Head Lice FAQs

Can head lice jump or fly?

Head lice are wingless parasites that quickly move from head to head using their six claws. They require direct head to head contact to be transmitted.

Can head lice infest other parts of my body such as eyebrows, lashes, or body hair?

Head lice will only infest the hair on your scalp. However, in very severe infestations, occasionally we see lice in thick eyebrows and very rarely, beards. But generally, they only remain on the scalp because that is the food source. Body lice, while in a similar parasite “family” it is a different insect and doesn’t live on the head.

Can you catch head lice from surfaces such as sofas, rugs, or airplane seats?

Head lice is primarily passed by direct head to head contact. Less frequently, lice is transmitted by sharing hats or combs. The latest statistics show that the odds of getting head lice from anything other than head-to-head contact is very low … about a 2% chance. Lice die within 24-48 hours when off the human scalp as they no longer have a food source. That’s why it’s rare to get lice from sitting on a sofa or in an airplane seat. It’s still possible, but highly unlikely.

Do Tea Tree,  Mayonnaise, or olive oil kill head lice?

NO. Tea tree oil and other various scents may help to repel head lice because they aren’t drawn to the smell, but it does not kill them. Never use essential oils in full strength for the purposes of dealing with lice. They can be diluted and useful but still we recommend never using them to attempt to “kill lice.” There are no studies that show mayonnaise, normal kitchen oil, olive oil or other “home remedies” will actually kill lice. And they certainly do NOT kill eggs. Breaking thru the barrier of a lice egg is difficult. Don’t fall for the sales pitch that lotions and hair shampoo can kills eggs. They can’t. Some people swear by “home remedies” but we see clients on a regular basis that have tried every known home remedy they find on the internet. When all have failed over and over and they are frustrated and exhausted and having spent hundreds of wasted dollars they finally call Lice Clinics 805 to actually get rid of the lice because the other methods failed every time. NEVER EVER use kerosene or gasoline or anything flammable on your hair or a child’s hair for any reason. Do NOT ever “over use” Over-the-Counter (OTC) toxins and/or poisons that state they can kill lice and eggs. NEVER overuse prescription poisons such as Sklice (which is only 70% effective on live bugs.) OTC products are only about 20-30% effective now and some parents keep trying over and over until the child’s head is red, swollen, has a burning sensation and the toxin overuse sometimes even causes the skin to actually “bubble.” This is a very dangerous practice. Please just call 805-334-0951 x1 if you’d like a safe oil that actually kills live lice (including super lice) and get a lice comb and treat the child using safe, effective treatments if you aren’t able to do the one-hour signature treatment in the clinic setting.

Do lice only infest in dirty hair?

NO. Head lice actually prefer clean hair because they can hold on better. Would you rather walk on a oily slippery floor or a clean floor?

Will head lice always make me itchy?

Head lice only cause itching in about 50% of infected people. This is one of the reasons people may not realize they have head lice for a longer period of time. Because they don’t itch.

Why don’t over-the-counter (OTC) pesticides kill lice anymore?

Lice have built up resistance to OTC pesticide and toxin based solutions due to overuse. Just like a cockroach, head lice have mutated and found a way to survive pesticides and toxins. But, they can’t survive our toxin-free and pesticide-free 3-step dehydration process.

Will lice go away if left untreated?

Unfortunately, leaving a case of head lice untreated will cause it to get heavier and worsen. Head lice must be treated (preferably by a professional) in order to be eradicated safely, quickly and effectively. Most recently in the September 2020 national news, a child’s death and subsequent autopsy appear to show a link between severe infections she sustained from having untreated head lice for a very long period of time that then resulted in fatal cardiac arrest. This is a rare case, but untreated head lice can cause severe itching, ongoing scratching that leads to painful head sores, painful open scalp wounds, intense scabbing and sleepless nights due to the feeling of bugs crawling in your hair or that of a child’s.