What Are Head Lice?
Head lice are tiny parasites that suck blood from the human scalp.
What Do They Look Like?
They have 6 legs, each with a claw that is used to hold to the hair shaft. They may be gray in appearance or
red/brown after consuming blood.
What are Nits?
Nits are the eggs of the head lice. They attach to the hair shaft with a kind of thick, glue-like substance.
What Do Nits Look Like?
Nits may appear white or brown in color, are oval in shape, and are about the size of the point of a pencil or
small sesame seed.
How Many Eggs can a Louse Lay?
A head louse may lay eggs twice a day, and 4-5 eggs each time. With easy math, it’s apparent that an
infestation can quickly develop.
What are Nymphs?
Nymphs are the baby bugs.
What Do Nymphs Look Like?
Nymphs may appear white, gray or red/brown in color, oval, and also about the size of a small sesame seed.
Where Do Head Lice Come From?
We don’t know exactly where head lice come from, but we do know they have been a nuisance to humans
since ancient times.
How Do Head Lice Get Around?
Head lice cannot fly or jump. But they do crawl and can move rapidly around the head and hair, and can crawl
from one head to another with close contact..
What Do Head Lice Eat for Survival?
Head lice eat blood through the scalp of their human host.
Can Head Lice Live Around My House?
Head lice cannot jump or fly. However, loose hairs with nits or bugs may be found on upholstered furniture,
bedding, clothing, or head gear that came in contact with an infested head. Lice cannot survive for more
than 24 hours off of a human head.
How Did My Child Get Head Lice?
Since lice cannot fly or jump, they are passed through head-to-head contact or from an item which has recently
come in contact with an infested head. Younger children often share items such as hats and pillows, or work and
play together in close physical contact. Your child likely contracted head lice in any of these ways.
Is Head Lice Contagious?
Yes! Head lice is highly contagious and can easily spread throughout a family, school, camp or other group.
Could the Head Lice Have Come from Our Family Pet?
No. Your pets cannot give or get human head lice.
What Are the Symptoms of Head Lice?
The most telling symptom is a persistently itchy head. You may notice red patches on the scalp (from excessive
scratching) or a rash at the base of the neck or behind the ears (where eggs are often found). Rarely, your child
may present other symptoms which should always be checked by a physician to eliminate other causes.
Is Head Lice a Matter of Hygiene?
No. Head lice are an equal opportunity parasite. Head lice do not discriminate based on age, sex, race,
economics or cleanliness.
How Do I Diagnose Head Lice?
If you suspect a case of head lice, the only real way to confirm the lice is to search the child’s head for evidence
of a live louse, nymph or nit. This pain-staking process is known as nit-picking. Click here for more information
on the NitWitz Head Lice removal process.
I Found Something. What do I do Now?
You must first be certain that you have found lice, rather than hair product, dandruff or other form of scalp
dermatitis. Once you are certain that you have found lice, you must proceed to treatment and removal with
products and a special lice comb. Click here for more information on NitWitz Head Lice removal products.
I’m Embarrassed That My Child Has Head Lice. Do I Have to Tell Anyone?
Lice happens no matter who we are or what we do, and we all feel the stigma attached to it. However, it is
critical that you inform your school nurse, camp director or day care center of the situation. You should also
inform the parents of any children your child has directly played with during the previous 2 weeks. Informing
other child-care providers helps to prevent the spread of the lice and hopefully defeat any recurrence in your
How Should I Care for My Home Environment While My Child Has Lice?
Remember, lice cannot live for long off of a human host. A thorough vacuuming of your child’s room, living areas,
and upholstered furniture should be done. Wash in hot water all of your child’s bedding and clothing worn
recently, and dry at high heat for at least 30 minutes. Bag and seal any stuffed animals or soft toys that share a
room or bed with your child, and leave sealed for 2 weeks.
How Do I Know that the Head Lice have Gone?
The only way to be certain that the head lice is completely gone is to provide thorough and frequent follow-up
head checks and to continue to treat with a special lice comb and preventative products for a 2-week period.
Click here for more information on NitWitz follow-up treatments.
Additional Information about Head Lice can be found at:
|Facts of Lice