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How to Recognize Head Lice

close up of adult lice louse and eggs nits and nymphs

Updated on July 17, 2020

By LiceDoctors Technician, Jessica Teague

When Jessica comes to your home, just like any LiceDoctors technician, she educates you. She shows you what head lice look like so that you can identify them in the future, should the need arise.

There are a lot of aspects about lice, other than the fact that we know that we don’t want them and they can make our head itch incessantly. So I thought we could dive a little bit deeper into exactly what lice are and why they like to insert themselves into our lives.

Head lice affect millions of people in the United States each year and while they are considered to be trivial compared to other problems, they are common and they are annoying. It is estimated that about 12 million school children get lice each year. We suspect that the number is higher because people often do not report their head lice cases.Life cycle of lice - from egg or nit to nymph to adult louse

Each louse is 2.5-3 mm long and only affects humans. Lice can not fly or jump but even with that disadvantage they are easily transferred. They are usually transferred by head to head contact but can also be shared through combs, brushes, towels, and head gear (but that is far less common).  Lice live by sucking the blood of their hosts and do so 4-5 times a day. They can live for a time span of a about one month and an adult female can lay hundreds of eggs.

The eggs are glued individually to a hair shaft close to the scalp. After about 6-10 days the eggs hatch and as the hair grows the empty egg case moves further and further from the scalp.

To properly diagnose if an individual has lice, there must be live, moving lice and nits (lice eggs) present in the hair. If you are having difficulty finding any signs but are still concerned, the best place to look is behind the ears and at the nape of the neck.

Head lice are certainly frustrating and have a “yuck” factor but they are less of a health concern, thankfully. The more you understand these little bugs, the more you’re equipped to deal with them.

If you or a family member has head lice, reach out to LiceDoctors at 559-785-0994 and a qualified technician will come directly to your Clovis area home to treat you. There is no need for lice to feed on the scalps of your family members for even one more day. Let your expert lice technician get rid of them today!