Unraveling the Mystery: Where Do Head Lice Originate?

Head lice, those tiny, wingless insects that infest our scalps and cause itching and discomfort, have been a nuisance for humans throughout history. But have you ever wondered where these pesky critters come from? In this blog, we’ll delve into the origins of head lice, their life cycle, and how they’ve managed to stick around for so long.

The Basics of Head Lice


Before we explore their origins, let’s get familiar with some basics about head lice:


  • Head Lice Species: The scientific name for the head louse is Pediculus humanus capitis. They are a subspecies of the human louse and have evolved to thrive exclusively on the human scalp.
  • Lice Lifecycle: Head lice have three stages in their lifecycle: the egg (nit), nymph, and adult. They feed on human blood and reproduce by laying eggs, which attach to hair shafts close to the scalp.
  • Transmission: Head lice are typically transmitted through direct head-to-head contact with an infested person. They cannot jump or fly but can crawl quickly from one host to another.


Now, let’s dig deeper into the origins of these persistent parasites.


Ancient Origins


Head lice are ancient parasites that have plagued humans for millennia. Their origins can be traced back to our evolutionary history. It is believed that head lice evolved from their ancestors, which were parasites of early mammals. As humans evolved and began to wear clothing and develop social structures, lice adapted to their new environment and became specialized for life on the human scalp.


Throughout history, head lice have been found on the heads of mummies from ancient Egypt and have been referenced in historical texts, including the Bible and Greek literature. This suggests that they have been with us for thousands of years.


Adaptation to the Human Scalp


Head lice have evolved to be highly specialized for life on the human scalp. They have adapted to feed exclusively on human blood and have developed specialized claws for grasping hair shafts. This specialization has allowed them to thrive in their unique ecological niche.

Reproduction and Infestation


The life cycle of head lice is a key factor in their persistence. Female lice lay eggs, or nits, close to the scalp, where they are well-protected and receive warmth from the host’s body. These nits hatch into nymphs, which mature into adult lice. An adult female louse can lay several eggs each day, and a single infestation can lead to hundreds of lice within a matter of weeks if left untreated.


Evolutionary scientists believe that head lice have evolved to reproduce quickly to ensure their survival. This rapid reproduction allows them to persist even in the face of efforts to eliminate them.


Modern Challenges and Prevention


While head lice have ancient origins, they remain a modern problem, especially in environments where close human contact is common, such as schools and households. The good news is that modern science and medicine have provided effective treatments to combat head lice. Over-the-counter and prescription shampoos, as well as fine-toothed combs, can help eliminate lice and their eggs.


Preventing head lice infestations involves educating individuals about avoiding head-to-head contact and sharing personal items like hats and hairbrushes. Regular checks for lice, particularly in children, can also help catch infestations early and prevent their spread.




Head lice, with their ancient origins and remarkable adaptability, continue to pester humans today. Understanding their evolutionary history and lifecycle can help us combat these persistent parasites effectively. While head lice may have been with us for thousands of years, modern science has given us the tools to manage and eliminate them, ensuring that their impact on our lives is minimal. If you or someone you know is dealing with head lice or has questions, reach out to our head lice specialists today!

What are those bumps on my scalp? Top 5 Head Sore Causes

Experiencing itchy bumps on your scalp can be uncomfortable and bothersome. It’s important to identify the underlying causes in order to treat them effectively. 

Top 5 Head Sore Causes


Head Lice: A Likely Culprit for Itchy Bumps on the Scalp

One possible cause of itchy bumps on the scalp is head lice. These tiny parasites inject their saliva, which contains an anticoagulant, while feeding on blood from the scalp. If you are allergic to their saliva, you may develop raised hives and experience itching. Typically, these bumps are found around the base of the neck, under the hairline, but they can also appear on the scalp and behind the ears.


If you suspect head lice infestation, it’s important to perform a thorough check. Divide your hair into sections, apply some conditioner, and comb each section with a nit comb. This process should help you locate any head lice that may be present. Our head lice professionals are also here to help check for head lice and provide appropriate treatment options. Call us today to schedule your appointment. 


Folliculitis: Inflamed Hair Follicles as a Cause of Itchy Bumps

Scalp Folliculitis is another potential cause of itchy bumps on the scalp. This condition occurs when hair follicles become inflamed, resulting in red and itchy bumps. Bacterial infection is often the root cause, and it can be triggered by excessive rubbing or touching of the scalp, as well as frequent shaving. Fortunately, adopting better habits and using a mildly medicated shampoo, along with regular hair washing, can help alleviate the symptoms of folliculitis.


