|Getting Rid of Lice Index|
- Getting rid of Nits - Detection with the best methods and treatment with the best products
- Get rid of Lice! Info about Combs, Lotions, Liquids, Insecticides and Medication
- Facts and Information about different types of lice
- Prevention, Control, Treatment, Remedies and Medication for Dogs, Cats, Poultry and Humans
- Infestation in your home? House or body-lice? Need Control? Get rid of Nits effectively!
- Pictures, Treatments, Facts and Info about their Life Cycle and how they infect us!
What are Head Lice?
Head lice are a major problem for many children each year; however there are lots of effective methods, techniques and products to help you get rid of head lice as quickly and safely as possible, so don't panic! Head lice (plural for head 'louse') are tiny parasites that live and feed on our scalps. Scientifically classified as Pediculus humanus capitis, head lice have a three stage lifecycle, all of which takes place on the head (egg/nit, nymph and adult). Head lice do not carry or transmit any infectious diseases; however they do cause embarrassment, irritability and discomfort. Before we look at ways of catching, identifying, removing, treating and preventing them it should be made clear that having head lice is NOT a sign of being unclean, dirty, poor or unhygienic. They will crawl onto any head, given half the chance, as they do not discriminate between clean and dirty - they simply want to bite the skin, feed on the blood, mate and multiply. It's our job to stop them!
How can you get Head Lice?
It is easy to catch head lice if you allow yourself to be exposed. They are commonly transmitted via head-to-head contact with somebody who is infested however they could also be caught through the sharing of (infected) hair brushes, combs, pillows, towels, hats (headgear) and scarves. Children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old are most likely to catch head lice, as schools make a perfect breeding ground. Spending all day together in classrooms, on buses, at after-school clubs and sharing coat hangers, kits, lockers, etc all open children up to the risk of catching head lice. As they can go undetected for weeks (some have little or no symptoms), children may not know that they have head lice or know that they are exposing them to others. The parasites can then be transported back to the homes of families where they can be unknowingly passed on to brothers, sisters, parents, grand-parents, neighbours and so on.
About Head Lice
Head lice can be identified by a thorough check, using a detection comb. This type of comb is also useful in extracting and removing head lice. They are wingless (so do not fly) and unable to hop or jump, but they do have six legs which allow them to crawl and scurry through our hair and from one host to another. They are around 1-2 mm in size and range from a whitish grey to a reddish brown. The female adult head lice lay their eggs (also known as nits) close to the scalp and attach them to hair shafts with cement-like saliva. This makes them practically impossible to remove with ordinary shampooing or brushing and it also makes them difficult to find without the right tools. The eggs will hatch and nymphs (smaller versions of adult head lice) will crawl out to feed, moult 3 times and develop to adults. The empty casing of the nits will be left attached to the hair shaft. You therefore will be looking for eggs, nymphs and adults when checking a head for an infestation. You are only diagnosed with an infestation if live adult lice are spotted.