Head lice are quite innocent insects.
The main damage they do, are psychological, social damage, caused by unnecessary shame and fear.
However a largely underestimated harm associated with head lice, results from the well-intentioned but misguided use of caustic or toxic substances to eliminate the lice.
All this can be prevented by better information about ‘having lice’ and by making more time available for eh, shaking hands (eh combs) with lice?!
Head lice prevail as long as man exist and head lice are common everywhere in the World, in all social classes.
About 7000 BC old nits (lice eggs) were found, in caves in the dessert from Judea. Lice were found at Egyptian mummies and at victims of the eruption of the Vesuvius in Pompeii (79 AD). And they were seen at excavations in thousand year old Viking settlements in Greenland.
In fact the evolutionary history of lice reveals much about human history. It has been demonstrated, for example, that some varieties of human head lice went through a population bottleneck about 100,000 years ago along with is its modern H. sapiens host (Reed DL et al, 2004 Genetic Analysis of Lice Supports Direct Contact between Modern and Archaic Humans. PLoS Biol 2(11): e340)
Despite the fact that head lice, contrary to body louse are quite harmless, nobody wants to have them. Lice not only itch, one often feels ashamed for having them and children are bullied for the fact and ignored. The very thought of lice is enough to start off the itching and scratching.
To fight this age-old companion of man and fact of life, lots of working and not working cures too, are available.
When googling for lice, then local authorities, physicians, manufacturers, pharmacists, parents, schools, environment organisations all have their point.
The many contra dictionary opinions about handling lice and the ignorance about the use of pesticides is striking.
Here we try to collect all practical information available, if possible based on scientific sources to educate all constituencies about pediculosis and myths and stigmas regarding lice infestation.
Last update: May 4, 2008
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