doctor testing lice treatment options

American Academy of Pediatricians Updates Head Lice Guidance

Have you ever wondered what to do about head lice?

Have you ever wanted to see the treatment options addressed all in one place with the pros and cons?

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) put together an article in 2015 updating the information that had previously been available in a 2010 report. This new report “clarifies current diagnosis and treatment protocols and provides guidance for the management of children with head lice in the school setting.”

There are always new products and procedures being developed. For a parent, it can be overwhelming to do a Google search and see so many options. This AAP article is a great overview of general treatment styles as well as some specifics. Included in this report is the treatment provided at the Lice Clinics of America.

Over the course of the last few years there has been a huge increase in lice that are resistant to some of the most common forms of treatment. It used to be that a child would be diagnosed with lice at school or home and a treatment with over the counter lice shampoo was an effective treatment. Yes, it still needed to be combined with careful combing with a lice comb to remove any young lice after they hatch, but it was a good start.

However, the number of resistant lice has skyrocketed so that most of the common over the counter pesticide shampoos are not as effective as they used to be. The title on this article, “Vast Majority of States Overrun by Treatment Resistant Head Lice” may be sensational, but the article makes the point that lice shampoos simply aren’t as effective as they used to be.

What should you expect from a treatment for head lice? Is the only consideration cost, or should effectiveness be the primary consideration? What about safety? In the same 2015 report, the AAP lists their considerations for the treatment of head lice like this, “Optimal treatments should be safe, should rapidly rid the individual of live lice, viable eggs, and residual nits, and should be easy to use and affordable. Additionally, because lice infestation is benign, treatments should not be associated with adverse effects and should be reserved for patients on whom living lice are found.”

With these considerations in view, it is exciting to see something new that made the list of approved treatments.

A New Safe and Effective Device For Treatment

As part of the update, the AAP listed the AirAllé® medical device as an effective lice treatment device. “The AirAllé® (Larada Sciences, Salt Lake City, UT) device is a custom-built machine that uses one 30-minute application of hot air in an attempt to desiccate the lice. One study showed that subjects had nearly 100% mortality of eggs and 80% mortality of hatched lice.”

Lice Clinic Interior

Clinic Interior

The AirAllé® device is the only treatment option listed in the AAP report that uses heated air. A clinical trial showed that the FDA-cleared medical device killed live lice and 99.2 percent of eggs. It uses nothing but heated air, carefully controlled and applied, to dehydrate lice and eggs. There are no chemicals involved and no nitpicking is required.

Lice treatment using the AirAllé® medical device is available exclusively at Lice Clinics of America treatment centers, where certified staff use the device to remove live lice and eggs. The process takes from 30-90 minutes, depending on the extent of the infestation and the length of the hair. Most clinics guarantee success as long as all household members are checked for head lice prior to treatment.

If you want to read what the AAP report has to say, click here for the article and under the section titled “Treatment” scroll until you find the subsection titled “Desiccation.”

What To Do

Lice Clinics of America has quickly become the largest network of professional lice treatment centers in the world. Some 150 clinics have opened in the United States to date with approximately 100 clinics in 20 additional countries.

Find the nearest clinic to keep on file in case you or a friend need it or call and schedule your appointment today if you are dealing with an infestation. You just can’t beat a fast, safe, and effective treatment!

 

4 Reasons You Still Have Head Lice Even After Treatment

How is it possible?

So much time, energy, and worry went into researching what to do and treating the case of lice. How is it possible that they aren’t gone?!

The articles online were so convincing and sure of themselves. How could lice survive a heavy treatment of pesticide shampoo? Or, how could lice survive a home treatment with something designed to smother them all night? Are these tiny bugs robots that are unaffected by any attempt to kill them?!


According to the
CDC there are 6-12 million cases of lice each year…and that is just counting children. It is not uncommon to have a terrible time getting rid of these little creatures. If the infestation is not dealt with completely, it may be months of ongoing trouble to finally finish them off. Nobody wants that!

Let’s cover four common issues that people run into that keep their heads itching far longer than they need to. And don’t worry, at the end there is a solution to all of your problems…at least your lice problems 😉

  1. Over-the-counter treatments may not work. The resistance of head lice to the most popular drugstore products is well-researched and well-documented. The most recent report, issued in 2016, found that most lice in 42 states are now resistant to pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are the active ingredient in most over-the-counter lice products.
  2. Nitpicking is subject to human error. The most effective alternative to drugstore lice products has traditionally been nitpicking. This is the process of combing out live lice with a special lice comb, then playing a daunting cat-and-mouse game with the lice eggs (nits). They are tiny—about the size of sesame seed—and they attach themselves with the insect equivalent of superglue to hair shafts. The problem is, that if you miss a few, they will hatch, then live lice can multiply again, and you’ll have a fresh infestation.
  3. Failing to get every member of the household checked. Too often, parents assume that the child that was found to have lice at school or daycare is the only one with lice. Because lice spread primarily from close head-to-head contact or from shared hair accessories like brushes, it’s common for the family members to share. Sharing is what we teach our kids to do! If only one person in the family is checked and treated, the lice may show up on someone else’s head before too long. Don’t feel paranoid or panicked, just make sure that everyone is carefully checked.
  4. Home remedies are unproven at best, dangerous at worst. Maybe they will work and maybe they won’t. Feel free to give them a try if you want, just be sure to keep a close eye on the infested scalp and the others in your household. You can search the Internet for lice solutions and find bloggers and others that swear by home treatments like mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, olive oil, and even kerosene (I know!). The methods vary, but in general, this involves covering a child’s head with one of these substances overnight.

For the most part, these home remedies are harmless (excluding the kerosene). They        are typically an effort to avoid exposure to pesticides, which is a reasonable thing to do. The trouble is just that the treatment may or may not work. You may have to cycle through a few protocols to find one that works. Thankfully, there is a better option.

No Pesticide AND No Lice

The ideal treatment is something that kills the lice and nits at the same time without the use of chemicals harmful to people or the environment. There is now an FDA approved device called the AirAllé® medical device that kills lice and nits without the use of chemicals.

head lice treatment clinicians

Head lice treatments in process

This device is available only through the Lice Clinics of America. There are an ever increasing number of clinics available so find your nearest location. At the Lice Clinics of America, you can be treated in 30-90 minutes, depending on your hair length, and know that clinical tests have shown the effectiveness of this method. Make a note of your nearest clinic for future reference or make an appointment today if you are dealing with an infestation. Lice do not have to be a persistent problem lasting weeks or months!

lice clinic car temecula

Catch this Bug for a Discount!

Have you caught our bug cruising the streets of the Temecula area?  If ours isn’t the only bug you’ve caught, grab your phone and take a photo when you see us and get instant savings!

We’ll take $5 off each treatment when you share a photo of our bug to our facebook page.  If you don’t have Facebook, just show us the photo when you come into our clinic.  

Catch our bug and we’ll get rid of yours, hassle-free, with savings today.  Call for your appointment now.

 

talking about lice

Talking about Lice with Other Parents – Breaking the Stigma

Question. Do lice spontaneously form out of thin air on the scalps of children all across the world?

I think we all know that the answer is “no.”

Sharing

Lice are spread almost only through head to head contact with someone who has an active case of lice. An active case of lice means that there are crawling bugs in the hair whether they are young lice (nymphs) or adult (lice).

Yes, it is possible to get lice through sharing a comb, hat, pillow or anything else that has contacted the head of an infested person, but it doesn’t happen very much. Lice need to stay close to their source of food and warmth (the scalp) so they don’t migrate away from it on purpose.

What does all of this talk about how lice are spread have to do with “other parents?” Well, it means that if your child has lice, it is a tremendous service to other parents if you let them know. Just like it is helpful if someone else’s child gets lice and they let you and the rest of the class know.

No one gets lice just by being in the same room as someone with lice. No one gets lice from shaking the hand of an infested person. Once again, lice are almost exclusively spread by head to head contact. It is entirely possible to prevent head to head contact when there is a known case of lice.

The crawling lice can be brushed out with a specially made lice comb and then precautions can be taken to avoid their hair coming in contact with someone else’s hair. Perhaps the child dealing with lice wears a hat. Or, for a child with longer hair, their hair can be pulled up with some kind of a hat over the top.

The eggs of lice will generally not spread from one person to another. When lice lay eggs, the eggs (nits) are attached to a shaft of hair with a glue-like substance ensuring that the nit will stay in place. Until that nit hatches it isn’t going anywhere. So if steps are taken to pull out any crawling lice present in the hair, there is no real risk of spreading lice. This is why the CDC does not support schools from keeping children at home with just the presence of nits and no crawling lice.

Dealing With Embarrassment

hang head in shameOne hurdle to get over when it comes to telling other parents that your child has lice is embarrassment. Some people associate lice with poor hygiene or unsanitary home conditions. No one wants to invite the judgment of others so it may feel easier to just try to hide a lice infestation. However, poor hygiene and unsanitary conditions have nothing to do with lice.

Lice need access to blood meals along with the warmth coming from the scalp to survive. The cleanliness of a home or person has no correlation to these two factors. Getting lice simply comes down to head to head contact, or more specifically, hair to hair contact with someone who already has an active case of lice.

The conclusion, then, is that lice can be dealt with much more effectively when it is known that there is an infestation. And it is easier to let other parents know that your child has lice when you understand that a case of lice is no reflection whatsoever on your parenting! When letting other parents know about a case of lice, you may want to point them in the direction of this article or perhaps information put out by the CDC. One helpful page puts it like this, “[g]etting head lice is not related to cleanliness of the person or his environment; however, good hygiene is still important to help prevent and control the spread of head lice[.]”

The Nuisance of Lice

A lice infestation does not need to be as difficult to deal with as it has been in the past. It used to be that people relied on shampoos that were designed to kill lice. However, those shampoos don’t always work and often do not kill the eggs so it is necessary to continually comb through the hair for a period of about two weeks. Additionally, this method requires that your child have direct contact with an insecticide.

Combing out lice and eggs

Recently, however, a method of killing both lice and nits has been developed that requires no chemicals at all. This method is available only at the Lice Clinics of America. You can find your nearest clinic, schedule an appointment, and have the lice infestation stopped in one 90 minute treatment. Now that is something worth telling other parents about.

 

How to Have “The Talk” with your Kid’s School

Why is there shame and embarrassment associated with lice?

Why are parents reluctant to talk to the staff at their children’s school if their child has lice?

There are something like 6-12 million cases of head lice each year. Your child’s school has dealt with lice before and they will deal with it again. school kidsThey have some sort of a procedure in place for when these little bugs show up. If possible, it is best to know what the procedure is prior to any lice infestation. That way you will know who to contact and what to expect before anyone is feeling any actual worry.

Why the Embarrassment?

The first thing to consider is why there is embarrassment associated with lice. It is common to think that having lice somehow reflects poorly on someone’s hygiene. Perhaps other parents or the school will think that your home is not clean enough or that you don’t keep your children clean.

However, lice don’t care if their environment is clean or dirty. Lice simply need a human scalp with hair on it to survive. That head could be clean or dirty and could live in a pristine home or a poorly maintained house. There really is no correlation. The point is, there is no good reason for being embarrassed about your child having lice.

Lice are spread almost exclusively through head to head contact with an infested person. That means that children end up getting lice simply by being cute little children playing and interacting with their peers. Sometimes parents will have to care for a sick child because of this interaction or deal with lice, but it is not a poor reflection on your parenting! Keep this in mind, too, if it is another parent’s child that has lice.

Remember, school nurses, teachers, and staff have been dealing with lice throughout their careers. Usually they are a source of calm when parents get hysterical. They know the facts. Head lice have nothing to do with hygiene and cleanliness. They don’t cause any health problems. They will go away and getting rid of them doesn’t have to be that hard.  

Part of what has gotten parents so worked up in the past has been the idea that it is a huge problem to deal with lice. And, in the past, it has been difficult to deal with head lice. However, there is a highly effective method available to you that I will describe at the end of this blog.

Due to the panic that lice have induced in the past, many schools used to have what are known as “no-nit” policies. That is to say, children were not supposed to be in school until there were no live lice or nits (eggs) in their hair. The trouble is, nits do not spread. They are attached to the hair shaft with what is essentially a glue. Additionally, it is very common to mistake other things like dandruff, scabs, or other material for nits.

The CDC along with other organizations now distinguish between an active infestation (crawling lice) and other evidence of lice such as nits. These organizations do not support no-nit policies because they are unnecessary and keep children out of school for much too long.  

The Basics

Here is a list to make things simple

  1. Know what your school’s lice policy is at the beginning of the year before there are any issues.
  2. Remember that a lice infestation is not an issue of hygiene or cleanliness so you don’t need to feel embarrassed.
  3. If your child ends up with lice, let the appropriate person at their school know as soon as possible.
  4. Get rid of the lice!

How to Check Number 4 Off the List

That last point on the list may sound difficult, but it doesn’t need to be. The traditional methods of dealing with lice involve shampoos and combing along with re-checking and re-combing the hair to be sure all the nits are removed.
However, the Lice Clinics of America are changing that multi-step process. These clinics offer a simple and effective service that will take care of both the lice and nits in one 90 minute treatment. There are no chemicals involved and you won’t need to continually re-check your child’s head for the next couple of weeks. Check out the nearest clinic and schedule an appointment or have it ready to go as part of your plan for dealing with lice.

laundry after lice infestation

Laundry Nightmares – How to Clean Up After Lice

Does running something through the wash ensure that any lice or lice eggs are killed?

Do you need to use a special detergent to kill lice?

Will the lice survive anything short of spraying everything down with bug poison!?!?

The answers to these questions are actually quite simple. However, before you get to doing the laundry be sure that you are dealing with a confirmed infestation. It is surprisingly common for people to think they have lice when, in fact, they do not. Take your time to be sure you are dealing with an active infestation before you worry about clean up.

If you have been looking at any of the articles on this site, you know about the great treatment that the Lice Clinics of America offer. Once you have a confirmed infestation, it is important to deal with the primary source of the lice (the infested head) before you get to cleaning up around the house. After treating the infestation in a way that kills both the lice and nits (eggs) then you are ready for cleaning up the things around the house that have come in contact with the infested head.

What to Wash

First of all, it is not necessary to wash everything in your entire house. Lice cannot survive very long off the head of their human host. Therefore, lice are not trying to migrate around and overrun your house. There is no need to do some sort of a bug bomb that treats your entire home.

Instead, you simply gather up the clothes, bedding, towels, hair accessories, and brushes that have come into contact with the infested person. Once you have gathered all of these things together, you can begin the cleaning process.

Washing Procedure

The washing procedure is surprisingly straightforward. There is no need for special chemicals or detergents to kill the lice. You don’t need any unusual equipment or special training. The primary weapon against these bugs is…heat. Washing anything that has come in contact with the infested person in water that is at least 130 degrees fahrenheit is enough to kill these bugs.

laundry after lice

 

If there is anything that cannot be washed or soaked in hot water then it can be stored in a sealed plastic bag for two weeks.

For your convenience here is exactly what the CDC recommends.  

 

  1. Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that the infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry–cleaned

OR

      sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.

  1. Soak combs and brushes in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
  2. Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay. However, the risk of getting infested by a louse that has fallen onto a rug or carpet or furniture is very small. Head lice survive less than 1–2 days if they fall off a person and cannot feed; nits cannot hatch and usually die within a week if they are not kept at the same temperature as that found close to the human scalp. Spending much time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.

 

As you can see, you don’t need any special tools or training. Head lice are adapted for living on a human scalp and not anywhere else. So once it is time to clean up, you can rest assured that some simple cleaning is enough.

The Initial Treatment

Once again, the clean up and laundry is only helpful if the infestation has been taken care of. Lice cannot continue to multiply their population on a pillow or in the carpet, they need the human head. The Lice Clinics of America offer a quick and easy solution that takes all the worry out of treatment. There are no chemicals used in the process so there are no side effects for the person or the environment. In addition, both the lice and nits are killed, and it only takes about 90 minutes. Call your nearest clinic and take the first and most important step toward completely removing your lice problem.

bath time during lice outbreak

Bath Time

If your child gets lice, you want to find out everything you can about these little critters.

It’s natural to want to learn as much as possible.  Lice are depicted as mysterious mega-monster bugs that can show up from out of nowhere!

Thankfully, lice do not need to be as scary as they can seem. However, learning more about how lice can be transmitted from person to person helps you to deal effectively with the situation at hand. One question that comes up is about bath time.

If you have more than one child you may wonder if it is ok to bathe both children at once. And what about swimming pools? Or you may wonder if a good bath will take care of the lice problem all together.

A Good Bath

A good bath does so much. It gets your child clean by getting off all the dirt and germs that kids inevitably get all over themselves, but is shower the lice awayit enough to handle lice? Or if you have one child with lice, will it transfer the lice to your other kids?

Most bugs that would somehow end up in your child’s hair would come right off in water, especially if you add in a good scrub with shampoo. So it seems natural that a thorough job of scrubbing your child’s hair and scalp could get rid of lice.


However, lice hold on for dear life. Head lice are specifically adapted to being able to hold on to head hair, which is why head lice are only found on human heads. You don’t even need to worry about getting head lice from your dog because of how specifically adapted head lice are to human head hair.

When it comes to the bath, this means that those lice are really good at holding on to the hair. They won’t often wash out like other things children may get in their hair. Additionally, there are the eggs that are essentially glued onto the hair that water just won’t remove.

So if you are hoping that a good head scrub will get rid of lice, unfortunately, the answer is that it won’t. The silver lining, however, is that because of how well lice hang onto hair, it is not very common to get lice from sharing a bath or swimming pool with an infested person.

Even though it is uncommon, the CDC does state that it is possible for lice to survive underwater for significant periods of time making it possible, though not likely, for lice to spread in water. Here is what the CDC says, “Data show that head lice can survive under water for several hours but are unlikely to be spread by the water in a swimming pool. Head lice have been seen to hold tightly to human hair and not let go when submerged under water. Chlorine levels found in pool water do not kill head lice.”

The take-away is that it is a good idea to avoid sharing a bath with someone that has a lice infestation. Even though the chances of getting lice through a shared bath is low, if you know that one of your children has lice it is best to keep them out of the bath with your other children. At the same time, because the chances of getting lice through sharing water is so low, don’t feel worried about public pools.

After the bath, the questions of towels and brushes c me up.bath towels As mentioned before, lice are very well adapted to clinging to hair. They aren’t easy to remove. So while the lice will do everything in their power to stay in the hair of the infested person, it is certainly possible that a towel will pick some up or that a hairbrush will dislodge a louse or two. For that reason, it is best to avoid sharing things that come into direct contact with an infested person’s head.

Better than a Bath

For treating lice, you need something more effective than a bath. You need something that kills both the lice and the eggs. Most lice shampoos only kill the already hatched lice leaving behind the eggs that will hatch in a few more days.

No worries! Look up the nearest Lice Clinics of America location and schedule an appointment. Their sophisticated treatment is quick, easy, effective, and uses no chemicals. In about 90 minutes, the treatment will take care of both the lice and eggs so you can get back to life as usual!

 

Pesticides dangerous

Pesticides and the Threat to Human Health

Pesticides are not meant to be healthy.

