Can Head Lice Spread Disease or Infection?

Head lice: the bane of every parent’s existence. Once their child comes in close contact with another child (or adult) who is infected and the lice have transferred to the other head, it can take weeks or months for the symptoms to start showing up! A frequently asked question among parents bringing their children to a lice doctor for the first time, the worry about whether their children’s lice infestation could spread disease or infection often keeps parents up at night! But are lice, like mosquitoes and many other insects, carriers of disease causing germs? Let’s find out!

The Short Answer

Head lice can typically stay on a human head for up to a month and lay hundreds of eggs during their lifetime! During this duration, they are constantly passing out feces and saliva, which cause an allergic reaction with the skin, thus causing itching. The head louse has two retractable, thin tubes attached to its mouth which it uses to pierce the scalp and suck out blood. These tubes also inject salivary juices into the blood to prevent it from coagulating or clotting. But while head lice may be gross, they’re actually pretty harmless! Unlike flies, mosquitoes and other disease-spreading insects, head lice don’t carry any dangerous germs. Head Lice TreatmentHowever, a severe case of infestation could result in a skin infection result from scratching the bites. This is a very rare scenario, which only occurs due to excessive scratching like any other wound, so there’s no need to panic! Here are a few infections that could result from excessive scratching:


Scientifically known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, these are Staphylococcus bacteria that have grown resistant to antibiotics and are fairly hard to treat. A skin infection that can occur if the wound remains open for too long, MRSA can turn severe if not treated promptly.

Staph Infection

Caused by the staphylococcus bacteria that reside on human skin or inside the nose, staph infections can quickly turn worse if the bacteria find a way inside the body and into the bloodstream. The virus could cause skin conditions like boils or impetigo.


A potentially dangerous infection, Cellulitis can turn deadly when left untreated. Caused by bacteria entering the body through an open wound, the infection can cause fevers, chills and swollen glands. Medical attention is immediately necessary.

Treat Head Lice with Lice Troopers

If you or your child is infected with head lice, it’s time to call in for some professional help! If you’re looking for a professional lice removal service near you, Lice Troopers is just what you were looking for!