Can head lice jump or fly from one head to another?

Angela Lowery
Family Medicine
No, head lice cannot fly or jump from one head to another. Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person, head-to-head contact, clothing, brushes, combs or towels.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Look! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a LOUSE! Nope, it’s not a louse. Head lice are parasitic insects, like ticks, that need human blood to survive, and they move by crawling. They do wander from one infested host to another, all on foot or by hitchhiking on items used for hair such as hats, scarves, and sports equipment like headgear. They cannot hop or fly.

Continue Learning about Lice

Lice

Lice are parasitic insects that feed on blood and can live in peoples heads and on their bodies, including in the pubic area. Head lice often are a concern for parents of young children. Lice crawl, not hop or fly, and are spread ...

commonly through head-to-head contact. A child with lice will experience itching, difficulty sleeping, and sores on the head. The child also might feel like something is moving in his hair. Prescription and over-the-counter shampoos, plus a special comb with tight teeth, work best to kill lice and remove their eggs, called nits.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.