Head Lice Symptoms

Do you have any of the following:

  • Feeling of bug bites on head
  • Itching and/or sores on the scalp
  • Difficulty sleeping (lice are most active in the dark)
  • If you found a bug/louse, you probably have lice

How to Check for Head Lice

Manually search for live lice or viable nits….

Head lice and nits are primarily found on the scalp, behind the ears and near the neckline at the back of the head. In a well-lit room, part the hair, checking for nits or louse. Continue parting the hair in small sections paying particular attention to the areas noted. Use a metal lice comb to comb over the scalp, wiping on a paper towel to check for lice or nits.

Nits: Nits (head lice eggs) are often confused with dandruff or other hair debris, however, nits are connected to the base of the hair shaft and will not easily move. If it flakes off, it is not a nit. They are 0.8 mm by 0.3 mm (about the size of a knot in thread), oval and usually brown or gray. Nits take about 1 week to hatch. Viable eggs are usually located within 6mm of the scalp.

Nymphs: The egg hatches to release a nymph. The nit shell then becomes a more visible dull yellow and remains attached to the hair shaft. The nymph looks like an adult head louse but is about the size of a pinhead. To live, a nymph must feed on blood. They become adults about 7 days after hatching.

Avoid Head Lice: Take Precaution

  • Do not share hair accessories: rubber bands, headbands, brushes, and combs.
  • Do not share hats, coats, hoodies, sweatshirts and scarves.
  • Head lice are commonly passed by head-to-head contact.
  • Long hair should be kept in braids or ponytails. Boys should keep their hair short.
  • Once a week, take a peek. You should conduct lice checks at home regularly by putting detangler in the hair and combing through with a LouseCalls Terminator lice comb and wiping on paper towel. You will be able to see nits or lice on the paper towel.

Taking Care of Your Head

  • To succeed in eliminating a head lice infestation, remove all lice and nits from the hair using a special lice comb.
  • No matter what you read, no product or shampoo kills the eggs (nits). Manual removal is the only guaranteed way to ensure head lice is gone and stays gone.
  • Split the hair into sections, using clips as demonstrated by Louse Calls.
  • Check head with special lice comb until no nits are found for 3 days.
  • It is normal to find a few nits for several days. Keep combing.
    Wash your clothes and your child’s clothes thoroughly after nitpicking.

Taking Care of Your Home

Remember: Head lice are not living in your home, on your furniture or in your bedding. Without blood from your head, they can only live 24-48 hours. They need your head to live, colonize and lay eggs.

  • Place items that have been in contact with head lice in a dryer on high heat for 25-30 minutes (e.g. bedding, pillows, recent clothing).
  • Soak combs and brushes in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5-10 minutes.Vacuum or use a lint roller on items that cannot be dried.
  • Items that cannot be dried or vacuumed should be set aside for 48 hours.
  • Never spray your house or furniture with harmful pesticides
  • Items do not need to be bagged up and put aside
  • Pets do NOT need to be treated. Never spray them with harmful pesticides

Spending time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid re-infestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing. Focus on screening and removal of lice from the heads of your family, rather than the environment, and there will be “No More Louse-y Days!”