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National Bug Busting Day - Myth Busters

National Bug Busting Day - Myth Busters

While we’re all looking forward to Halloween at the end of the month, some critters should expect to get all tricks and no treats. As well as being the spooky day of Halloween, October 31 is National Bug Busting Day.

This is a day when people of all ages come together to fight head lice. Read on to learn about these bugs and how to safely and effectively remove them from your child’s head.

Headlice Quick Facts

  • Head lice have three forms: the egg (also called a nit), the nymph, and the adult.
  • Nits are often confused with dandruff, scabs, or hair spray droplets.
  • Head lice eggs usually take around 7 to 10 days to hatch.
  • The are no steps you can take to prevent head lice.
  • Head lice can't be spread from animals to humans.

What Are Head Lice?

Head lice are tiny, wingless insects that live on human heads and feed on blood from the scalp. These parasites can cause intense itching and discomfort.

They are a common problem in children of school age but may also affect adults. In fact, according to the UK charity Community Hygiene Concern, around 20% of cases are amongst people over 16 or under 4 years old, meaning it’s not just a school problem.

If not appropriately treated, head lice can cause more severe problems, such as bacterial infections from scratching the scalp, and can even lead to long-term hair loss.

Head lice can't jump or fly, but they can be spread from person to person through direct head-to-head contact. They may also occasionally be spread by sharing items such as hats, scarves, combs, and brushes, so it’s essential to teach your child not to share them.

Why Are Head Lice a Big Deal?

Head lice aren't harmful in themselves, but they can be very annoying to those with them. They usually live in the hair on top of your head and feed by sucking blood from your scalp. They lay eggs (nits) in the hair and can cause an allergic reaction or infection if they aren't removed properly.

Signs and Symptoms of Head Lice

As well as visible lice in a person’s hair, other signs may include:


  • Feeling like something is moving in the hair.
  • Itchy scalp, caused by an allergic reaction to the bites.
  • Difficulty sleeping due to the lice being more active at night.
  • Sores on the head caused by scratching.

Preventing Head Lice

To prevent head louse infestations, check your child's head regularly for eggs or nits left behind after treatment. You should also ensure that everyone in the household washes their bedding and clothing regularly to prevent reinfestation from other family members who might be infected with head lice.

Myths and Facts


Lice are attracted to dirty hair.


The presence of head lice is not connected to how dirty a person’s hair is. Therefore, it's untrue to suggest that only people with dirty hair get head lice.


Children should be kept home from school when they have head lice.


As much as your child may try to convince you, there’s no need to keep them off school if they have head lice. The NHS recommends sending them in any way, but it might be worth letting the school know so they can advise other parents of the outbreak.


Lice will drown if you go swimming, so it’s an effective way to kill them.


There’s no evidence to suggest that lice drown when you go swimming. It's actually best to avoid swimming or washing your hair in the days following treatment for head lice, as doing these in the 48 hours after treatment with some head lice medicines might make some treatments less effective.


Lice jump like fleas or fly like mosquitos.


Unlike other insects, head lice can’t jump or fly. They are unable to hop onto a person's head or any other surface. Head lice use their claws to crawl around and move from one person's hair to another's - hence they are transmitted by close contact with an infected person.


Head lice can spread from animals like cats and dogs.


There is no evidence to suggest that pets can spread head lice. Head lice are human parasites and thus can’t live on animals.


Lice can live on carpet and bedding.


Head lice live only on human hair and can’t survive for long on surfaces such as carpets and bedding.

Treating Head Lice

The first step is removing all the nits (eggs) attached to the hair shafts with a fine-toothed nit comb. A nit comb is a special tool used specifically for removing head lice eggs from hair, also known as nits.

Treatment Options

Lyclear treatment lotion is the first head lice treatment that is gentle to both your hair and skin while being clinically proven to kill 100% of head lice and eggs in one application. Easy to apply and effective in 15 minutes Lyclear treatment lotion attaches itself to the respiratory orifices of head lice and eggs to suffocate and consequently dehydrate them making them inactive in all stages of their life.


Full Marks Solution Spray is a pesticide-free treatment for head lice and nits. It’s a simple 10-minute treatment that’s easy to apply and effective in just one use. Full Marks Solution works by dehydrating head lice and their eggs, killing them without using a pesticide. This spray also comes with a comb, so once you’ve used the treatment, you can comb the lice and eggs from the hair, clearing the infestation quickly.

If you’re looking for a more natural but still effective way to detect and remove head lice, try Nitty Gritty Aromatherapy Solution Head Lice Treatment Kit. It’s made by mums to be kind to kids while still eradicating lice.

Busting Bugs Year Round

You don’t have to wait until National Bug Busting Day to take a stand against head lice. Keep on top of your child’s head health by regularly inspecting their scalp for lice and nits. This way, you’re more likely to catch them before they spread to the whole family.

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