Can my dog or cat get lice?  

No, Head lice ONLY live on humans. 

 

Can lice fly or jump? 

No, Head lice can walk, run or crawl from hair to hair.  They are fast; adults lice are able to move approximately 9 inches per minute. 

 

Do you need to vacuum and wash everything, and put what you can in dryer? 

No, Just wash the items your child has used. Vacuum the fabric areas such as the carpet in his or her bedroom, a fabric couch or car seat. Wash what his or her head has touched during the last 24 hours. 

 

Do head lice breed in dirty hair or if you have a dirty home? 

No, Lice can breed on clean or dirty hair. 

 

Do only children get lice? 

No, Adults and babies can get head lice, too. 

 

Do hairspray or hair gel prevent lice? 

No, Weekly combing with a good nit comb or using mint may prevent head lice.  Hair spray and hair gel keep hair closer to the scalp, which makes it more difficult for lice to move, but this also compromises the ability to treat. 

 

Can head lice survive many days off of people on furniture, linens, or clothing? 

No,  Head lice need a blood meal every 3-4 hours and the warmth of a human scalp to survive.  When off the human body, they cannot survive for more than approximately 24 hours. 

 

Can nits fall off a person's head, hatch and cause another person to get lice? 

No,  Nits are glued to the hair shaft by a cement-like substance and are very hard to remove. When a nymph is hatched, it must feed within two hours. 

 

Can lice hold their breath? 

No,  Head lice don't hold their breath, but they can shut down their system for approximately 2 hours (similar to hibernation and to holding breath).  They have ventricles on the sides of their bodies that they can shut for this long. 

 

Are lice commonly spread through hats or helmets? 

No,  spread of lice through hats or helmets is rare: less than 2% chance.   98% is Head to Head contact. 

 

Do head lice prefer long hair? 

No,  Head lice just like hair, although it is more likely that people with long hair may get lice. 

 

Do Super lice exist? 

No, there is no such thing as a "super louse."  This is just a catch-all phrase that means lice are becoming more resistant to certain treatments and thus are more difficult to kill. 

 

Am I less likely to get lice again after already having it? 

No, Lice actually leave a scent that "calls" other lice telling them you are a good food source. You often return to the same group of friends where lice most likely already exist.  This is why communication is so important.