What to do about head lice. Did you know that Humans share their homes with hundreds of species of flies, spiders, beetles, lice and other arthropods? A new US study reports that there were more than 100 species of arthropods per house. “Basically, we are all are living with lice” said Michelle Trautwein, an entomologist at the California Academy of Sciences, although she was referring to the ubiquitous booklice, a distant cousin of head lice.
What to do about head lice. With a few swiffer swipes and lysol squirts, we believe we can rid our homes of all living things. This is simply not not true. Many varieties of arthropods have been coexisting with humans ever since we started to live in manmade structures. The vast majority of these critters are completely harmless to humans. Most of these arthropods are unknown to us, unless they become classified as “pests”. “Pests” warrant attention from the chemical-laden pest removal industry.
Chasing Dirt The American Pursuit of Cleanliness by SueEllen Hoy describes the history of the pursuit of cleanliness in the United States during the last 150 years. She argues that the pursuit of cleanliness has been closely tied to class. After the Civil War Americans had a reputation for being dirty and unhealthy. Images of being dirty and unwashed were tied to poor health and being lower class. Indeed during the early part of the 20th century, before running water, impoverished immigrants in large cities lived in filthy disease-infested conditions. “We see how cleanliness gradually shifted from a way to prevent disease to a way to assimilate, to become American”. In the 1950s “working men and women were taught by Madison Avenue executives how to cleanse themselves and become part of the increasingly sweatless, odorless, and successful middle class”