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HEAD LOUSE








 





Photo Courtesy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_louse
 

The head louse is an insect without wings.  It can neither fly nor jump.  It does spend its entire life on its human host.  There are several different kinds of lice, but we are going to learn about the head louse in this presentation.

Head lice are do not carry diseases that have, so far, been detected.  They are definitely a nuisance.  They cause itching because of the saliva that has a deadening agent to keep their bite from being noticed.  Any diseases may occur from excessive and intensive scratching.  They appear mostly at the back of the head, the nape of the neck, and behind the ears.  Only occasionally will they be found in the eyebrows.  They are found world-wide.

The head louse can be transferred to someone else in close contact, sharing of personal items of an infected person, such as clothing, hats, scarves, combs, brushes, etc.  Personal hygiene has nothing to do with attracting head lice.

The head louse can only live approximately 30 days on its host, but it can lay up to 90 eggs, or three per day, during its lifetime.  Sources do vary on the number of eggs laid.  The eggs, or nits, are laid close to the scalp where the warmth of the head keeps the eggs warm.  If you see these oval shaped sacs, the chances are good that there is an infestation of lice.

There are over-the-counter shampoos and lice applications that can be purchased.  Ask your local pharmacist for a good one.  He’s cheaper than going to a doctor.  Also, if you can maintain a temperature of 125 degrees F. for a period of 30 minutes, that might also be effective.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_louse

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/head-lice/

http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publichealth/insects/louse/headlouse.html

http://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/ipddl/publications/5025e/

http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/first_aid/head-lice.html

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