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Head lice

Treating and controlling head lice

Catching head lice

While children are at school many families will have contact with head lice. Head lice has been around for many thousands of years and anyone can get head lice.


Head lice are small, wingless, blood sucking insects. Their colour varies from whitish-brown to reddish-brown. Head lice only survive on humans. If isolated from the head they die very quickly (usually within 24 hours)


People get head lice from direct hair to hair contact with another person who has head lice.  This can happen when people play, cuddle or work closely together. Head lice do not have wings or jumping legs so they cannot fly or jump from head to head.  They can only crawl.


Further information on head lice regarding finding head lice, treating head lice, testing resistance, head lice eggs, regulations and preventing head lice can be found on the Department of Health website 





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