Head Lice 101
If you or a loved one feel you may have head lice, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Head lice are a common Houston community problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated six to twelve million lice infestations occur every year in the United States. At Lice Treatment Solutions, we’re proud to be a leading provider of head lice inspections and natural lice treatment solutions throughout Texas. When you visit our lice treatment facility, our lice experts will perform a thorough inspection of your hair and scalp to properly diagnose your condition. If our head lice technicians find that you do indeed have head lice, we’ll discuss our array of natural lice treatment solutions before working to remove all eggs, nymphs and lice from your hair and scalp.
Head lice, also known as pediculus humanus capitis, are parasitic insects that feed on human blood and live close to the human scalp. Roughly the size of a sesame seed, head lice have six legs with claws that can attach themselves to human hair. Most commonly spread from head to head contact, head lice can be passed from one person to another through the sharing of hats, combs, brushes and other personal items. While head lice do not carry diseases, they can be extremely difficult to eradicate without the help of a professional.
The Three Stages of Head Lice
Like most insects, head lice are oviparous and lay eggs. Female louse lay roughly three to ten eggs per day, which makes the removal process even more difficult. When a female louse lays her eggs, she secretes a glue-like substance from her reproductive organ to keep the egg, or nit protected. This substance quickly hardens into what is known as a ‘nit sheath’ that covers the hair shaft and protects the egg from exterior hazards. Each louse egg is oval-shaped and can appear to have a transparent or tan color as long as the louse embryo is still inside of it.
A lice egg typically hatches within six to nine days after oviposition, at which time the egg may appear to be white in color. After hatching, the louse nymph leaves its egg, which is still attached to the hair shaft, behind. Oftentimes, parents will mistake the empty egg, or the nit, as dandruff or scabs in their child’s hair. This empty egg shell can stay in the infested person’s hair for more than six months without proper removal! If you’ve noticed small speckles in your child’s hair, contact the lice removal experts at Lice Treatment Solutions today.
Once the louse has hatched, it is known as a nymph. Nymphs are barely visible to the naked eye and it takes them roughly seventeen days to become a full adult louse. In order to survive, a nymph must feed on human blood in order to mature to an adult louse.
A fully grown and developed adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed and is gray to white in color. An adult louse can live up to 45 days on a person’s scalp, but if it falls off and is removed from its food source, it will die within one or two days.
Who Is At Risk For Getting Head Lice?
While anyone can get head lice, infestations are most common among school-aged (three to twelve years old) children. Head lice and lice nits are most often discovered exclusively on the scalp, particularly behind the ears or near the neckline. While lice can also be found on eyelashes and eyebrows, this is very uncommon. Lice may spread from one person to another by items such as:
- Hats and scarves
- Brushes and combs
- Hair brushes and accessories
- Shared upholstery
Symptoms of Head Lice
The most common symptom of lice infestation is itching of the scalp. When lice bite your scalp to feed on blood, their bite causes an allergic reaction that results in an itchy feeling. In addition to intense itching, lice can cause other symptoms such as:
- A tickling feeling of something moving on your head or hair
- Scalp sores that develop from frequent scratching
- Difficulty sleeping
- Red bumps on your neck, head and shoulders
- The appearance of lice eggs, or small white ovals in your hair
How To Diagnose A Head Lice Infestation
To perform an in-home head lice inspection, use a bright light and a magnifying glass to help you identify potential eggs, nits and lice. Separate the individual’s hair into small sections and start by carefully checking the crown of their head. Keep an eye out for scabs that could be caused by scratching as well as actual nits and lice that may be crawling through their hair. If you see something that looks like it could be a lice egg or nit, try to remove it with a fine comb or your fingers. If it can easily be removed, it is likely not an egg or nit. If you’re not sure if what you’re seeing is lice, contact our lice removal experts today to schedule a lice inspection.
In order to properly diagnose a head lice infestation, it’s always best to seek out help from a professional. At Lice Treatment Solutions in Houston, we understand how frustrating it can be to try and rid head lice on your own. Since nymphs and adult lice are extremely small and they move quickly, it can be difficult to pinpoint lice on a head of hair. If you’re thinking about purchasing a lice removal product at a local store, it’s important to know the dangers associated with them. Many lice removal products on the market today contain hazardous chemicals and insecticides that can be harmful to children.
When you visit our lice treatment facility, we’ll take the time to thoroughly inspect your head and scalp before recommending the best natural treatment solution for you. We offer a variety of all natural lice prevention products at our Houston lice removal salon to ensure your family and home are safe from toxic chemicals.
Lice Removal Specialists in Houston
A head lice infestation can turn any household or classroom upside down. If you or your children have been scratching your heads regularly or you’ve noticed small red bumps along your neck or shoulders, contact Lice Treatment Solutions today. We offer all natural lice treatment solutions to quickly and efficiently remove eggs, nymphs and lice from your scalp. We also offer in-school lice treatment services and camp lice removal services in the case of an outbreak. If you’re interested in learning more about our advanced lice removal and treatment services, contact us today or schedule an appointment online.