MYTH: Head lice jump from one head to another.
FACT: They are wingless and cannot jump or fly. They can only be passed by direct head-to-head contact of at least 30 seconds.
MYTH: Head lice prefer long hair.
FACT: Head lice have no preference for long or short hair.
MYTH: Pets can carry head lice.
FACT: Head lice are human parasites, and so can only survive on human blood.
MYTH: Head lice carry diseases.
FACT: They may cause itchiness to the scalp after a prolonged infestation, which in turn may infect the skin, but they don’t carry any diseases.
MYTH: Keeping your head underwater will kill head lice.
FACT: Head lice cannot be washed away or drowned. They can actually survive under water for up to two hours.
MYTH: Itching is the first sign of head lice.
FACT: About one in three people will have an itchy scalp, so it is possible to have head lice without any symptoms. Itching can also take weeks to develop.
MYTH: Spring-cleaning the house will get rid of head lice.
FACT: Head lice do not survive long away from the scalp. It is not necessary to wash all household linen, only the affected person’s pillowcase.
MYTH: You should use treatment as a preventative measure.
FACT: Only use treatment when live lice are discovered. Products used to treat head lice do not prevent future infestation and discovery of eggs may be from a previous case.
MYTH: You need to see a doctor to successfully treat head lice.
FACT: Head lice can be successfully treated at home with careful combing and over-the-counter treatments.
MYTH: Shaving a child’s head is the best way to remove head lice.
FACT: Lice can live in hair as short as 3mm, so it won’t necessarily help when hair grows back.