Lice, also known as Pediculosis are small, grayish-white, wingless bugs, about the size of a sesame seed. They have six legs and can look darker on people with dark hair. Head lice live on human blood by biting the scalp. Lice lay oval, hard, whitish nits (eggs), on the hair shaft, usually less than one-half-inch from the scalp.
What are Nits?
Often nits can be mistaken for dandruff or droplets of hair spray. Nits are firmly attached to the hair shaft with a natural glue substance. Lice are usually found behind the ears, and near the neckline at the back of the neck, or the nape. The main problem caused by lice is severe itching from their bites. A telltale sign is a tickling feeling of something moving on the head. If the skin is broken from scratching, infection can occur.
How Do You Catch Head Lice?
Lice are easily spread where people are crowded together or have frequent contact. Head lice cannot hop or jump, and they do not have wings. They are spread by close contact with infested articles such as hats, brushes, combs, hair accessories, pillows, backs of chairs, car seats or close contact with people who have lice.
Although it’s rare, you can also catch head lice through headphones, sporting helmets or any foam rubber that comes into contact with an infested person. Lice are more likely to spread through head to head contact or shared items used on a regular basis.
Once head lice infestation starts it can spread rapidly and prompt action is needed to control an outbreak. If you have a bad case of head lice, you may see hundreds of nits in your hair.
Head Lice Infestation Facts
The life of a head louse is about a month. The female will lay eggs on the hair shaft at the rate of approximately 4 per day. These eggs hatch in 7-10 days. Within another 10 days, the newly hatched louse can begin the cycle all over again. With human blood to live on, during their 30-day life span, it is not unusual for female lice to lay close to 100 nits. Although it is arguable how long an adult head louse can live without blood, some claim it is as long as 2 – 5 days without being on a person. Nits can survive for up to ten days before they will hatch. Once they hatch, the nymph will shed 3 times to reach adult stage. It is not unusual for a person to find all stages of the head lice life cycle in the hair. This may include: viable eggs, which are dark, egg casings, which are lighter in color, nymphs, nymph moltings, or casings and adult lice.
We’re infested – What now?!
If you think you have a head lice infestation you must ACT NOW! Start by taking advantage of the tips you find on this website and Order Lice Ice today. Overnight shipping is available.