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Known since ancient times, the head louse - Pediculus capitis - is a tiny, six-legged, wingless, greyish insect that infests the scalp and head hair. Lice feed on blood, breeding and laying their eggs on the human scalp. Although annoying, head lice are not a health threat and do not carry diseases (although other forms can transmit disease). Head lice do not jump or fly but get from person to person by scuttling from the hairs of one head to those of another. Having lice does not mean someone is dirty, neglected or poor. Head lice are just as likely to live on rich as on poor people, and they are even said to prefer clean to dirty hair! Reports suggest that lice infestations have become more prevalent in Canada, also indicated by increasing sales of de-lousing agents, although the reason for the lice rise remains unclear. These tiny insects may have developed resistance to the products used to eliminate them.
Recognizing a lousy infestation
Head lice often …