Lice, fleas and bed bugs: creatures that make SA itch

Lice found in animals
Lice found in animals

Lice are parasites which feed on small amounts of blood from their human hosts. They have legs with claws at the end which help them to attach to your scalp.

According to a 2012-2016 Google Trends graph, people search the topic of lice more frequently during the warmer seasons.

Lice are slightly more commonly searched for than their blood-sucking colleagues fleas and bed bugs, but it seems that all of the six-legged pests get a little more frisky in warm weather.

Read: Hair-raising facts about lice

The graph shows that the peak time for lice searches occur at the height of summer months, during December, January, February and early March. Total searches in January 2015 peaked at 97 searches for lice.

In contrast, in June 2015, searches dropped to 74 searches. In comparison, searches in January 2016 peaked at 95 lice searches.

Why lice love summer

Lice prefer humid climates as they live in moist, damp areas of the hair such as the nape of the neck.  A lice plague is annoying, but there are ways to keep lice at bay, no matter the season.

1. Regularly check your hair for lice by running a comb through your hair.

2. Olive and tea tree oil are great for lice prevention.

3. Make yourself familiar with the signs of lice infestation.

4. Children are most in danger of lice infestation at school so teach your kids not to share brushes and pillows.

5. Visit a nurse or a paediatrician to ensure that your family is protected from lice infestation.

6. Soak hair care products in medicated solutions or sanitiser at least once a week.

7. According to the Lice Clinic of South Africa, you should deep vacuum your carpets at least once a month for lice prevention.

Read more:

What are pubic lice?

What are head lice?

What are body lice?


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