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What are head lice?

Le 04/09/2019

Lice are tiny little insects, with little claws on their legs so they can cling onto their host.

Because lice need the heat and blood of a host to survive; they are parasites.

Some lice live permanently on birds or mammals; they hang onto their feathers or fur.

But there’s another type of louse that only lives in people’s hair!

The lice in our hair must have had an ancestor that lived millions of years ago, on the first anthropoids, or great apes.

Over time, the lice jumped from homo habilis to homo erectus and then on to us, homo sapiens.

As we evolved, we lost most of the hair on our bodies, so they adapted and moved into our hair.

And as humans travelled the world, gradually colonizing every region on Earth, headlice followed.

The oldest headlouse egg, or nit, was found in Brazil, on a hair 10,000 years old!

Nowadays, there are nits and lice worldwide, in all types of hair, clean or dirty.

It’s estimated that over 300 million people have headlice, and not just children!

So as not to catch them, don’t put on other people’s hats and scarves in the schoolyard.

And comb your hair with a fine tooth comb every week, just in case!