CREATED Feb. 27, 2014
FTC - They may put a smile on your face, if you're not careful, your next "selfie" could give you lice.
A woman who runs a business that specializes in removing and killing lice says she's seeing a steady stream of teenagers visiting her office.
"I probably get four or five a week, " says Monica Lynch whose business is called "Lice Masters."
She has a theory about why so many young people are getting lice.
She thinks it might be "selfies."
A selfie is when a person takes picture of himself or herself - often with another person.
Because the picture taker can't see what the camera phone does, he or she will often squeeze heads with the other person or people in the picture to make sure no one's face is "cut off."
"They love to take pictures together," says Lunch of young people.
"No matter what they're doing, they like to touch heads," she says.
"With the cellphone, they touch heads and there you go."
Professional lice removers across the country agree that head to head contact - like the typical selfie - is the easiest way to transfer lice.
But some pest experts disagree with the selfie theory.
They say it would take more prolonged contact - like sharing ear buds or the same bed.
Lynch disagrees and says even a quickie selfie is enough to spread lice.
"It works very quickly," she says adding it can happen in seconds and it only takes a single louse.
"If you get a pregnant female louse, then you got yourself a lice problem."
She recommends avoiding selfies with others and avoiding sharing cell phones and other items.
"Do not share combs, brushes, hats and scarves," she says.