Water Boatmen Bugs: Should I Be Worried
Generally considered beneficial insects, water boatmen;are usually less than half an inch in length. They have long, flat, dull-colored bodies. Their forelegs have what look like oars on the ends. This bugs mouthparts are mostly designed for sucking, though they feed on plant material and some have even been known to eat mosquito larvae.
These insects do not bite people, and they can help to keep your pool clean of detritus. However, theres a problem even beyond the likely ick factor of swimming around with them in your pool. What is it? The fact that they can attractand are often confused withbackswimmers.
What Can I Do To Prevent Getting Lice In A Pool
While it is unlikely that you will get head lice from a pool, its essential to understand that lice are most often passed directly from one persons head to another. Some estimate that this head to head contact accounts for 90% of head lice cases. The other 10% of lice are transferred from one person to another from inanimate objects that come into frequent contact with hair such as hats, hairbrushes, and clothing.
If you are worried about your child getting head lice in a pool here are a couple of tips:
Better Home Remedies Than Chlorine
If you are looking for an all-natural way to get rid of lice then the very best and FASTEST way to do that is by learning how to do a professional lice treatment on your child at home. You don’t need to buy any lice kits or lice products, and you can be done with lice in less than a day. That’s what I teach on my page Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro!
If you’re set on doing it on your own and you want to hunt around for a home remedy then you can find a list of much better home remedies in my article 37 Home Remedies for Lice. In that article I evaluate every home remedy for lice and let you know how many lice and lice eggs they kill.
You should know that even the best home remedies only kill 80% of lice bugs and no home remedies kill lice eggs. If you decide to go that route then plan on retreating and nit-picking for about 3 weeks.
You can find the Home Remedies article here.
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Can Your Pets Get Head Lice
The good news is the answer to this question is, no! Animals cannot get human head lice. Head lice are a species specific to humans and prefer the conditions found on human heads. They need human blood to survive and thus will not attach themselves to your pets. However, there are lice that do prefer your pets over humans.;
Getting Lice While Bald
Due to the lack of hair for lice and nits to attach to it is not common for bald people to get head lice. With nothing to attach to or lay their nits on it is not common for head lice to attach to a bald scalp. They find it difficult to feed and quickly die off. Lice may attempt to attach, but the environment is unsuitable for their survival. While bald people may become temporarily affected by head lice they often leave for a better suited host or die off. Thin or sporadic hair can still attract lice.;
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How To Identify Gnats In Pool Water
Gnats like to lay their eggs in damp places, so they may be attracted to your pool for this reason. Two things make gnats truly frustrating to deal within the water and out:
So how do you know if youve got gnats near your pool?
Generally speaking, youll recognize gnats by their tendency to swarm. Specifically, if you see swarms of bugs flitting around your plants, its likely that youve got gnats.
They’re Common Throughout Florida
The rash associated with sea licealso known as sea bather’s eruptionhas been documented along Floridas coastline for several decades, according to the state’s Department of Health. Complaints tend to peak from March through August, and outbreaks appear to be caused by shifts in ocean currents.
The frequency and intensity of sea-lice outbreaks has gotten worse in recent years, health officials say, based on the number of cases reported. Because most people treat themselves, however, there arent any good estimates on how prevalent these rashes really are. The hardest hit areas are in the southern part of the statein Palm Beach and North Broward countieswhere the Gulf Stream passes closest to the shore.
According to news reports, Pensacola Beach, which is located on the Florida panhandle and borders the Gulf of Mexico, is currently the only beach reporting the presence of sea lice. Beach officials warned visitors by placing purple flags in the sand, signaling that dangerous marine life may be lurking in the water.
