How to Check for Lice Eggs (Nits)

Perhaps your child is scratching…and scratching….and scratching his head. Or maybe your daughter’s best friend has just called with the news that she has head lice. You are now in the unenviable position of trying to find nits and lice in your child’s hair. But wait a minute…you have never done this before. In fact, you have never seen lice or lice eggs before so how are you supposed to identify them on the head?Woman with braid shrugging

Looking for Lice Eggs on the Head

There is a method to this madness and it begins with making sure that your child is in bright light. Bring him or her outside or next to a bright window. Alternatively, shine a bright light on the head. It is important to note that nits (eggs) blend in with the hair, making them challenging for a novice to find. If you see something that is glued into the hair strands and feels like a bump then you have likely found a nit.

Identifying Nits

Now that you have found what you think is a nit, how can you be sure? We recommend that you take your fingers and pull the nit down the strand and place it on a piece of white paper. Nits may appear white in the hair but against a white background they will look brown. The reason for that is that the nit has a translucent shell that houses a brown baby bug nymph). The shell may obscure the nymph in the hair giving the egg a whitish cast; on a white background it becomes obvious that the nit is brownish. The nit has an antenna on the front pointy end and is oval in shape. At maturity, it is the size of a sesame seed.

Microscopic close up picture of lice and nits or eggs

Combing Nits from the Head

The two most thorough ways to remove nits from the hair are to comb the hair with a professional lice comb (which you can order from our online store). You want a good quality comb where the tines are close together so that you don't leave behind several nits. You also can go through the hair and pull out nits. Consider that because the nits are stuck onto the hair, they may be a little difficult to pull out.LiceDoctors oil treatment

Removing All Nits from the Hair

This is the tricky part. You may be able to remove many or even most of the nits from hair. You will run into a problem, however, if you do not get out all the nits; lice eggs left in the hair will hatch about 10 days after being deposited on the strand. When nits are first left in the hair, they are tiny…too tiny to be seen in some cases. If you have read about “super lice”, then you know that lice are extremely hearty and are now often resistant to chemical shampoos. This is why it is very helpful to bring in a professional lice removal service. An experienced lice technician will have the expertise to check, identify, comb, and remove all nits from the hair. A reputable lice removal service will offer a full guarantee on the treatment and educate you on ways to help prevent future lice infestations. If you are in Northwest Arkansas, whether in Fayetteville or Bentonville, Rogers or Springdale, or any nearby areas, a LiceDoctors technician will come to your home as soon as you need help. Call LiceDoctors with questions or to make an appointment today at 800-224-2537, between 6 am and 11 pm, 365 days a year.

LiceDoctors Professional Technician performing lice treatment