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The Truth About Lice

The Truth About Lice

Lice can jump.

False. Lice can’t jump or fly (they don’t have wings!). They can only crawl, which is why head-to-head contact is the primary way lice spreads. They can also move around via shared hats, combs or and bedding, but because they die within a day or two without human contact, this is the less likely culprit.

An itchy head means lice.

False. Though an itchy scalp is a common symptom, there are plenty of reasons your scalp might itch, like dry skin or dandruff. And some kids with lice may not even itch.

You’re more likely to get head lice if you have poor personal hygiene.

False. Lice are equal-opportunity bugs, no matter how often you wash your hair or if you have dandruff. They are parasites, so they are attracted to human blood.

Kids are more likely to get lice than adults.

True. Kids are more likely to get lice because they have more frequent head-to-head contact – sitting so close at school and in sports settings.

Lice love longer hair.

False. Lice are attracted to the blood they get through your scalp – short, long, clean or dirty. Doesn’t matter!

You have to clean every crevice of your house after a lice infestation.

False. Lice and nits (lice eggs) usually die within about 24 hours without human blood, so you don’t need to go to extremes. Putting bedding and other belongings in the freezer to kill the lice or nits used to be a common recommendation, but your best bet is to vacuum any items and areas you think your child may have rested his or her head on including car seats, wash linens and towels with hot water and put them in a hot dryer to kill any lice or nits.