Head Lice

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Head lice are tiny insects that live in human hair. They range in size from a “speck of dirt” to ¼ “ in length. The female louse will lay 7-10 eggs or “nits” per day for up to 30 days; she lays them on hair strands within ¼ “ of the scalp. The nits are attached with a glue-like substance secreted by the female and feel like a grain of sand or salt. The louse matures in the egg for 7 days and then hatches, becoming an adult within a week.

Head lice fall and crawl. They do not jump or fly. They are transmitted from borrowed hats, ribbons, scarves, combs, and/or brushes. They “hide” in upholstered furniture, including that in your car, and in bedding.

How to Check for Lice

  1. Check the hair dividing the hair in l/4" widths.
  2. Check the entire scalp and hair in a systematic manner.
  3. Look for particles on the hair strand. Nits are small egg cases (<1/4” long) and attached by the female louse to hair strand with a fixative cement. Nits feel like a grain of sand or salt.
  4. If a nit is suspected, isolate the hair strand and attempt to dislodge the particle with gently tapping hair strand. If particle is dislodged, it is not a nit.
  5. Be sure to check at the nape of the neck and behind the ears.

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