Head lice are parasitic insects that live on the skin of the human skull and feed on blood. They are about the size of a sesame seed and can be white, light brown, or dark brown. Head lice are parasites that infest the scalp and body. They attach themselves to the base of the scalp and lay their eggs in the hair. They cannot jump, fly or burrow, so they use their claws to crawl along the surface of your hair.
They are known to be disease-causing and, as such, can be extremely annoying. In fact, head lice are one of the most common household pests in America. You may not realize this, but you could be accidentally infested with head lice. Head lice can be distinguished from dandruff by their movement. Head lice eggs (nits) are oval-shaped and cling to the hair shaft.
They are difficult to see, but they can be detected by parting the hair and looking for small, white objects. They lay eggs and the eggs hatch into nymphs, which are smaller versions of adults. The nymphs feed on human blood which restores them to adulthood and start the cycle over again.
What do Head lice eggs look like?
Head lice Eggs, also known as nits, are oval-shaped and usually a white or tan color. They will appear either hanging from the bottom of the hair strand or close to the root.
What do lice eggs look like?
Lice eggs are not seen on the hair shaft, but may be found around the hairline, eyebrows or ears. They are found to resemble dandruff or small pieces of dried skin. Eggs are attached firmly to the hair shafts and cannot be easily removed.
Are you unsure if your child has head lice? Do you want to keep your family lice free? This info graphic is a great way to learn what to look for and how to identify head lice.
Common symptom Head lice
The most common symptom of head lice is an itchy scalp. Other symptoms include:
- Sores on the head
- Tickling feeling on the scalp
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Scalp redness
- Excessive scratching
If you think you have head lice, there are a few things you can do: Check your hair for nits and lice. You can use a fine-toothed nit comb to look for the insects.
How to prevent head lice to spread?
1. Wash your hair with shampoo that has lice killing ingredients
2. Comb the hair with a nit comb to remove any eggs or nits
3. Use petroleum jelly on the scalp and around the ears (to prevent head louse from getting in)
4. Get rid of hats, scarves, and other items that touch your head often
5. Check for signs of head lice every day by looking at wet hair under a bright light. If you see tiny bugs crawling around, call an exterminator immediately.