6/17/2011

How do you get lice? From someone else's head.

Click on this link to a great study that supports the idea the head lice are NOT effectively spread through inanimate objects (clothing, furniture, pillowcases, hats, brushes, etc.). This study is from the Anton Breinl Centre for Public Health and Tropical Medicine at James Cook University, Austrailia. My favourite sentence from the conclusion is:

"We conclude that the control of head lice should focus on the head and not on the environment."

Incidently, this study also mentions how long lice can live without a meal:
"Head lice only survive 9-11 hours at 25-37 degrees celsius in low humidity and 10-15 hours in higher humidity but can survive up to 44 hours at 15 degrees celsius in higher humidity. Most head lice perish 40 hours post-blood meal if they do not get another blood meal." Cool.

Even though this study says I don't need to boil my brushes and combs, I still do. But, don't believe every thing you read about the need to put away stuffed animals or steam cleaning your house when head lice comes for a visit. Don't waste your energy, time, and money on the frantic cleaning of things. Save your energy for the effective cleaning of heads.

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