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Head lice are mostly spread by head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice. Having head lice is not a sign of poor hygiene and head lice do not carry or spread other diseases. Anyone can catch head lice at any age. Ask a pharmacist how to find and treat head lice. Head lice are wingless, crawling insects that make their home on people's heads. They live in the hair and feed on human blood by sucking it from the scalp. Their bite can be itchy. Their favourite hiding places are behind the ears and at the back of the neck, but they are often difficult to see. Female lice lay their eggs on hair strands, usually within 1.5cm of the scalp. The eggs are glued to the hair strands and hatch in about seven days. The eggs are also called nits. Individual lice cannot live for more than a few hours off the head.

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