Scalp Acne: Treating Bumps on the Scalp Similar to Acne

Did you know that scalp acne is a real condition? Just like facial acne, the hair follicles on your scalp can become clogged or blocked, leading to the formation of itchy bumps. To treat scalp acne, it is essential to keep your scalp clean and consider using a medicated shampoo to address bacterial growth. If the problem persists, it may be wise to consult a doctor.


Ringworm: A Highly Contagious Infection Causing Itchy Bumps

If you notice distinct, raised, and circular-shaped bumps on your scalp, you may be dealing with ringworm. This fungal infection is highly contagious and requires medical attention. To effectively treat ringworm, it is important to visit your doctor, who can prescribe appropriate treatment options.


Eczema: Understanding Itchy Bumps and Flaky Scalp

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, can manifest as itchy bumps on the scalp accompanied by dry, flaky skin resembling dandruff. Stress, hormone changes, and extreme temperature fluctuations are common triggers for eczema. Additionally, certain medications or the use of irritating chemical products can exacerbate the condition. Home remedies such as apple cider vinegar may provide relief, or you can seek advice from your doctor who can prescribe topical creams to manage eczema effectively.


When in Doubt, Seek Professional Help. 

While the above causes are common, it’s important to note that itchy bumps on the scalp can also be indicative of more serious underlying conditions. If you’re unsure about the cause or if the symptoms persist, it is strongly advised to consult your doctor for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist for specialized care.


For further advice or assistance in clearing an infestation, call us today!

Causes of an Itchy Scalp – Is It Head Lice?

Causes of scalp itching 

The fear and anxiety surrounding head lice infestations can sometimes lead us to assume that any itching or unusual findings in our hair or our children’s hair are due to head lice. However, there are several other conditions that can cause scalp itching (not just head lice). If you are uncertain about the cause of the itch, it is advisable to seek professional advice. Call us today to schedule your consultation. 

DEC Plugs 

If you have an itchy scalp and notice small specks on your scalp, you may have over-dried your scalp. These specks are known as desquamated epithelial cells (DEC plugs). They are creamy white fat cells that are excreted from the oil glands in the scalp. They are not attached to the hair but instead sit on the scalp and can be easily moved by your finger or comb. These oil glands can often work overtime if the scalp is attempting to compensate for the drying effects of chemical head lice treatment, leading to the formation of many small ‘plugs’ on the scalp.

Hair casts 

Hair casts are hair root sheaths that have not disintegrated or fallen off. They stay on the hair shaft and become visible as they encircle the hair strand. Hair casts look very different from head lice – they are cylinder-shaped and white. You can easily dislodge and remove hair casts by using the pads of your fingers and sliding them off the hair easily.


Dandruff occurs when the skin on the scalp becomes irritated and flakes off. These flakes generally sit on the scalp and fall off easily if you itch or shake the hair. Dandruff can also cause mild itchiness and irritation. A more severe form of the condition, when the skin becomes inflamed, is called seborrheic dermatitis. Dry scalp is different from dandruff. Dandruff flakes are bigger and look oily. Specially formulated shampoos and hair care products can help to treat dandruff.

If you suspect head lice, or are not sure – call us today for your consultation. Our signature treatment removes all head lice and nits in 60 minutes or less!

Do Different Seasons Affect Head lice Infestations?

Many people speculate about the prevalence of head lice during winter and whether their ability to flourish is affected by hot or cold weather. However, these assumptions are not accurate. Head lice can thrive throughout the year, and the only discernible pattern is related to the school semester when children are in close proximity and interacting with each other.

Head lice prefer a warm and cozy environment, which they can find in human hair regardless of the season. The warmth and moisture in the hair, as well as the access to blood for feeding and a suitable place for laying eggs, make it an ideal habitat for lice. Whether your hair is clean or dirty, long or short, head lice can survive and flourish.

During the winter, people tend to wear hats and use heating, which helps maintain the warm environment that lice prefer. Therefore, head lice in winter are well taken care of, but they do not die during this season.

It is essential to address head lice infestations promptly and effectively before they cause long term problems. Schedule your appointment with our team today to become headlice free in less than 60 minutes!

How Long After Treatment is Head Lice Spreadable?

No one enjoys having lice. One question many people have is how long head lice can be spread after treatment.

How is Head Lice Spread?

Before digging into how long lice can be spread after treatment, it is important to know how lice can be spread. For head lice to be spread from one person to another, there needs to be the existence of an adult, egg-laying louse. If an egg-laying louse moves from one head to another, the infestation will spread.

Head lice transmit through close physical contact. This most often occurs with children who are routinely close to one another while playing. However, it can occur with adults as well. It is more likely in situations that require close quarters such as riding public transit or being at an event.

How Does Treatment Kill Head Lice?

Treating head lice requires a number of things. First, treatment must kill lice that lay eggs as these are what are able to spread lice from one person to another. Secondly, it must involve killing or removing all of the eggs in order to prevent new lice from emerging.

