If you have researched lice for any amount of time, you have no doubt run into some trouble trying to sort fact from fiction.  Online information can be spotty as it is, but when you when you take a subject like lice that has been debated for years, it becomes especially challenging to figure out what is true.   

Check out this great article from News4Jax.com that looks into takes a look at some of the most common myths about lice.  

** Note.  This article was published in 2010.  Most of the information is still as relevant today as ever, but we would encourage you to read another article we posted here, that shows a French study indicating number eight might not be a myth after all.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Head lice is one of the top reasons children miss school, and it can take days to get rid of eggs
that the lice lay.

Here’s a look at the eight most common myths about the parasites.

No. 1: Brushes spread lice.

According to lice experts at Harvard, combs, brushes, headphones, hats and helmets rarely
spread lice. Instead, it’s the tumbling, playing and hugging that are often the
channels for spreading lice. Most cases of head lice are spread by direct
head-to-head contact.

No. 2: Dirty kids spread lice.

Head lice has no preference for dirty hair or clean hair. In fact, the expert said
if you wash your hair three times a day, the lice on your head will just be
clean lice.

No. 3: Pets spread lice.

That’s not the case at all. Head lice only like human blood, experts said.

No. 4: Cleaning your house will get rid of the parasites.

Head lice cannot survive for more than a day without a meal of human blood, so
according to the experts, the parasite is not going to let go of your hair. The
chances of a louse being on a bed or in a car seat are incredibly small.

No. 5: Lice can be suffocated with olive oil or Vaseline.

The experts said lice are extremely hard to suffocate, and there are no studies to
date that suggest this technique is any more effective.

No. 6: Shaving your child’s head is the best way to get rid of lice.

Doing this will completely get rid of lice eggs, but experts said it’s a needless
tactic when there are so many other effective and less drastic ways to solve
the problem.

No. 7: Head lice can kill.

That’s not true, either. Don’t confuse what you’ve heard about body lice with head
lice. Head lice is a nuisance, but it does not make your children sick.

No. 8: Insecticide shampoos can be toxic.

Experts said only lice should fear the products. Experts recommend treating lice with
FDA registered over-the-counter treatments containing pyrethrin.

If you find that doesn’t work, the next step is a prescription shampoo containing either malathion or lindane. When used properly, they are valuable and low-risk pesticides.

Copyright 2010 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved.