Head lice are a common problem for school-aged children and their families throughout the state of Texas. If your child comes home from school scratching their head or complaining about an itchy scalp, there’s a good chance they may be infested with head lice. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of head lice and what you should know about Texas state laws and school policies surrounding these little critters.
If you live near Houston and you’re afraid you or your child may be infested with head lice, schedule an appointment with the experts at Head Lice Treatment Solutions today. We offer head lice removal, treatment, and prevention services, and we can help you eliminate lice from your life.
What Are Head Lice?
Head lice are tiny, wingless insects that feed off of the blood from your scalp. A single louse, or adult head lice, is about the size of a sesame seed. A nit, or a louse egg, is roughly the size of a small flake of dandruff, which can make these tiny insects difficult to pinpoint. Lice like to lay their eggs at the base of hairs, close to the scalp. Nits can attach to the root of your hair with the help of a sticky substance that holds them firmly in place. After each egg hatches, the empty nits tend to stay stuck on the hair shaft. Let’s take a closer look at the lifecycle of head lice below.
- The egg or nit – These baby lice tend to hatch within six to nine days, and they are often found within four to six millimeters of the scalp.
- Nymph – The nymph looks like an adult head louse, but tends to be a bit smaller (roughly the size of a pinhead). Nymphs become adults within seven days after hatching.
- Adult louse – Adult louse can multiply quickly, and they can lay up to 10 eggs a day. If head lice are left untreated, this cycle will repeat itself every three weeks or so.
Children often become infected with head lice in school or at camp, or anywhere else they are surrounded by numerous other children. Children become infested with these little bugs when they:
- Touch the head of an infected person
- Share personal items such as combs, hats, and bandanas
- Wear headphones from someone with head lice
Studies show that preschool and elementary school students have the highest risk of getting head lice. Since little kids tend to play closely together, head lice can easily crawl from one child to another. While there are several common symptoms of head lice, below are a few of the most popular:
- The feeling as if something is crawling on your scalp
- Extreme scalp itchiness
- Sores and scabs on your scalp from scratching
In part two of this blog, we’ll look at how to check your child for head lice at home, as well as the Florida state law and school policies surrounding head lice. If you live near Houston and you need head lice treatment or removal, contact Lice Treatment Solutions today!