These two steps are critical for breaking the head lice life cycle. Fortunately, your local lice clinic can help treat lice. With heated air technology used at our lice clinics, treating lice has become a much easier process.

How Long Can You Spread Lice After Treatment?

The answer to this question is a bit difficult to answer as it is situational. In the event of a successful treatment, you can no longer spread lice to others after the first treatment. This is because it will kill all of the egg-laying lice. Of course, this does require you to continue the treatment as required to continue removing any eggs and killing newly hatched lice. If you stop the treatment, you can once again become contagious.

Of course, there is also a possibility of a treatment that is not fully effective. If the first treatment is not done following the instructions carefully, there is a chance that it may not kill all the egg-laying lice. In this situation, you would still be contagious until these are killed, typically in the next treatment. This is one of the reasons why it is very important to ensure that you are carefully following directions when treating head lice.

Thus, you can technically continue to spread lice for a long time after treatment if you do not treat the lice correctly. However, if you follow directions and complete the entirety of a treatment, you will immediately stop being contagious. Continuing to check for lice and eggs for roughly three weeks is typically advised.

Another thing to consider is where the head lice were initially contracted from. After all, for someone in your family to get head lice, they had to get them from someone else. If this is someone that a family member frequently interacts with and that initial person does not treat their head lice, it is possible to become reinfected even if you are properly treating your head lice.

This can also complicate the answer to this question. In these situations, you may become lice free only to be reinfected and be able to spread them yet again. This is another reason why frequent checking or lice is important over a few weeks.

When it comes to head lice, an important question is how soon after treatment you will stop the potential to spread lice to others. In an effective treatment, you will no longer be contagious after the very first treatment. Contact your local lice experts at LCA Quad Cities to get the best treatment options for lice.


Person itching their head from head lice infestation

Why Do Head Lice Make You Itch?

People are infested with lice, which are tiny insects that live on their scalps. They are brown or black, and their eggs are white. Lice feed on human blood, laying eggs on the hair shafts near the scalp. When the lice hatch, they crawl down to the scalp and start to feed. It is what causes the itch.

The science behind lice how do they cause itching?

Human scalps are infested with lice, which are tiny insects. They are brown or black and can be seen with the naked eye. Lice lay eggs, called nits, on the hair shafts close to the scalp. When the eggs hatch, the lice feed on human blood. It is what causes itching.

Lice have been around for centuries, and there is still much mystery. Scientists believe that lice evolved from body lice, similar insects that live in clothing rather than on the scalp. Body lice are thought to have evolved from head lice about 100,000 years ago.

Lice are thought to be spread through direct contact with someone who already has them. They can also be spread through sharing items such as hats, combs, or brushes.

What can you do to stop them?

Lice are tiny insects that can cause a lot of itchiness and irritation. They are most commonly found in the hair but can also be found in clothing and on furniture. Lice are spread through direct contact with someone who has them or by sharing items like hats, brushes, or towels.

There are a few things you can do to prevent lice

Keep your hair clean and brushed. Regularly washing your hair and using a lice-killing shampoo can help prevent lice from getting a foothold.

Avoid sharing personal items. Don’t share hats, brushes, combs, or towels with others. If you share something like a pillow at sleepovers, put a barrier between you and the item (like a towel).

Be cautious around people with lice.

What are the best ways


The best way to eliminate lice is to comb them out with a fine-toothed nit comb. It can be time-consuming and challenging, but it is the most effective method. You can also use a lice shampoo, which will kill the lice but not their eggs. Be sure to follow the directions carefully and repeat the treatment as directed.

If you have lice, it is important to wash all of your bedding and clothing in hot water and dry them on high heat. You should also vacuum all carpets and upholstered furniture to remove any lice that may have fallen off your head.

Lice can cause a lot of itchiness and discomfort. They can also spread easily from one person to another. That’s why taking measures to prevent and treat lice infestations is important. One should avoid sharing personal items like hats, combs, or brushes with others. It’s also important to keep your hair clean and free of tangles. Regularly washing your bedding and clothing in hot water can also help prevent lice from spreading. If you do get lice, there are several treatment options available. You can use over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, home remedies, or visit your local lice clinic at Lice Clinic Quad Cities and take the stress out of removing lice. Contact us today!

Talking To Other Parents About Head Lice

Head lice is always an uncomfortable topic to discuss, especially amongst adults. When it comes to neighborhood gatherings, PTA meetings, or lunch with the girls, the last thing anyone wants is to bring up uncomfortable topics. Head lice is one of those topics though that seems to wedge its way into conversation at the most inconvenient times, when it’s too late and an infestation has occurred. As parents, it’s our job to have the tough discussions ahead of time though to prevent this, so how can we talk to our peers to help avoid the head lice situation?

