Head Lice

Learn All About Head Lice

Remember: The word Lice can make your head itch…

head lice growthHead Lice? What are lice?

Head Lice are tiny insects that feed on human blood by biting the scalp.
Pediculosis is an infestation of Lice.

One bug is called a Louse. An adult Louse lays eggs that are called Nits. Nits hatch in 5 to 7 days, the new hatchling is about the size of a grain of sand and is called a Nymph. In 5 to 7 days that Nymph matures into an adult, they are about the size of a grain of rice. Only the Adult Lice lay nits and then the cycle starts over again.

You cannot get head lice in your body (the ones found in the body are called body lice). Head lice is found on the head only!



What are the signs of Head Lice?

  • Itchy head and scalp. It may take weeks before you start to itch or you may never itch.
  • Visible lice: Lice Bugs crawling on the hair. An adult louse is the size of a grain of rice, it has 6 legs. The baby louse starts out about the size of a grain of sand. (Most often seen around the nape of the neck and behind the ears. Adult lice are very fast and hard to see.)
  • Visible nits: Nits are the eggs of the Louse which are laid on a strand of hair very close to the scalp. The louse glues the nit to the hair so as the hair grows the nit remains attached until it is combed, picked or cut out. Dandruff can be confused with nits but dandruff is easily removed. 


How do I get Head Lice?

Lice crawl from one person to another when in close contact i.e. sitting shoulder to shoulder or hair in contact with a person that has lice. Lice also can fall off one child and crawl to the next. Its possible that sharing clothing, comb, brush, hat, backpack or anything that goes near or on the head can carry a louse.



I am very clean, how did I get Lice?

Lice are a pest that feed on human blood, so if exposed to lice and they like the taste of your blood they will stay on your head and reproduce. If they don’t like the taste of our blood they will still lay a few eggs but will then leave your head in search of someone they do like.

Lice are in every neighborhood and school, they are an equal opportunity pest and actually prefer a clean head of hair. Having lice is not a reflection on you as a parent, they can infest your loved ones no matter what you do or where you live.



Do Lice carry disease?

No. Lice are just a pest that can make us itch and miserable for a week or so. It’s possible to get a secondary infection from scratching too hard and breaking the skin. We recommended using your knuckle on your finger to massage the itch rather than using your nails.

Remember lice are not dangerous to your child’s life but pesticide laden shampoos are!




What are the potential hazards of Pesticide-based Head Lice Products?

Since insecticide were used to treat lice in the 20th century, and because lice evolve very quickly they have developed a resistance to pesticides, this has created “Super Lice”. The pesticide-based shampoo no longer is as effective as it once was.

There is another problem with Pesticides in Lice shampoo, that is the long term health effects it can have. Lindane, Malathion and Permethrin have been studied and are toxic to the human nervous system and possible carcinogens.

Total Lice Control shampoo does not contain pesticides. It is all natural and non-toxic. It is safe for all ages (even babies) and it is effective in killing lice! Our shampoo is recommended by pediatricians, dermatologists and school nurses!



How do I prevent Head Lice?

If your child is exposed to Head Lice, it is possible to get a case of lice. If the lice like the taste of your blood they will stay on our head and reproduce, no one knows why lice like one person or family member over another. It helps to put hair in a bun or braid it which keeps it from resting on others shoulders or hair. Ask your child not to share clothing, combs, brushes, hats or anything that goes on or over the head.  To catch a Lice outbreak as soon as possible, it is a good idea to look through your child’s hair once a week for signs of lice. Sprays and such don’t really repel lice, it is better to check your child’s head, watch for scratching and communicate with the teacher and school nurse about outbreaks in your child’s class or grade.



Why aren’t the Nits coming out?

First you have to be able to see the nits, so sit your child by a window where you get good daylight while looking for and combing out the nits. Because Lice literally glue the Nit to the strand of hair, it takes extra effort to pull the Nit down the strand of hair and off the end. Nits cannot be plucked off because of the way they are attached to the strand of hair like a bead on a string, it has to be combed or pulled with fingernails down the hair. When combing the nits out it is important that the comb is filled with hair in order to get the necessary traction to move the nit down and off the strand of hair.

Leave the nit picking to the experts…
If you live in Arizona call the LiceLadies for an appointment: 602-558-4646
If you are not in Arizona, we can still provide you with free advice, so call us 7 days a week!


Don’t be surprised if your head is itching right now, just saying or thinking the word Lice can make your head itch. It happens to everyone…

Lice myths and facts