lice facts everyone should know

learn and protect your family!

Lice Facts... be prepared.

There's a lot of confusion about head lice. Don't worry, they don't jump, fly or swim! Head lice can be bothersome, but they are not dangerous to your health.

  • Head lice shampoos can be highly toxic for your child, and many strains of head lice are immune to the chemicals in over the counter shampoos
  • Head lice cannot live on your pets
  • Head lice cannot live and breed in your environment i.e. couches, carpets, cars, movie theaters, airplanes
  • Head lice are not signs of unwashed hair-they thrive in clean hair rather than dirty hair
  • Head lice crosses all socioeconomic boundaries
  • Head lice is one of the top 3 reasons why children miss school
  • Longer hair is more susceptible in contracting head lice
  • Head lice thrive equally in warm and cold climates
  • Head lice cannot jump or fly

DO'S

  • Use all natural product to aid in your manual lice removal methods
  • Daily wash only the clothing, bedding, brushes and hair accessories used during your head lice infestation
  • Once lice is detected have your entire household screened
  • Inform your school and friends you have head lice to avoid further cross pollination
  • Relax and take a deep breath!

DO NOT'S

  • Do not replace your furnishings including your mattress
  • Do not wash your entire wardrobe
  • Do not use toxic products
  • Do not cut your hair or pour oil, Vaseline, mayonnaise or vinegar on it
  • Do not set your house on fire
  • Do not panic!

WHO'S AT RISK?

  • 80% of the time person with head lice will pass the infestation on to their siblings
  • 80% of the time mothers contract head lice from their children
  • 20% of the time fathers contract head lice from their children
  • 35% of the time nannies contract head lice

LouseLifecyclefrom the CDC

Louse Lifecycle

Eggs

Nits are head lice eggs. They are hard to see and are often confused for dandruff or hair spray droplets. Nits may be found at the base of the hair shaft nearest the scalp (1). They are 0.8 mm by 0.3 mm, oval and usually yellow to white. Nits take about 1 week to hatch (range 6 to 9 days).

Nymphs

The egg hatches to release a nymph (2). 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. Nymphs mature after three molts (3,4) and become adults about 7 days after hatching.

Adults

The adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed, has 6 legs (each with claws, yikes), and is tan to grayish-white (5). In persons with dark hair, the adult louse will appear darker. The females can lay up to 8 nits per day. Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a person's head. To live, adult lice need to feed on blood several times daily. Without blood meals, the louse will die within 1 to 2 days off the human host.