What are Head Lice? We Answer All Your Head Lice Questions in This Episode! – Who Smarted?

Speaker 1   0:02  

smarty pants. What do you do when you get hungry? Maybe you check the fridge or look in the pantry or the snack drawer. Ooh, gummy worms. Or what about climbing onto a friend or family members head and sucking out some blood from their scalp? Hey, I’m using that blood. I know. I know. You’re not a vampire and I know this because vampires aren’t real. But there is a tiny creature that is very real. Who does eat this way? Here? Does this sound familiar?

Speaker 2   0:39  

Ah, my head is so itchy. Here. Let me look. Oh, no. What looks like you have lice. Well, technically one is just a louse. Lots of them are lice. Carry on. lice are tiny, wingless insects that live on your hair and eat my hair. No few your head? Ah.

Speaker 1    1:09  

Yep, according to most studies, one out of every 10 children will contract head lice at some point between the ages of one and eight years old. But what exactly are lice? Why do they love kids so much? And what’s the best way to avoid or get rid of them? It’s time for another inch of science on smart. You SMART? SMART, is it? Me? Is it science or history? Everyone smarting? Let’s have fun. Head lice particulars humanists. capitas of the civil order through raptor are essentially low rent vampires. An individual louse from a community of lice feeds on human blood from your scalp five to six times a day in order to survive. And they are uniquely adapted for living in human head hair. They need you

Speaker 3   2:15  

. It’s true. I love you and your delicious head.

Speaker 1   2:19  

I see we have allowance in the House who’s willing to talk. So tell me Mr. Laos. How exactly do you suck someone’s blood?

Speaker 3   2:28  

Easy. I suck your blood through a hollow tube with sharp teeth at the end that acts like a suction cup to your head. And

Speaker 1   2:36  

how much do you take? Am I in danger of losing too much blood?

Speaker 3   2:40  

Not from one of us. We only take a tiny fraction of blood. But if there’s a lot of us, it could lead to problems like iron deficiency or anemia. They say the average case of lice has about 20 of us living rent free on your head.

Speaker 1   2:57  

And once they’re lice don’t like to leave their protected environment on your head. 

Speaker 3   3:02  

Nope. We can’t survive away from our human host longer than 48 hours. You know if we crawl or fall off human.

Speaker 1   3:12  

What happens if you do it simple.

Speaker 3   3:14  

We just hide out on a pillow or a hat and wait for another sucker. I mean human to put their head on or in it. Then we just climb aboard and start a new life on a new head like the early settlers.

Speaker 2   3:29  

I don’t want lies. Nobody does. That’s why we’ve got to keep you home until we get rid of them home. No school, no karate, no sleepovers. I’m afraid not. The last thing we want is to pass your lice off to somebody else. And that’s easy to do. Especially in situations where lots of kids are together.

Speaker 1   3:53  

And lice don’t just live on your head. In addition to head lice critiki This capitas There’s also body lice pediculus humaneness, which live on the hair on your body.

Speaker 2   4:07  

I could get body lice to

Speaker 1    4:10  

have you ever heard of fleas and bedbugs,

Speaker 3   4:12  

fleas and bedbugs. Hey, they’re like my distant cousins.

Speaker 1    4:16  

Yep, fleas, bedbugs and lice are all parasitic insects, which means they live off the blood of their host. But unlike those distant kin, lice can’t live without you. So they make their home on your scalp frequently behind your ears or near your neckline. They use their cloth feet to crawl from hair to hair. They’re about the size of a sesame seed. So if you’re looking closely, you should be able to spot them. But usually before you spot them, you’ll notice symptoms like a tickling sensation or feeling something moving through your hair or the itching caused by an allergic reaction to their bites.

Speaker 2   4:58  

Ah my head is so itchy. A head

Speaker 1   5:01  

lice have been around for millions of years dried up lice and their eggs have been found on the hair of Egyptian mummies. Lice infestations commonly occur in kids three to 11 years old, with transmission occurring most frequently due to head-to-head contact. Oh, my head and less frequently via objects or materials like clothing, but it does happen.

Speaker 2   5:26  

Did you let anyone borrow your hat? 

Speaker 1   5:28  

Oops. Classrooms are a common place for transmission

Speaker 3   5:32  

while you’re thinking we’re drinking. 

Speaker 1   5:35  

A common misconception is that infestation is linked to personal hygiene, which in fact has little or nothing to do with getting head lice. Whoa. In fact, it seems lice may actually prefer clean hair to dirty hair.

Speaker 2   5:52  

I’ll never be again. 

Speaker 1   5:54  

Though infestation rates are not reliably recorded. It is estimated that six to 12 million individuals are infested annually in the United States.

Speaker 3   6:04  

We’re all lice are created equal and endowed with a right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happy knits.

Speaker 2   6:12  

Did you say Happy nits?

Speaker 1   6:15  

Ah, yes, nits. There’s a whole other problem.

Speaker 2   6:19  

Wait, there’s more problems and blood sucking insects living on my head?

