The facts of lice are plenty if you're googling head lice. Some true, most wrong, but there are some fun facts you've never read and knowing these may just help arm you against these pests. Knowledge is power...
1) Lice have a VERY keen sense of smell. So much so they can smell what blood type you are! Depending on what blood type you are the more likely, or unlikely, your chance of contracting lice because lice prefer those blood types that most of the population has. For example, O+ blood type is the most common blood type among our population and therefore this is the type most preferred by lice. Why? The chances of a louse transferring and staying with the same blood type is more likely. This is important because if a louse feeds on one blood type then transfers to another head and starts feeding on a different blood type their intestines explode and they die. This brings us to our 2nd fascinating fact...
2) MINT scent is the most effective deterrent when it comes to lice. Tea tree, rosemary, lavender, etc. are all "OK". They may help deter lice but according to lab tests lice will avoid these scents, but run from mint. Using mint as a deterrent is not only used because lice cannot tolerate it, but also to mask the scent of your blood type, AND mask a scent lice leave behind to attract their buddies. Which leads us to fascinating fact #3...
3) Lice secrete a scent to let their friends know where the party is. There is some debate how long this scent lingers but it seems the average is about 2 weeks post eradication. Therefore, if you've had lice, the chance of having a re-infestation is more probable, but luckily not for long. Lesson- Use those mint based products for prevention.
4) A female louse mates once and stays pregnant for life. All it takes is one female to cross from another person to you and cause a problem. She will lay 8-10 eggs per day until she dies at the 30 day mark. Her legacy will cause a full on infestation faster than you can say "My head itches".
5) Lice can hold their breath up to 2 hours. They are survivors. They have been going head to head since the beginning of human kind. This explains why they do not die off in the bath, shower, or pool. This fascinating fact is good to know if you're attempting smothering techniques to eradicate lice. Products need to stay on the hair for at least 2 hours to have an effect.
6) You do not need to use any treatment products to get rid of lice. Yes, you heard it here! OTC products, prescription products, natural home products, even enzyme based natural treatment products do not work without combing the hair to remove all the nits (eggs). Nothing kills the nits 100% so why bother with these methods? Well, these products can help, but in reality even if you never used a product, combing alone will do the job. Along with a lot of elbow grease.
7) Lice are chameleons! Lice are excellent at hiding themselves by scooting away from light as soon as you may move away the hair to look for them but they are even more clever than that. Depending on what color your hair is, lice can camouflage themselves and their eggs to match their environment. They can appear anywhere from light in blonde hair to dark in brunettes and so on. Knowing this will help in your hunt.
These little known facts are not only fascinating, but more importantly, good to know if you're on a quest to keep lice out of your hair forever. A big part of what we do at Strand by Strand is educate because we believe knowledge is power. We've had plenty of clients walking away feeling more in control and confident knowing what to look for and what to do if lice were to strike their circle again. Keep Checking back for our latest posts and keep learning!
Strand by Strand employees are professionals certified in the Shepherd Method of safe, non-toxic lice removal offering screenings and treatments for any individual, school, or camp. Located at 50905 Main St., Kansas City, MO. Visit www.strandbystrand.org for more info or call 1-833-4NO-LICE (466-5423).