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Untreated Lice – The UNWANTED Gift that Keeps on Giving

lice eggs or nits under magnifying glass on white paper towel.

Updated on June 25, 2020

By Karen Keavey

Lice will not go away if left untreated. They will continue to multiply and your lice infestation will just get worse.

It’s customary and the path of least resistance to ignore rather than confront.  In unsettled arguments, work issues, broken items, finances, marital problems or even what we believe is a minor illness – we tend to evade and avoid rather than address.  child peeking out of tented throw pillows on couch.While sometimes these situations naturally resolve themselves, you can guarantee that a case of head lice will not fall into this category.  As a matter of fact, the longer you wait to address, the bigger problem you’ll have.  Because with these creatures, the more opportunity they have to spawn…the more they’ll do so ---- because these insects love nothing more than to reproduce and make a lovely, comfortable home on your scalp.  So, the rule of thumb, when you have lice, is confrontation – head on (no pun intended), because, left to their own devices, these buggers will multiply like nobody’s business.

cursive white chalk letters on a blackboard chalkboard reading SCIENCE

A Science Lesson

Like any insect, we begin with an egg (nit).  Tiny in size, this speck usually attached to a strand of hair near the scalp – needing its warmth to incubate and then eventually hatch.  This takes a week to ten days – and when hatched, is then called a nymph – (think of it as a “baby” louse). The nymph then grows to maturation in 9 to 12 days.  cement steps painted with multiplication tables for multiples of seven 7X1=7, 7X2=14, etc. Once an adult, usually the size of a sesame seed (now a louse), it generally lives from three weeks to a month!  Thriving on human blood, lice live close to the scalp so they can feast (some kinds of lice live in the eyelashes and eyebrows too, but this is rare).  They climb on a strand of hair to your scalp when its feeding time, consuming human blood several times a day.  During this time, the females lay eggs, often as many as 8-10 a day. It’s easy to imagine how quickly a nit or two untreated can turn into a major lice event on your scalp in a short amount of time – as they multiply exponentially over time –and can result in thousands of nits and hundreds of bugs…on one head

Clearly there’s an incredibly good reason to do a professional lice check ASAP if you think you may have a case, and if detected, eradicate as soon as possible. Lice is the gift, if not addressed, that can keep giving.  And, if you choose to do nothing, it stands to reason that the entire family, not to mention friends and friends of friends, will all get this unwanted present.

If you are the recipient of the gift of lice, there is no need to ignore it: help is a phone call away. In Oceanside or Rockville Centre, call LiceDoctors at 516-324-2800 . Technicians are on call day and night, ready and armed to do battle. Treatment is covered by FSAs and HSAs and by some insurance plans.