Why are lice so tough to get off your kids heads?

Why are itchy lice so tough to get rid of and how do they spread like wildfire? They have huge claws that hook on hair perfectly, as they crawl quickly from head to head.

Head lice can only move by crawling on hair. They glue their eggs to individual strands, nice and close to the scalp, where the heat helps them hatch. They feed on blood several times a day. And even though head lice can spread by laying their eggs in sports helmets and baseball caps, the main way they get around is by simply crawling from one head to another using scythe-shaped claws.

These claws, which are big relative to a louse’s body, work in unison with a small spiky thumb-like part called a spine. With the claw and spine at the end of each of its six legs, a louse grasps a hair strand to hold on, or quickly crawl from hair to hair like a speedy acrobat.

Their drive to stay on a human head is strong because once they’re off and lose access to their blood meals, they starve and die within 15 to 24 hours.



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