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March 8, 2010 at 12:06 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Head Lice: Amazing Facts You Won't Believe

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Fact: One mature female louse can lay 3 - 4 eggs per day. This adds to 90 - 120 eggs per month.

Fact: Females typically only require one mating in their lifetime to produce all of their eggs.

Fact: A healthy adult louse can live for nearly three days without food.

Fact: Adult lice are commonly the size of a sesame seed.

Fact: The nit is approximately the size of the tip of a pencil lead.

Fact: The average speed of a louse is 3.75 inches per minute. This is equivalent to 18.75 feet in one hour, and approximately 450 feet per day. This is over the length of one football field.

Fact: Lice are developing resistance to certain medical treatment methods, including the use of pesticides. This can lead to future lice epidemics.

Fact: Millions of Americans, approximately 10-12 million, will become infested with lice on a yearly basis.

Fact: Over 350 million dollars will be spent each year on lice treatments in the United States alone.

Fact: You can maintain healthy personal hygiene and still become infected by lice.

Fact: Lice are used in Archaeogenetics. The mitochondrial DNA of female lice can be isolated and used to determine migration patterns of ancient humans.

Fact: The word "lousy" is actually derived from louse (the singular form of lice), as having a lice infection is definitely lousy.

Fact: Itching from a lice infestation is an allergic reaction not to the bite itself, but from the saliva secreted onto the scalp.

Fact: Head lice are incapable of jumping, hopping, or flying.

Fact: Home remedies including mayonnaise and olive oil, though typically difficult, are valid options.

Fact: African Americans are less likely to get lice than other races. This is due to the fact that the African American hair shaft has a different shape that lice have problems adhering to. However, there are lice in Africa that have evolved their infection capabilities.

Fact: A lice outbreak will occur in over 80% of all schools in the United States.

Fact: If the pediculide (medical treatment for lice) was not effective upon first use, it is highly unlikely that it will work the second time, and you may need to seek other treatment methods.

Fact: In treating your head lice, it is essential to follow all directions on the package to prevent future infestations due to improper use.

Fact: The manual hands approach to the process of looking and picking nits out of the hair is a necessary component of any treatment plan.

Fact: A comb alone will not get rid of a lice infestation. The comb is used for finding nits. If all the nits are discovered, there may still be female adult lice capable of producing more nits.

Fact: The best steps you can take toward the treatment and prevention of lice, is to educate yourself about the subject.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/head-lice/DS00953/DSECTION=1

http://children.webmd.com/tc/lice-topic-overview

Photo Credit: Gilles San Martin

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