Updated on August 25, 2020
We hope that you find this head lice information helpful.
Lots of Mis-Information About Head Lice and Nits
There is much mis-information about head lice on the Internet. We at LiceDoctors Head Lice Removal Service have compiled a list of head lice facts and fiction that we have learned over our 20 plus years as lice professionals.
HEAD LICE FACTS
- Head lice are wingless insects about the size of a sesame seed or smaller. They have six legs with tiny claws and live only on human scalps.
- Head lice and nits range in color from light brown to dark brown. On the scalp, they appear translucent with a brownish tinge; when placed on a white background, they are brown.
- Lice (bugs) are difficult to spot because they scoot away from the light.
Nits (eggs) are teardrop shaped—round on one end and pointy on the other.
- Nits are glued to the hair shaft and have to be pulled off.
Both nits and lice tend to camouflage in the hair particularly in brunettes.
- Lice are highly contagious and reproduce at a rate of 6-10 eggs per day per louse.
- Each louse can live for 30 days and may leave 200 eggs in the hair over that time.
- Head lice feed on human blood from the scalp up to 3 times daily and will die within 24-36 hours when off the head.
- Unhatched nits are not contagious.
- The incidence of lice and the severity of the individual cases have increased over the past several years due to an increasing resistance among lice to the chemical shampoos/pesticides.
- Today’s lice are so hearty/resistant as to be dubbed “super lice".
- By far the most common way is head to head contact; within a family if one person has it the odds of another are over 70%
HEAD LICE MYTHS
- Lice jump, hop, and fly from head to head.
- Lice like dirty hair.
- Pets carry lice.
- Just in case” chemical treatments are safe.
- Chemical treatments work as advertised.
- Lice carry disease.
- Bedding, toys, and clothes should be bagged for 2 weeks.
- Hot water and dryer in laundry will eradicate lice.