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Can Lice Be Prevented
Head lice are most commonly spread by direct head-to-head contact. While the chance of spreading lice by sharing items is rare, it does occasionally occur. With that in mind, you can follow these 7 steps to help prevent head lice infestations in your family:
How Is Lice Spread
Head lice cannot fly or jump. They move by crawling. The most common method of spreading head lice is through direct contact with hair of an infested person. This type of head-to-head contact is most common during play at school, sports activities, playgrounds, slumber parties, and camp. Although extremely rare, head lice can be spread by sharing personal belongings such as hats, scarves, and coats, or by using personal items such as hair bows, brushes and combs, towels, or by lying on a pillow or couch that has been used by an infested person. Head lice is not spread by dogs, cats, or other pets. It is uncommon for lice to be spread by inanimate objects such as sports helmets or headphones because their claws are not adapted to grasping the smooth and slippery surfaces found on these items. It is also difficult for them to spread by use of wigs and hairpieces as the hair shafts on these do not have the blood supply they need for survival. Although lice have been shown to survive for several hours underwater, they are unlikely to be spread by swimming in a pool. They have been shown, however, to cling tightly to hair when submerged in water. The chlorine in pool water does not kill lice.
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Dont Plant Near The Pool
Some of the bugs on the above list dont live or feed in the water. Instead, their food source is the plants in your yard. The farther away your plant beds are, the less likely it is that any bugs feeding on them will make the trek all the way to your pool.
At the very least, you should keep several feet around the pool clean and clear of plant lifeeven overhanging trees, if possible.
Do I Have To Worry About My Health
Now that youve found nits in your hair, you shouldnt panic. Head lice dont carry or transmit disease, so they wont infect you with anything while they roam around your scalp. Many people feel shame about contracting the bugs, but they are not necessarily a sign of poor hygiene, says Sokoloff.
Still, head lice are uncomfortable and, for many people, really gross. And constant head scratchingrather than the actual insects themselvescould leave your scalp raw and vulnerable to infection. So while getting head lice is no reason to freak out, its also important to address the infestation as quickly as possible.
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How To Identify Pool Mites
First, the good news. The mites that you are most likely to find in your pool are not the kind that live and feed on people. Most likely, youre dealing with water mites, which typically feed on the larvae of other insects.
Now for the bad news: no one wants a pool full of these itty-bitty red bugs because they make your pool look gross. Also, their very existence is probably a sign that you have other bugs in the water. Oh, and did we mention that your pool mites were likely originally transported there by another type of pool bug: water boatman?
This is important, because if you get water boatmen living in your pool, they will attract backswimmers. If theres one type of bug you absolutely do not want in your pool, its a backswimmer. Why? These troublesome visitors will absolutely bite if handled, and it hurts about as much as a bee sting.
Since we mentioned water boatmen and backswimmers, we should also mention other bugs that can be a problem near pools as well. Like mosquitoes, which can be attracted by the water, the lights if youre swimming at night, andof courseyou if youre relaxing at the edge of the pool.;Ants can be a problem as well because they may set up colonies nearby and treat the pool as a source of water.
Are There Medications To Treat Lice
Your pediatrician may recommend the over-the-counter pyrethrin shampoos we discussed earlier. If those do not work, some doctors suggest medications, such as benzyl alcohol, ivermectin, or sinosad, which you can apply directly to hair to kill either the adults only or both lice and eggs.
If you want to use a medication, be sure to talk with your doctor about potential side effects and usage directionssome treatments, like malathion, are flammable and should not be used with a hair dryer or with an open flame nearby. On top of that, mot all medications have the approval of the American Academy of Pediatrics. So do a little homework before committing to a particular medicated approach.
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The Facts Of Lice Series: Swimming Pools And Head Lice
Weve been in the lice treatment industry for 10 years which means weve seen and heard it all. The overwhelming amount of misinformation out there regarding head lice and home remedies that dont work has naturally and understandably led to confusion and frustration for many parents, educators and childcare workers. To address this, were starting a series to closely examine some of these myths and explain why they are not true. Now that summer is in full swing, we want to take a deep dive into two common myths about Swimming Pools and Head Lice.
Myth:;If you swim in a pool with someone who has head lice, it could be transmitted to you.Truth: Head lice do not swim. Nor do they jump or fly. Head lice hold on to the hair tightly and can only be spread through direct head-to-head contact. If you are in a pool, as long as you are keeping a safe distance from others and not making head-to-head contact with somebody else, you should be fine. Swimming or sitting near someone with head lice does not increase the risk of getting lice.
