FAQ: Can Head Lice Fly, Jump and Live For Long?

Head lice: the bane of our existence. The taboo. The monsters that lurk inside our manes. And the source of every parent’s nightmare.

It’s a “forbidden subject”—not exactly party conversation starters (Imagine going: Hi, how are you? How’s that life infestation issue you were dealing with?)

And thus, this gives rise to misconceptions. Professional lice removal company Lice Busters has taken upon itself to address common misconceptions and questions about head lice.

Can Head Lice Fly?

Look! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a…louse?

Nope, lice cannot fly because they don’t have wings. Why is it so hard to believe? The common human head louse is a parasitic insect that lives off human blood. This disgusting little critter survives on our blood, and they move by crawling.

Why are lice contagious then? Lice do like to wander from one infested host to another (to find a new feeding and breeding ground). This is why experts reckon selfie taking to be the most common reason for head lice infestations, especially among teenagers.

Lice are also known to hitchhike on hair accessories like hats, scarves, headgear, brush and furniture.

Can Head Lice Jump?

Sorry, but the answer is no, head lice can’t jump. They don’t have the hind legs (or the strength) required to jump from one head to another. Want proof? Look closely at a picture of a louse, without cringing—we dare you.

The common human head louse has 6 legs, look closely under a microscope and you’ll see claws attached at the end. These short but sharp claws are designed for one and one thing only – walking up and down hair strands. That being said, head lice crawl insanely fast which is why these critters are able to infiltrate into another host’s head so effectively.

Can Head Lice Live For Long?

Termite queens are known to live for 50 years. Some even live for 100 years! Ant kings, cicadas, and dung beetles also won the lottery for long life.

The common human louse comes no way near the top of this list. In fact, this blood sucking critter comes at the bottom! Lice can’t live more than 1–2 days without a host.

So, that’s it folks. Stay tuned with Lice Busters blog for everything about head lice and its treatment and removal. You will need it!


Lisa Scholfield

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