What are head lice?
The head louse, or Pediculus humanus capitis, is a parasitic insect that can be found on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes of people. Head lice feed on human blood several time a day and live close to the human scalp. Head lice are not known to spread disease.
Forms of Head Lice
Head lice has three forms – the egg (also called a nit), the nymph, and the adult.
- Eggs do NOT hatch when they are off the head and they Do NOT re-attach
- Eggs are translucent (They appear brown when wiped on a wet paper towel)
- Eggs are microscopic when they are first laid so getting rid of lice is always a process (this is why one treatment will not eradicate lice; you can’t get out what you can’t see)
- Eggs attach to the hair and do not fall off like dandruff
Bugs (louse, nymph):
- You can only get lice from a bug NOT eggs so eggs are NOT contagious
- Bugs can only crawl they CANNOT jump, fly, dig, or burrow
- Bugs like CLEAN hair
- Bugs can lay up to 10 eggs per day and need to mate in order to do so
- Bugs can live off your body up to 36 hours
- Bugs can hold their breath up to 6 hours
- Bugs do not carry disease they are just annoying
- Bugs do not like light so most people with short or thin hair are less likely to get it because they can’t hide
- Bugs live about 30 days
What do head lice look like?
What are the signs and symptoms of head lice infestation?
- Tickling feeling of something moving in the hair.
- Itching, caused by an allergic reaction to the bites of the head louse.
- Irritability and difficulty sleeping; head lice are most active in the dark.
- Sores on the head caused by scratching. These sores can sometimes become infected with bacteria found on the person’s skin.