Top 10 Myths About Head Lice

The truth behind common misconceptions…

Myth #1: Lice “jump” from child to child.

Truth: Lice cannot leap; their bodies were designed for crawling and latching onto hair folicles. Lice are transferred by contact, either directly or through the sharing of haircare products, clothing or bedding.

Myth #2: I should use a pesticide on every surface of my house if my child has lice.

Truth: Off of the body, lice can only survive for a day or two. Nits that hatch will die if they don’t find food within hours. There is no need to clean every inch of the house. Concentrate on the hair, bedding, hats, toys, and furniture instead.

Myth #3: Fumigating is the way to really kill lice.

Truth: Fumigating the house is like using a hammer to put a bobby pin in your daughter’s hair. Sure, it will get the job done, but it’s a bit over zealous. Those effected by lice, your family members, will not be around when the house is being fumigated, so their personal lice problems will still effect them. Remember that Lice prefer living on humans, not your furniture. Fumigation also has no effect on the nits (unhatched eggs). Treat people first, then clean house… Concentrate on effectively cleaning bedding, hats, toys, haircare products and furniture yourself. Use hot soapy water to clean around the house and place bedding in a dryer on high heat.

Myth #4: Petroleum Jelly or Vaseline is the way to kill lice.

Truth: Petroleum jelly may smother lice, depriving them of oxygen, but it will take forever to clean it out of your child’s hair. Vaseline is also ineffective for destroying nits, so a few days after a jelly treatment, you can be sure that the friendly louse will be back. Every year we receive desperate calls from parents asking how to remove the Vaseline from their children’s hair. We still don’t know.

Myth #5: I need to shave my child’s head.

Truth: Removing the hair from your child’s head can help with lice infestation, but it is not guaranteed to eliminate the problem. Additionally, shaving your child’s head will be traumatic, and is completely unnecessary if you utilize the Shepherd Method of strand-by-strand removal to effectively eliminate your lice problem. Before you pick up the clippers, call DeLiceful for a consultation, and save your family from many a bad hair day. Leave the shaving for when you send them off to military school as a teenager.

Myth #6: Prescription Lindane is the best lice treatment.

Truth: Lindane is a dangerous, prescription-only lice treatment with a checkered past. Years ago, consumer advocates petitioned the FDA to have it removed from the market. Improper use has led to seizures and is even linked to the death of at least one child. Consumer Reports suggests throwing away prescriptions for Lindane. Don’t subject your family members to harmful toxins. DeLiceful only utilizes all natural, organic products to aid in the lice removal process.

Myth #7: Gasoline or Kerosene is a good lice treatment.

Truth: Every year someone manages to kill or maim a child because they believe that gasoline or kerosene is an effective lice killer (they are not). The volatile fumes are toxic and combustible. Subjecting your child to a gas or kerosene treatment is just plain dumb, and will lead to serious illness and/or injury. These products should not be applied to the hair (or other parts of the body).

Myth #8: Lice are dangerous and carry disease.

Truth: Lice will cause itching and a rash, but there are few serious health risks. Head lice are not likely to carry disease. Though lice have been linked to the spread of the Plague in mid-evil Europe, body lice were the culprit, not head lice. Lice are a personal issue that can cause fear, anxiety and embarrassment, but not serious illness.

Myth #9: Only dirty kids get lice.

Truth: Personal hygiene has little to do with lice infestation. In fact, research has concluded that lice prefer to take up residence in clean, well maintained hair. Of course, we always recommend a good hygene reginmen for children of all ages… but that has nothing to do with lice.

Myth #10: Once you kill the lice you are done.

Truth: Lice eggs (nits) will hatch after about 7-10 days. Lice shampoo and treatments only target adult lice, and the nits are left behind. If you don’t completely remove the nits from your child’s hair, is likely they will be reinfested shortly. DeLiceful utilizes the Shepherd Method of strand-by-strand nit removal to completely eliminate all traces of nits from your child’s hair. This method is the most effective treatment, and guarantees that your family will be lice free.

Bonus Myth (Our favorite wives tale!): Using Mayonnaise and a shower cap is the way to kill lice.

Truth: This is gross. It is also ineffective.