Be Open

Honesty is always the best policy. Be open about your head lice concerns and that you would like to discuss a plan incase of head lice infestation in your neighborhood, friend group, or school system. Explain the need for open communication, if lice appear in someone’s household it’s best to alert others who may have been exposed rather than be ashamed. Head lice is nothing to be ashamed of, as it can happen to anyone and opening these lines of communication can help set the tone for infestations to come. Help others to know they are not alone in this, and it’s something you as parents will get through together.

Be Knowledgeable


Learn your head lice facts. Having some information to bring to the table can help to ease other parents’ minds and prepare their families. Often people are afraid of head lice but knowing how they behave and how to eliminate them effectively will put their mind at ease. Discuss the difference between common myths they’ve heard and the reality of head lice. Dive deeper together by reading some expert blogs or information to prepare yourselves in case the need arises to use the information.

Be Prepared


Come up with a game plan in case of an infestation. Discuss common and effective treatment strategies like those that Lice Clinics Quad Cities offer. Set up a system for informing each other or those your family had recent contact with of the situation. When a plan has already been set in place, no one will be caught off guard if the need to enact it arises. Find out your school’s head lice policy and incorporate that into your action plan. The more prepared you are the less stressful you’ll be in the case of an infestation.

Be Cordial 

Sometimes talking about head lice is still hard and sometimes there are still individuals that just don’t want to talk. We encourage you to still include them in your planning but in a kind and friendly manner. Write a letter or send an email including the information discussed above. Explain your concerns about lice and state facts. Give them all the information they need to be just as prepared as those who took place in the discussion. Send them a step by step of the action plan, as well as, a list of treatment options and a copy of the school lice policy.

Be sure to keep the lines of communication with other parents in your area open. Talking about head lice and having a plan in mind can be one of the best preventatives. Keep yourself informed and prepared for head lice, but remember head lice is never your family’s fault. If parents work together, then you are never in it alone! 

Can Head Lice Make You Sick?

Can Head Lice Make You Sick?


Head lice are concern enough without having to worry about getting sick. Many have heard horror stories of those with head lice contracting infections and falling ill. The truth is head lice do not carry disease. Head lice cannot make you sick, but there is another way you can fall ill as a result of head lice. 


Can Head Lice Make You Sick?

As we mentioned above, head lice themselves do not carry disease. If you find yourself sick after having head lice it is likely the result of a skin infection. Excessive scratching can lead to sores on your head that can become infected from bacteria. This is a very rare occurrence but should be taken seriously. If an infection occurs, you should seek medical attention from a professional. While they can be easily treated, you should never let an infection go too long without proper medical attention. 


How to Prevent Infection

Treating head lice quickly and effectively can help prevent and eliminate scratching. Performing frequent head checks during times of outbreaks or close contact can help catch infestations early on. The sooner an infestation is caught and treated the less a chance of extreme itching. Lice professionals can treat infestations properly. Over the counter and DIY treatments leave behind nits and super lice prolonging the infestation. At Lice Clinics Quad Cities, we use our signature treatment to kill nits and lice, including super lice. 


Don’t worry about head lice or skin infections, let the experts at Lice Clinics Quad Cities treat your lice quickly and effectively. 

Person looking at lice egg in hair strand

What to Know About Lice Eggs

Person looking at lice egg in hair strand

What to Know About Lice Eggs?


If you find yourself with head lice, it won’t be long before head lice eggs appear. Head lice eggs, or nits, are the beginning of the lice life cycle and hatch into young louse quickly. Knowing how to look for head lice eggs and how to get rid of them can make all the difference in getting lice free.


What do Lice Eggs Look Like?

Nits are tiny little lice eggs you will find attached to the base of hair during a head lice infestation. They are often off-white or tan and oval shaped. If you see an oval blob attached to the base of your hair, chances are it’s a lice egg. Eggs that appear white or translucent have already hatched while darker eggs are still growing. Eggs are small, less than half a millimeter, and hard to remove.


Lice Life Cycle

Nits, or lice eggs, are the beginning stage of the louse life cycle. When head lice move in, they quickly begin laying eggs and growing the infestation. Nits take 7-10 days to hatch, and they will then begin the first of three molts. Each molt the young louse, or nymph, gets larger until it reaches adult size. Adults live around 30 days and will continue to lay eggs the entire time. 


What to Do About Nits

Nits can be extremely difficult to kill. They are stuck tightly on the base of hair follicles and protected by their hard shell. Many over the counter and DIY treatments do not remove or harm nits. Our premium treatment is designed to treat all head lice including nits and super lice. We stand by our treatments with a lice free guarantee meaning you can leave with peace of mind. 


Don’t let nits ruin your day, let the head lice experts at Lice Clinics Quad Cities help. Contact us today.