Are There Different Species of Head Lice?

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There are three different species of lice that live on humans – head lice, found above the neck; body lice – found in chest hair, armpits, and clothing; and crab lice – found in the pubic area. But, there is only one species of head lice.

People are usually concerned with different species of head lice to explain how over-the-counter treatments can work for some people and not for others. One theory to explain this is that different species of head lice have become resistant to the chemical pesticides used. This is not the case. Chemical pesticides found in Rid and NIX brand treatments are not always effective. It may take several applications and is generally not safe for small children.

Natural treatments and sprays have been shown to be effective in getting rid of head lice in adults and children while being safe for anyone. Lice combs are another great way to remove lice and eggs from the scalp.

Another reason for the myth about different species of head lice is to explain why a person can have recurring infestations of lice. There doesn’t need to be a new strain or species of head lice in order to become re-infested. Lice continue to multiply and reappear through their eggs if not properly removed the first time. You should check for lice for several weeks after the first spotting to make sure they are gone for good.

Sometimes lice can survive on pillow, sheets, blankets, hair crushes, combs, carpet, and upholstery for up to 24 hours without a host human. Once you sit down on infested furniture, lay on infested carpet or bedding, or use once infested hair tools, you can easily become re-infested yourself.

Take the proper precautions, and if you see lice, use a safe natural shampoo and lice comb to rid your kids and your home of head lice.