 

They are designed specifically to kill bugs. Now, a bug is much smaller than a human being (hopefully!) so a lethal dose of a pesticide to a bug is not going to be a lethal dose to a human. However, at what point does human exposure to pesticide cause harmful things to happen?

An article published in April of 2017 reports on a study designed to determine how the pyrethroid family of chemicals affected puberty in boys. pesticides effect puberty in boys.

This family of pesticides is widely used in things like lice shampoos and, according to the article, accounts for about 30% of insecticide use around the world.

How Do You Come in Contact With These Chemicals?

Because of the wide use of these chemicals, there is exposure to them in everyday life. The article notes, “Pyrethroids are difficult to avoid, as they are present in soil, air and water.” In addition, they are common ingredients in lice shampoos and mosquito sprays.

The study found that those boys with greater signs of pyrethroid exposure, as measured through a metabolite in urine, had an increased chance for early puberty. Early puberty is associated with a number of problems that can show up later in life.

 

What Can You Do?

Let’s consider what can be done on two levels. First, you can avoid direct exposure to these chemicals through mosquito sprays, lice shampoos, and other products. Second, as a nation or as humanity, we can choose products that do not make use of these chemicals. This way, over time, our exposure to these chemicals in soil, air, and water will be reduced.

Catch 22

But what do you do if you or your child ends up with lice? Exposure to a pesticide is not good, but neither is having lice!

check for head lice
The Lice Clinics of America have a FDA approved, proven device that quickly and effectively kills off lice and their eggs without the use of pesticides or other chemicals. It is safe for you and your family and safe for the environment.  Give us a call at our Temecula Clinic! 

warning of lice

A Step-By-Step Guide to Checking For Lice

Lice.

Nobody wants to have lice. Nobody wants their children to have lice.

So how do you check for lice? How do you confirm that your child has an active infestation that needs to be immediately treated?

Misdiagnosis is Common

It may be surprising to realize that it is common to misdiagnose lice. It is even common for doctors and nurses to misdiagnose a lice infestation.

One study had 614 submissions of evidence for lice. Physical evidence for the infestation was sent in and evaluated. From all of those submissions, 41% had nothing at all to do with lice. Additionally, about half of the remaining submissions did not seem to prove an active infestation.

That is to say, most of the submissions were not evidence of active lice infestation at all. No treatment was necessary.

It would be tough to give a definitive answer for why misdiagnosis is so common, but the extreme aversion to lice probably plays a significant role. We, as a society, seem to be so spooked by lice that almost anything small in your hair will make your head itch. Just reading an article like this might make your head itch!

The thing is, lice don’t need to be so spooky. They don’t cause disease and they are actually pretty easy to deal with if you take care of the lice and nits (eggs) with the proper treatment (more on this treatment at the end).

Take a deep breath and spend the time to follow this step-by-step guide in order to check for lice. Proper and effective treatment starts with an accurate diagnosis so take your time!

Step-By-Step Guide

Before getting to the actual steps involved in checking for lice it is important to establish what counts as an infestation. The CDC states that the gold standard for diagnosing an active infestation is by finding a living louse (adult) or nymph (young louse). The article states, “The diagnosis of head lice infestation is best made by finding a live nymph or adult louse on the scalp or hair of a person.” The article goes on to say that even finding eggs does not confirm an infestation, “finding nits attached firmly within ¼ inch of the base of hair shafts suggests, but does not confirm, the person is infested.”

First, as mentioned previously, take a deep breath and remember that lice are not the end of the world. If you do find evidence of an active infestation, it can be dealt with quickly, painlessly, and without much trouble at all. So approach this guide with calm and your diagnosis will be more accurate.

Second, go to the store and buy a louse comb if you don’t already have one. I know that it will take time to get this specialized comb, but refer again to step one and remember that lice don’t need to be so scary! You can afford the time it takes to get this tool.

Comb out treatment for head lice

Third, get the hair of whoever is going to be inspected wet. You can have them take a shower and use conditioner or you can just get the hair wet. It is also possible to inspect for lice with dry hair, but wet hair makes it easier.

