Where Head Lice Come From

Where Head Lice Come From

Head lice are small parasitic insects that feed on human blood. They are most common in children, but they can affect anyone. A fully-grown head louse is about the size of a sesame seed and is grayish white to tan in color. It has six legs and can live for 30 days on a person’s head. Once it falls off, it will die within two days. Female head lice can lay up to six eggs per day.

Lice are spread via close personal contact. They cannot fly but can crawl. When two people are close to each other, the lice will get on each other’s hair and reproduce. The eggs are oval-shaped and are brown or tan when they hatch. Infestations often occur in families, but can also be spread through sharing items.

There are many ways to treat head lice. One natural treatment is tea tree oil. This essential oil can repel bugs as well as kill some of them. Tea tree oil is available in many drugstores and can be added to your child’s shampoo. Remember to lather thoroughly, and keep the bottle away from your child, as it can be toxic.

In general, head lice are less common in people of African descent. This is because head louse claws are better adapted to different shapes of hair shafts.