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Human Lice

By Rebecca Hernandez

Not the kind of crab you catch with a rod and line.

Who can forget that humiliating task your mum had to perform after being informed that there was a case of head lice at your school? Reverting to monkey-like behaviour, your scalp was duly inspected to see if there was anything crawling around in it.

Luckily these creepy crawlies do not jump or fly, but they do have immensely powerful little claws for gripping hair. And just one female head louse can lay up to 100 eggs during her month-long life, so if you don’t treat head lice quickly… well you do the math.

Oh and not only do these guys love crawling around in your hair, they are actually feeding on your blood.

My favourite remedy has got to be the electric comb which zaps the little fellas dead, followed closely by regular old mayonnaise.

The one advantage of head lice is that you usually have to stay home from school. I don’t know about you, but I still prefer maths to bugs crawling around in my hair.

Interesting fact: During our evolutionary history humans caught head lice from chimps and pubic lice from gorillas. What were we up to?

Danger of death: None, unless you itch yourself off a cliff.

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10 Feb 2009
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