Fourth, be sure to sit in a well lit area and carefully comb through all sections of hair. Start with the comb at the scalp and slowly pull the comb through the hair from the scalp to the end of the hair. The special lice combs have teeth that are close enough together that they will catch eggs or live lice so that you can see them. Watch carefully as you pull the comb through.

Check over the whole head for live lice and nits. It is common to find nits along the nape of the neck and behind the ears, but they can be anywhere. Don’t forget to check eyebrows and eyelashes too.

Fifth, be sure that you know what you are looking for. Dandruff, scabs, and other things that can be in hair are often confused for lice or nits. Click here for pictures of what to look for.

What to do next

If you don’t find evidence of an infestation…whew! You may want to check again in a couple of days just to be sure that you didn’t miss anything the first time around.  Another option is to join us at our clinic for a professional head check. We will be able to quickly diagnos if you do have lice and treat you 
If you do find evidence for an infestation, there is an easy solution. The Lice Clinics of America have a quick, painless, and chemical free treatment that kills both lice and nits. It’s simple and effective. Find the nearest clinic and schedule an appointment. Your infestation will be over before you know it!

can dogs get lice?

Can You Get Head Lice From Your Dog?

So much hair.

Completely covered in hair and so many breeds shed all over the place. Is it possible to get lice from dog hair? Can these cuddly creatures bring lice into your house and spread it to everyone?

Fido runs out the door and rubs up against who knows what. Plants, garbage, other dogs…your pet is in contact with all of it. And there is no amount of explanation that will keep your dog from acting like a dog! She is a dog, afterall.

Bugs of all sorts are associated with the sorts of places dogs like to be outside. Dogs can pick up fleas or ticks, so surely they can bring lice into the house, right?

Can Dogs Get Lice?

It is not too common, but dogs can, in fact, get lice. Typically, a dog will get a lice infestation when coming into contact with another dog that is already infested.

Dogs becoming infested with lice and transferring the infestation to people is such a reasonable idea. But before I give you a straight answer, let me give you a little background so that the answer will make sense.

Head Lice Specialization

There are a few different types of lice, but we are talking about head lice here.

Lice live off of their host. They need the body heat and the blood of their host in order to survive. They cannot survive for more than a couple of days apart from a blood meal. That is to say, unsanitary conditions have nothing to do with the presence of lice. Lice cannot survive off of garbage, for example. They need their host, so the transfer of lice is almost exclusively from direct contact with an infested host.

Going back to lice on dogs, the information above shows that you don’t have to worry about lice just because your dog rolls in the dirt or digs through a garbage can…just worry about a good bath!

The second thing to point out is that lice species are adapted for their specific host. The specificity seems to come in their claws. The claws of species of lice are adapted to be able to hold onto particular types of hair and not others.

One article traces the history of head lice we have here in North America. These lice are adapted so specifically to European descendents that they seem to have trouble holding onto the hair of African Americans. This fact is part of why there is the somewhat misleading belief that black people can’t get head lice, but that is a different article.  

Now back to our discussion of lice transferring from dogs to humans.

Can Dogs Transfer Lice to Humans?

The short answer, as you may have figured out by now, is no. Lice are so specifically adapted to their host that they cannot transfer from one species to another.

Yes, your dog can get lice.

Yes, you can get lice.

No, you don’t need to worry about transferring between you and your best friend.

For humans, head lice is transferred, almost exclusively, by direct head to head contact with an infested person. That infested person may even have pristine hygiene.

If you do end up getting head lice the first thing to do is to remember not to blame your dog!

lice from dogs

Good dog!

In fact, consider spending a few minutes petting your dog to relax. Treating lice does not need to be that big of a deal anymore.

Next, look up the nearest Lice Clinics of America facility. Schedule an appointment and in about 90 minutes you can have your lice infestation ended. The Lice Clinics of America use a fantastic device that kills both lice and nits without needing to use chemicals. The lice will be gone and you won’t be exposed to harmful chemicals.