Speaker 1   6:24  

Yep. Unfortunately, lice love to lay eggs called nits. Hmm. That’s why it’s especially difficult to get rid of lice. Female lice live for about 30 days and lay five to 10 eggs per day. Nits are oval shaped and very small. Go ahead and touch the point of a pencil to paper. That’s about the size of a nut. So they’re very hard to see. They’re also firmly attached to your hair, usually at the base nearest the scale. It takes about eight to 10 days for a knit to incubate. Then, over the course of two weeks. The newly hatched nymphs will shed multiple exoskeletons as they mature into adults.

Speaker 2   7:10  

Bugs baby bugs, eggs and bug skeletons all on my head right now. I changed my mind about bathing. I’ll be in the shower for the rest of the week.

Speaker 1   7:21  

Unfortunately, hot water and regular shampoo will not kill lice.

Speaker 3   7:26  

Nope. Scrub all you want good. Yeah, just cleaning us too.

Speaker 2    7:32  

So how do I get them off my head? 

Speaker 1   7:34  

Good question. So, any of your smarty pants listening know how to get rid of lice? Does it require a special louse killing shampoo? Be a special lice comb. Or see garland? Huh? Well, if you said a, a specialized killing shampoo, you’re right. The first line of treatment against lice is a special insecticide shampoo, or pedicure light like permethrin that you put all over your head. Let work for about 10 minutes. Then rinse off. It’s recommended you don’t wash your hair for one to two days after use. Great, let’s do it. Ah, but a particulate only kills the live lice leaving you with a head full of eggs. Oh, exactly. So, you’ll need someone to comb through your hair with a special knit comb, which pulls off all of the tiny eggs that are basically super glued to the roots of your hair. Never heard the phrase nitpicking. Well, this my friend is actual nitpicking.

Speaker 2   8:43  

Gotcha. So, the answer is A and V.

Speaker 1   8:47  

Yes. And no. Because the answer is also seeing garlic. Hmm. Remember we said lice are like vampires. And as we all know; Dracula and other vampires hate garlic.

Speaker 2    9:04  

Um, vampires aren’t real. Remember? 

Speaker 1   9:08  

No, they’re not. But garlic can actually be used to kill real life. bloodsuckers like lice.

Speaker 3   9:15  

It’s true good. 

Speaker 1   9:17  

Garlic has an intense smell that can actually suffocate lice. Whoa, if you were to take 10 cloves of garlic roast them in the oven. Add a little lime juice and mash them into a paste then smeared all over your head. That works as a homemade lice killing remedy

Speaker 2   9:41  

one batch of garlic paste coming right up. No.

Speaker 1   9:46  

Of course, the best option is to avoid getting lice in the first place. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. But there are some things you can do to help stay Lice Free.

Speaker 2   9:55  

Please tell me Oh,

Speaker 1   9:56  

I will right after this quick word from our sponsor. Now back to who smarted we’ve talked about remedies for what to do if you have lice, but how do you keep lice from coming back or avoid getting them in the first place?

Speaker 3   10:11  

You can’t stop us, you can only hope to contain us 

Speaker 1   10:15  

In a way he’s right paw lice are out there looking for a place to live, like your head. The good news is lice don’t have wings. And contrary to popular opinion, they can’t jump, which means they have to crawl from head-to-head or hide in or on something that touches your hair, like a hat or a hairbrush.

Speaker 2   10:37  

What if I just shaved my head? no hair, no lice?

Speaker 1   10:40  

Sure, but do you really want to lose those golden locks? Never mind. The trick is keeping your hair away from other people’s hair. No long hugs are lying next to each other. Try tying up long hair wearing a hat, but not sharing a hat. Can I try your hat on or a hairbrush or comb or a hair tie or a pillow? And if you’ve had lice, you need to sterilize anything they could be living in or on.

Speaker 2   11:11  

 Okay, I washed all your linens, pillowcases and clothes and dried them on high heat. We sealed all your stuffed animals in a bag for a few days to starve any stowaways, and I checked the rest of the family for creepy crawlies,

Speaker 1   11:32  

then you’ll want to give it at least a week before going back to school to make sure no new knits hatch. One last interesting thing about head lice. The lice found on kids in America seems to be a different variety of head lice as those found in the rest of the world. Researchers think that to Laos lineages split around 1.2 million years ago. About the time our caveman ancestors were leaving their birthplace in Africa. One form of head lice made its way to Asia and Europe, while the other form migrated to North America as early humans crossed over here from Alaska.

Speaker 3   12:11  

See, whereas American is mom, apple pie and baseball.

Speaker 2   12:21  

Speaking of baseball, where did you get the Yankees cap?

Speaker 4   12:25  

Jimmy, I treated him my giants cap.

Speaker 2   12:27  

Oh boy. I better call his mom.

Speaker 3   12:32  

Oops, too late.

Speaker 2   12:34  

I’m getting the garlic No.

Speaker 1   12:40  

Big shout out to Maya and Sebastian from Wilson, North Carolina. Thanks for listening to smart bid every night before going to bed. This episode likes were written by Libby Ward and voiced by Charlotte Cohn, Imogen Williams, Jason Williams and Jerry Colbert. Additional voices technical direction and Sound Design by Josh Hahn, who smarted is recorded and mixed at the relic room studios. Our associate producer is max Kaminski. The theme song is by Brian Suarez lyrics are written and performed by Adam Tex Davis, who smarted was created and produced by Adam Tex Davis and Jerry Colbert. This is an atomic entertainment production