When your kid comes back from school with a letter in hand, the first thought that comes to the mind is,

From where did the lice come? My kid is clean, washes hair regularly then how come she have lice in her hair?
There are a bunch of other questions that comes to the mind like,

Where do head lice come from originally? Where does lice originate from? What causes head lice to begin? How are lice created? How does the first person get lice? blah blah…

Where Does Head Lice Come From? 

The traces of head lice have been found in Ancient Egypt. Head lice can also be found in prehistoric phase. With time, it has evolved and adapted itself to the environment. It has migrated from one region to another through its host; that is why it is present in almost every region of the world. It is a parasite exclusive to humans as it can not live in animals.

Where do head lice originate from?

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But if you are wondering where does lice come from as in from where it all started then continue reading as you will find plenty of new and interesting information in this article.

While specifically talking about the origin, we researched about it and found a journal published by the American Society of Parasitologists.

According to the Journal of Parasitology, research studies have revealed that head lice have unique genetic makeup that differentiates them from other parasites. Even the genetic makeup of lice also differs from each other. Based on the differences in genetic makeupresearchers classify head lice into three types that originated from three different regions.

  1. The first type of head lice has its traces from North America.
  2. The second type of head lice has been located in Asian countries.
  3. The third type is known as Clade C Louse which has its roots in Australia and South Pacific Islands.

How does the first person get lice?

An interesting aspect of the above research endeavor is that the host of these head lice has been voyaging all around the world for quite a long time. These human hosts are the prime reason of spreading the parasites across different regions, and this trend goes on and on.

This characteristic of human head lice is the reason that head lice become rampant in schools. Parents and schools have to work in accordance to get rid of head lice.


– Head lice are known as the human parasites, as they survive by sucking human blood. Blood is the principle diet of the head louse.

– Pediculosis or human head louse only attack humans. You can not catch lice from pets or animals.

– Female head lice can lay up to 10 eggs daily.

– Nits are tiny yellow in color, and after the nits hatch, it may remain white or clear. Removing the nits is hard.

– Head lice lay eggs or nits close to the shafts of the hair near the surface of the skin as it provides warmth. The eggs remain there until the nits get hatch. Lice prefer warm and dark environment.

– At times, nits are mistaken as dandruff as they resemble dry flakes.

– Head lice can vary in color. It can be tan, brown, or at times gray in color.

– Head Lice have never been reported as a cause of death. Though head lice suck blood and survive on it but head lice infestation is not a life-threatening condition.

– It may take around 1 to 2 weeks for nits to be hatched. The head lice can only survive for 24 hours to 48 hours without a host.

– Head lice infestation can occur to anyone irrespective of gender, hygiene, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.

– Generally, males are less infested with lice as compared to females as they have short hair.

– In the US, approximately 6-12 million people are reported to be treated for head lice removal treatment every year.

–  Head lice infestation is usually common in school-going kids or pre-school kids.


– Head lice can not fly, so it is a misconception that head lice transfer from one head to another head. It just spread by having close contact with the person infested with head lice.

– Some people believe that it is caused due to unhygienic conditions or not be taking care and washing hair properly. But to your surprise, head lice do not spread due to these reasons.

– Head lice have can affect clean hair and healthy scalp as well. However, for head lice, it is hard to move in an oily or greasy scalp.

– Another misconception is that lice infestations occur due to the poor hygiene. As mentioned above, head lice are not attracted by dirt or unwashed hair rather it prefers clean hair as it is easy to move and crawl in a clear scalp.

– Head lice are parasites that live on the scalps of humans, not on their body. It does not live on animals. Don’t be afraid of your pets.

– African Americans don’t get head lice is a myth. They have oval hair follicles that make a bit difficult for the lice to move but now it is common if an African American gets head lice.

 Head Lice & Lice Eggs 

What are lice?

It’s a common question that may arise in mind that where do lice come from? Whenever we think about head lice, we should consider them as parasites. They particularly spread from sharing other people’s comb, scarf, headphones, or ear plugs, who have head lice.

How are lice created?

Lice lay eggs close to the individual hair shaft. The head lice eggs take 7 to 10 days to hatch and after hatching the nymphs passes through three development stages to mature completely. Head lice transfer from other humans who are infested with head lice or when an uninfected person comes in contact with an infected person.

How much blood lice sucks?

The adult lice require a host to survive on its blood. It sucks the blood four to five times every day. A single feeding session of lice is subtle i.e. from 0.0000387 ml to 0.0001579 ml of blood.

Can head lice live on pillows and sheets?

Head lice live in the scalp, however, they are now adapting to the changing environment as it has been observed that now lice moves through the clothing of the infected person. Head lice also lay eggs in beds and on pillows and then reach the host.

How long can lice survive without a host?

The travel time of lice is slow and if the head lice do not find a host within 24 to 48 hours, it may not be able to get feed. Consequently, it will starve to death.

How does lice spread from one person to another?

Some of you might think that head lice or lice eggs spread through air or water, however, the fact is that they do not originate from air, ground or water. Rather it requires a host who can provide it blood to survive, a shelter and an adequate place to reproduce.

Unfortunately, these favorable conditions are only found in human beings. Human hair is the ideal place for head lice. It sticks its legs to the hair shaft as it sucks the blood of their host to survive and reproduce quickly.

Lice infestation in schools and house

Every one of us has to deal with this issue in our school years. Hence, it is important for everyone to know how it spreads, what to do to counter this condition and how to protect yourself from being reinfested.

 How Do You Know If You Have Lice? 

Extreme itchy scalp and an urge to scratch head or area around the neck can be a possible sign of the presence of head lice.

When the lice suck blood from the scalp, it causes a tingling feeling. In such case, when you have a frequent urge to scratch your head just check if your head is clear of nits and head lice or not.

The ugly part of head lice infestation is that even taking a shower every day and keeping your hair clean doesn’t mean that you cannot get head lice. You are still at a chance to get infested by nits and nymphs because head lice spread from another person inflicted by head lice.