Head lice, also known as pediculus humanus capitis, are small but common parasites that live, breed and feed on the human scalp. Very few school-age children escape the bane of head lice, leaving parents disgusted at the thought of tiny insects breeding in their children’s hair. At Lice Treatment Solutions in Houston, we’ve helped diagnose and treat hundreds of kids and adults suffering from head lice. If you’re concerned your family could be infested with head lice, contact us today for a professional head lice inspection.
The 3 Forms Of Head Lice
The Egg/Nit – Nits are lice eggs that are laid by the adult female head louse, typically found at the base of the hair shaft near the scalp. Nits are small, oval-shaped eggs that are firmly attached to the hair shaft and can appear to look yellow and sometimes white. Nits can often be confused for dandruff and hair spray droplets, making them very hard to distinguish to the naked eye.
Nymph – A nymph is a young and immature louse that has recently hatched from the nit or egg. On average, head lice nits usually take between eight and nine days to hatch. Nymphs have the physical appearance of an adult head louse, but can be a little smaller in size. In order for a nymph to survive, it must feed on the blood in your scalp. After about nine to twelve days, nymphs will mature into adult head lice.
Adult – A fully grown and developed louse will look to have a tan or grey color and will be roughly the size of a sesame seed. An adult head louse can survive up to thirty days on a person’s head while feeding on the blood of their scalp.
Common Facts About Head Lice
- More often than not, head lice are spread from one person to another through head-to-head contact.
- Head lice depend on three things to live on your scalp: your body temperature, moisture and blood.
- When lice are removed from a human head, it’s very unlikely that they will survive longer than two to three days. When lice don’t have easy access to blood, they become dehydrated, which can actually cripple their digestive track and prevent them from surviving.
- Non-living objects such as helmets and hats do not pose a risk to spreading head lice. Inanimate objects are neither warm nor alive, so head lice do not make homes in these materials.
- Animals, such as dogs and cats, do not suffer from lice infestation. This is because head lice are species-specific parasites that love the temperature of the human body, so they’re not prone to sucking on the blood of other animals.
- While head lice do have six legs, you don’t have to worry about them jumping from one person to another like fleas. These parasites are specifically built to move from hair to hair.
Common Symptoms Of Head Lice
Lice are a highly contagious louse that can spread very quickly in a close-knit environment. While there are many signs and symptoms of head lice, below are some of the most popular.
- A tickling feeling on your scalp or in your hair
- Constant itching at the hairline or the nape of your neck
- An itchy scalp
- Irritability and difficulty sleeping, as lice are most active in the dark
- Infection or sores on the scalp
While a head lice infestation isn’t a serious risk to your health, lice bites can become irritated, inflamed and can even lead to allergic reactions in some people. Severe scratching of the head and scalp, especially behind the ears and on the back of your neck, can lead to infections and open sores if left untreated.
Head Lice Diagnosis & Treatment
Properly diagnosing head lice can be a challenge without the proper tools, so it’s always wise to get a proper diagnosis from a head lice professional. At Lice Treatment Solutions in Houston, we’re proud to provide head lice inspection services to children and adults throughout Texas. When you visit our state-of-the-art facility, our head lice clinicians will carefully inspect your hair and scalp for any signs of head lice before recommending the best head lice removal service for you. Browse our services online or call us today to schedule a head lice inspection!