The itchy truth: What to know about head lice

June 3, 2024•By Mayo Clinic Press Editors You may have the urge to scratch an itch in your hair when you hear about head lice. The tiny insects like to move in and make their home in clean hair while feeding on blood from the human scalp. Knowing how to prevent and treat head lice…

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Head Lice Education 101

A lice infestation (pediculosis) can make you feel like your head is crawling with a million lice. But the number of lice usually found on a person’s scalp is actually very small. It can be hard to see head lice, let alone count them. But estimating the breadth and duration of an infestation can help…

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Head Lice DNA Can Reveal Details About First Americans

Head lice have been constant, if unwanted, human companions for as long as our species has been around. Evidence of this ancient connection includes a 10,000-year-old-louse found on human remains at an archaeological site in Brazil and an inscription on a 3,700-year-old ivory lice comb that might be the oldest known sentence written with an…

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HEAD Lice Size

Lice eggs (called nits because they are glued to the hair strand) are so small they look just like tiny specks. You’ll find them attached to individual hair shafts about a quarter inch off the scalp. You can see them with the naked eye, but unless you’ve seen them before, you may mistake them for…

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September is Head Lice Prevention Month

September 3, 2023 As the back-to-school season approaches, families are gearing up for a fresh start and exciting learning experiences. However, amidst all the excitement, there’s a concern that often creeps into the minds of parents and caregivers – head lice infestations. September, designated as Head Lice Prevention Month, presents the perfect opportunity to raise…

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Brief History of Head Lice

Beginning somewhere around 13 million years ago, specific species began to evolve to affect only humans. Pediculus lice are among oldest human parasites and have a long history of association with humans. They accompanied early Homo groups as they migrated out of Africa. As such they represent good markers for tracking human history. About 42,000 to 72,000…

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