Head lice are tiny, wingless insects which make their home in human hair and feed on human blood. They multiply rapidly and are spread from person to person by direct head-to-head contact. They can also be spread by sharing combs, hats and other objects such as carpet, car seats and beddling. Anyone can get head lice; they are not a sign of being dirty. Although head lice move quickly they cannot fly, jump or hop onto another person; they are not spread by pets.
Lice do not spread diseases, and are therefore not a major health problem.
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Identification and Control Information
- Head Lice Fact Sheet (PDF) —Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Managing Head Lice Safely (PDF) —University of Nebraska Extension
- Integrated Pest Management in and around the Home: Head Lice (PDF) —University of California
- A Parent's Guide to Head Lice (PDF) brochure —California Department of Public Health
- Fact Sheet: Head Lice (Pediculosis) (PDF) —Minnesota Department of Health
- Head Lice (Pediculosis): A Treatment Guide (PDF) —Minnesota Department of Health
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