Head lice are spread through contact with the infested person’s hair, and they can also be transferred through the use of personal items and bedding. Unlike many other insects, head lice cannot fly, and they can only move at a speed of 12 inches per minute. However, the presence of lice does not necessarily indicate poor hygiene, as they prefer clean hair.
Head lice are found worldwide, and most outbreaks occur among pre-school or elementary school children. They also infest household members. Though reliable data about head lice incidence is lacking, it is believed that six to twelve million people are infested in the U.S. each year, with a high prevalence in children aged three to eleven.
To kill head lice, you can wash your bed linen and combs with a high-quality pesticide. Make sure to use a machine that has a higher heat than the ones you use to wash clothing. This will kill the nits that the lice live in. If you cannot remove the infestation yourself, visit a dermatologist for a treatment.
In most cases, head lice cannot live away from the human scalp for more than 24 to 48 hours. Since they are parasitic, you may not need to do a thorough cleaning of your home to prevent the spread of head lice. However, it is important to make sure you don’t share personal items with other people.