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How long have Lice been around?

Lice have been present on humans for a long time and it is difficult to determine exactly when they first appeared. However, studies of ancient human remains have suggested that lice may have been present on humans for at least 10,000 years.

heal lice

In 2018, researchers published a study in the Journal of Medical Entomology that analyzed the DNA of lice specimens collected from around the world. The study suggested that head lice evolved from body lice around 190,000 years ago, when humans began wearing clothes. Body lice are known to transmit disease, and the evolution of body lice may have been a response to changes in human behavior that reduced the risk of body lice infestations.


Evidence of lice infestations has been found on ancient mummies, indicating that they have been a problem for humans for at least several thousand years.


In written records, the first documented reference to lice can be found in the Bible, in the book of Leviticus. The passage describes the purification ritual required of people with lice, indicating that the problem was well known and widespread in ancient times.


Combs made from materials such as bone or ivory have been used for thousands of years, made specifically to remove lice and their eggs from hair.

For example, the ancient Greeks and Romans used combs to remove lice and nits, and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics depict people using combs to comb their hair.

It is worth noting that lice have evolved over time and there are different species of lice that adapt to different geographic regions and human populations.


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