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Where do lice come from?

Have you noticed the presence of lice in your hair? When you will come across the need to find answers to the question, “where do lice come from?” Keep on reading this article and we will provide you with all the details that you need to know. 

What Are Lice?

Lice are an extremely contagious insect parasite that you can find out in the world. These insects are harmless. In fact, body lice carry diseases, but head lice that you can find in your home don’t tend to carry diseases. These are microscopic insects and they tend to live in your hair. While living close to the scalp, they feed on human blood.

It is important for lice to feed from another living body to ensure their survival. That’s the main reason why head lice tend to stay in your hair. They will be able to get their food from your scalp. Head lice who live in your hair aren’t airborne. They are not capable of flying. On the other hand, they are not in a position to live too far from the host as well. They cling into your hair stands when you are bathing. No matter what, you will come across the need to understand where these lice come because that’s one of the most prominent questions that you will have to deal with.

When you take a look at the life of lice, you will notice that there’s a possibility for you to divide that into three different stages. These three stages include nits, nymphs, and adults. Nits are the small eggs of lice that you can see. They are not larger than a strand of hair. The nymphs of lice are slightly smaller when compared to adults. Adult lice are white, grey, or tan in color. You will also notice that an adult is similar in size to a sesame seed. The female adult lice are larger in size when compared to male lice. 

Even if you have lice living in your head, you will not be able to detect their movements, unless you concentrate. A fully grown adult lice has six legs. They have segmented bodies as well. 

It is true that lice can lead you towards lots of hassle and frustration. However, they are not in a position to live for a long period of time. An adult lice will live only for a duration of around 30 days in your hair. However, you will also notice that lice are in a position to reproduce quickly. Hence, getting rid of lice will never be an easy thing to do, as you may assume. 

A female lice can lay around six different eggs per day. In other words, a couple of male and female lice living in your head can create a nuisance within a period of 30 days. However, you don’t need to worry too much about this because they are not in a position to live away from the human scalp. When you pluck up lice from the head or when they fall out from your head, they will die within a couple of days. That’s the main reason why people who are dealing with the frustration associated with lice are strongly encouraged to nit comb on a regular basis. Then you will find it is an easy task to get rid of them from your head.

You should also understand that lice are not capable of jumping or flying. They are only able to move from one place to another by crawling. When you remove lice, they will never be able to come back to your head. They can only come to your head with direct contact. If you keep these facts in your mind, you will find it is an easy task to deal with the pain and frustration created by lice in the long run. 

So How Do Lice Spread?

Before understanding the spread of lice, it is important to have a basic understanding about their geographic origins. Then you will be able to find answers to the questions on where lice come from as well.

Head lice fall into the category of clades. That’s mainly because of their genetic makeup. In fact, a clade is a group of organisms, which don’t show any identical genetics to one another. However, all the species have a common ancestor. 

Human head lice are named as A, B, and C. That’s mainly because they have different genetic characteristics and geographic distribution. For example, Clade B head lice originated within North America. However, they later migrated to other parts of the world, including Europe and Australia.

It is believed that head lice evolved from body lice. That’s because you will be able to find numerous similarities between them. They have a history of more than 100,000 years as well. During pre-historic times, both head lice and body lice were in contact with human beings. However, body lice started looking for other places to stay when humans started wearing clothes. That’s because they couldn’t grab clothes worn by humans with their claws. However, head lice remained within the head. 

But Where Do Lice Come From?

Where do lice come from? Head lice often spread within public places. In fact, they can come to your head through head to head contact. You will experience such head to head contact when you are spending your time in a public place. As a result, there is a high possibility for you to get lice on your head. Some of the most common places where people get subjected to lice infestations include stores, workplaces, schools, and transit areas such as subway stations and airports. Lice cannot jump or fly. They will only be able to crawl into your head from the head of another person. 

When lice get into your head, they are in a position to develop an infestation. Hair is one of the most important factors for a lice infestation to take place. That’s because lice are living on your head. 

You can get lice on your head even if you refrain from going to a public place. For example, hugging another person and having someone braid your hair will increase your chances of getting lice. 

There is a possibility for you to get lice on your head when you touch clothes or other possessions of a person who is already dealing with a lice infestation. Therefore, it is important for you to be mindful about sharing scarves, hats, and other clothing items. You should also be careful when you are sleeping with another person on the same bed. In addition to that, you should be mindful about the spread of lice when you are laying or sitting on furniture along with an infected person.

Now you have a clear understanding on where lice come from. Lice have survived for thousands of years. When you take a look at the burial objects of ancient Europe, you will notice that lice combs have been quite popular. This clearly proves how lice have been troubling people from the past. 


Upon realizing answers to the question on “where do lice come from?” you need to understand how to prevent them. In fact, preventing lice from getting into your head can be considered as the most convenient and effective method available for you to prevent the occurrence of a lice outbreak. Several effective methods are available for you to do it.

You need to understand that there is no single or straightforward solution which will help you to stay away from a lice outbreak from taking place. However, you can follow the below-mentioned methods and reduce the overall risk that you will have to face.

You need to try your best to keep your head away from the hair of other people at all times. Then you can make sure that there is no possibility for you to get lice into your head. There are some lice repellent shampoo products available in the market. These lice repellent shampoos are made out of rosemary extracts. If you are going to a public place, or if you are worried about getting lice on your head, you can think about using such a lice repellent shampoo. 

It is also possible for you to stay away from lice by coming up with the good habit to wash your sheets and clothes on a regular basis. In addition to that, you need to make sure that visitors who come to your place don’t have lice. Otherwise, they will sit on your furniture and contribute towards the spread of lice. 

Lice come from other people. Therefore, you need to take appropriate measures to stay away from a lice infestation at all times. This can help you to enjoy your time without having to worry about the frustration caused by lice. 

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each pest control method, product and process. 

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