It’s so creepy to find out that there are critters actually feeding on your blood. The Head Louse is one of the more common critters that do so in Europe and North America. Unlike the blood sucking bed bug, which will munch down anywhere on your body, the Head Louse hangs out in your hair more than anywhere else. They are tiny which makes them a bit harder to find and eradicate than some other critters, too.
The good news is that the species of lice that are found here in Arizona don’t appear to spread any diseases. In general terms, you get head lice by direct contact with an infected person’s hair, tho it’s possible you could pick them up by sitting or laying in a space where an infected person just vacated, too. They won’t live there long, tho, (about 3 days max) without a human host to feed on. Oh and, for the record: the presence of head lice has little to do with cleanliness – we’re all at risk. There are also body lice and crab lice that can be a problem for humans, too.
The most notable symptom of having head lice is an uncomfortable itching in and around the scalp. Bites can be visible between hairs and on the neck, and possibly behind the ears. In rare cases swelling of the lymph nodes accompanied by a fever may present, along with damage to the skin caused mainly by scratching. There are a number of treatments available including shaving of the scalp, the use of specially made lice combs, medical creams and even heat. If you think you or a family member may have lice, you probably want to seek medical attention to see what treatment options may be best for you.
A problem with head, body and/or crab lice is not considered a pest control issue, in general terms. They infest a human’s scalp and/or body – not the environment. While bed bugs and ticks can hang out in the environment and wait for a host, lice cannot and will die in just a few days. So don’t call your pest control guy and have him bomb the house. There are better – and safer – ways of handling the problem.