoy the light. They will hide and crawl away quickly if a light is present, which is why they are so difficult to spot initially. Yes, they have a plan.
- Camouflage – Nits (eggs) are able to camouflage themselves to match your hair color and pigment. This camouflage protects them from outside threats, so you’re unlikely to track them as easily.
- Saliva – The itching caused by head lice is not from hair shifting or tiny legs crawling across your skin, but instead, it’s the saliva. Similar to a mosquito, the bite of a louse often causes an allergic reaction that leads to intense itching and discomfort.