Head lice spread like wildfire across schools, summer camps, and within families, leaving many of us wondering, how do these tiny insects get around so fast? Despite their small size and short legs, these sesame seed-sized parasites infest between six and eleven million heads every year in America. So how do lice spread? Though these insects seem to get around with ease, they do not travel from head to head as one might expect. If you have encountered someone with head lice recently, don’t panic! There is a low chance that they were spread to you.
Do Lice Jump?
There are many bugs capable of jumping, but thankfully lice are not among them. Despite popular belief, head lice are incapable of hopping, jumping, or flying in the way that fleas and froghoppers do. The only way for head lice to travel is on their six legs. If you have recently spoken with a friend before finding out they had lice, the good news is you are at low risk. But if they don’t jump, how do lice spread? Lice can only travel by ground. They can crawl at a pace of about 23 cm/min, which is not too shabby considering they are only 3 millimeters in size, but this is still less than a foot of distance every minute.
How Do Lice Get From Head to Head?
The only way for head lice to find new hosts is via direct contact with an existing host. Head lice have evolved to live in hair. Once head lice have left the hair, they have a very short time to find a new host before dying. This makes it almost impossible for head lice to be spread by hat sharing and other indirect methods. The most common cause for head lice spreading is direct head-to-head contact. Group photos, hugs, and pillow sharing are just a few of the ways that head lice can get the direct contact they need to acquire a new host.
How To Prevent Head Lice
The best way to prevent head lice is through proactivity. Regular lice checks in schools and at home are a great way to help catch lice before they can spread. One simple trick that can help you reduce your risk of head lice is keeping your hair up and out of the way. Head lice need direct contact to spread, so you can reduce your risk by bunning, braiding, or putting your hair in a ponytail. If you have a family, educate them on the basics of head lice and how they spread. The first step in preventing head lice from spreading to others is being able to identify them.
Find Same Day Head Lice Treatment in Anderson SC
If you start to see signs of lice on yourself or a family member, it is important to go to a lice clinic immediately. At Lice Clinics of America, we offer a chemical-free head lice treatment that guarantees a lice-free scalp in just one hour. Our advanced lice-removing device, the AirAlle, kills the lice by using warm air on the scalp, dehydrating the lice and their eggs. Our lice removal clinics in Anderson and Greenville, SC have a variety of treatment options, and our technicians can help you choose what solution is best for you. If you would like to learn more about head lice or the treatment options we provide, get in contact with us today!