It is important to note however that head lice CAN spread by using other peoples hairbrushes, combs, towels, sunhats, etc. It can also spread if children are playing and head-to-head contact is made, even for a brief amount of time. The Center for Disease Control says:
Myth: You can kill lice by drowning them in the pool.Truth: If only it were that easy. Lice can breathe underwater for several hours when attached to hair.
Preventing And Removing Water Boatmen
The two things that draw water boatmen to pools in the first place are lights and plant matter, so they should be your focus where prevention is concerned.
Ideally, all outdoor lights should be at least 30 feet away from swimming pools, and you should use the lowest wattage possible that still provides enough light. Of course, we realize that some people may not be able to manage that extra 30 feet of distance and still light their pools, so the second part of prevention is even more important.
There are a couple of things you can do to keep plant matter out of your pool.
First, engage in shock chlorination twice a week. This will kill any organic material in the water. Just make sure you dont swim in the pool again until the chlorination level is back to a safe level: between 1.0 to 3.0 PPM.
Next, use algaecide after the chlorination is back to a safe level. This step will kill any algae in the water. The directions on the product should guide you in how much to use for your pool.
After about 12 hours, brush and vacuum the pool to clear away any dead algae, bugs and other types of organic material. Along with skimming, you should do this on a regular basis. If you can spend 15 minutes a day cleaning your pool, you will be making a big difference in keeping your water clean and safe.
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Should Children With Head Lice Swim In Public Pools
Thereâs good news and bad news here. Itâs often thought that lice will drown in a pool or be killed by chlorine, but they can survive for several hours in water, even when its chlorinated. Lice and even their eggs have pores designed to block water and many chemicals.
The good news though is that lice arenât swimmers and are in fact less likely to be spread in a pool. The lice grip even tighter to the hair follicle when in water and donât let get go when submerged.
Having said that, the most common way that lice travel from one child to another â head to head contact â often occurs during play in pools and therefore still poses a slight risk.
What if lice are dislodged in a pool?
In the unlikely event that a louse is knocked loose from an infested childâs head in a pool it can float on the water surface for several hours. If another head bobs up in the vicinity the lice might reattach itself to the new host. The chance of this happening is extremely low, but it does happen.
What preventative measures can be taken?
A swimming cap can prevent head lice from attaching to the hair follicles in a swimming pool, as well as protecting the hair from damaging pool chemicals. Obviously, the sharing of swimming caps should be avoided.
Can lice be spread outside the pool?
Lice are much more likely to be passed from one child to another outside the pool than in it. Towels, hairbrushes and hats can cause the spread of lice and nits, although
How Long Can Lice Survive In A Swimming Pool
A louse can close its breathing spiracles for a maximum of four hours! Thats impressive! This means that if a louse is dislodged from a childs head, it can technically float on the surface and attach itself to a new host. This is rare, but it has happened before.;
You might think that chlorinated water would kill a louse, but research shows differently. One study found that submering lice in chlorinated water for 20 minutes only immobilized them. After about a minute, the lice were able to recover.
Even though chlorine does not kill lice, it is very unlikely for these parasites to be spread in public pools. When the host goes underwater, the lice grip firmly to the hair. Realistically, the more common way for lice to be spread in these conditions is by sharing towels and hair brushes.;;
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Will Chlorine Kill Lice
Yes, chlorine will kill lice. But why are you asking? After all, lots of things kill head lice.
If youre thinking of taking a prolonged dip in the swimming pool as a way of treating head lice, you should think again. Neither the water nor the chlorine in it will likely be enough to kill them or get them out of your hair. It especially will have no impact on their eggs that are glued to your hair shafts.
If youre thinking of dousing your head with a concentrated chlorine solution, thats a really bad idea. It could burn your skin or eyes. There are much safer ways of;treating head lice, including;herbal remedies for lice,;heated air, and a;lice comb.
If you do remove head lice with a lice comb and want to make sure theyre good and dead, I suppose you could dump them into a bowl of chlorine bleach. Even if that doesnt kill them, theyll be dead in 24-48 hours anyway with no human blood to feed on.
I recommend you not use chlorine at all, but rather let a;professional treat your head lice.
Lice Clinics of America is a science-based lice removal company, with over 350 professional lice removal clinics worldwide. Our clinics utilize our AirAlle technology.