Two girls sitting on a bed playing with a stuffed toy.

How Is Head Lice Spread and Is It Contagious?

When you’re holding a notice from your child’s school informing a recent lice outbreak, it’s easy to panic at the thought that your kids may be infected with the pesky critters. However, you don’t need to keep the children home from school just yet.

If you’re dealing with a lice outbreak and want to keep you and your child’s head safe from lice infestations, learning how to identify lice and how it spreads can save you from head-scratching moments.

Are Lice Contagious?

Head lice can be contagious, but not in a way you would think. When people say the word ‘contagious,’ it’s easy to imagine how viruses or diseases spread from one host to the next using airborne methods. Lice, on the other hand, will only invade your hair if you come in direct head-to-head contact with a person who has lice.

Even if lice fall off hair strands, keep in mind that it cannot survive for more than 24 hours off the human scalp. It also cannot jump, and its only way of travel is through crawling, which means that you won’t automatically get head lice just by sitting next to someone who is harboring one.

This means that the only way to spread head lice is if you or your children come into personal contact with the infected person’s head.

How to Spots the Tell-Tale Signs of Lice Invasion on Your Kid’s Head

If you’re afraid that your child has come into close contact with someone who has head lice, it’s best to look closer at their head for any signs of unwanted life crawling out and about. The most obvious symptom is when your children start to itch, especially in areas like the neck, hairlines, and behind ears.

However, itching doesn’t necessarily start in the earlier stages. If you want to get a head start before the infestation becomes too much to handle, watch out for the following warning signs of head lice:

  • Direct light on their head. Lice hate the light, so they will start to move away quickly. Adult lice look like small, sesame seeds with a 1/16 inch long body and reddish-brown color. Nits, on the other hand, are whitish eggs that are firmly attached to individual hair strands.
  • Even if you only see nits, consider seeking professional lice removal treatment as it is a red flag of a start of a head lice infestation.

Removing Head Lice Once and For All

If you or your children get infected with head lice, there are options to get rid of the pesky insects. However, you should avoid home remedies and over-the-counter shampoos as they are ineffective, which increases the risk of infecting other people, especially other children living within the same household.

Professional lice removal offers a quick solution that can eliminate the lice living in your kid’s locks for good. Just to be safe, it’s best to clean your home, sanitize brushes, and change your children’s sheets to ensure any lice are eradicated before they become an issue.

We’re a professional lice removal service in Jacksonville and Orlando, FL, and Savannah, GA. Book your appointment today!


Schools Without Lice.

Schools Without Lice

Our goal at Fresh Heads Lice Removal is to eradicate lice from schools across the country. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Lice Clinics of America to create a program called Schools Without Lice. This program gives teachers and nurses free screenings, resources, and treatments. Together, we can have schools without lice!

Eggs hatch into nymphs after 7-10 days, another 10 days after that, those nymphs have grown into adults.

How to Calculate How Long You Have Had Lice

The news has broken, and your kid has lice. We know the drill. Panic immediately sets in while a million questions run through your head at the same time. You’re thinking how long could you’ve had lice? How did this happen? How do I get rid of lice and fast ? We’re tackling the first question among many—how to calculate how long you have head lice.

Lice Life Cycle

To be able to calculate how long you’ve had lice, we’ll need to understand the lice life cycle.

  • Once the lice have spread to the person’s head, the female louse will start to lay their nits or eggs; an infestation has begun.
  • The first nymphs, or baby lice, will appear 7-10 days later.
  • Nymphs will continue to eat and grow over the next 7-10 days.
  • Before becoming adults, nymphs will molt their exoskeleton three times in order to mate. You can think of this as the louse teenager stage, based on the various molting phases the louse might be.
  • During the third and final molt, the gender is determined based on what is needed for a growing colony and are now officially adults.
  • Once genders are determined, the females will mate, and the life cycle begins again.

It is important to note, after the first successful lice generation, the females mate only one time and lay nits for the remainder of her lifespan. The louse lifespan is usually between 30-33 days, and females can lay up to 10 nits (eggs) a day.

Calculating How Long You Have Had Lice

Now that we’ve learned all the fun details on the life of lice let’s get down to the bottom of how long you’ve had lice. Lice infestation is typically noticed in 30 days after the nymphs have become adults and begin to mate. Female lice are larger than male lice, which means they can be easier to spot in someone’s hair. When you examine the scalp of a person with lice, you will be able to see lice at the various stages in their life: nits, casings (shell after hatching), nymphs, teens, and the adults. By understanding the life cycle of lice, if there are more nits than adults on the head, we can assume you’ve had lice for longer than 30 days. This means there has been longer than one louse life cycle on the head because the adult lice were able to lay and hatch their nits.

Nit on a Strand of Hair

Nit on a strand of hair.

Hatched Louse Casing

Hatched louse casing.

Nits and Lice in Hair

Lice and nits in hair.

 

For a more technical calculation of how long you’ve had lice, we can measure how far from the scalp the eggs (nits) are. Female lice lay their eggs as close to the scalp as possible, and hair grows about 1 cm per month. For example, if you find nits in your hair and they are measured 2 cm from the scalp, we can calculate you’ve had lice for two months.

Head Lice Treatment in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Savannah

It’s time to cut the lice life cycle short and get rid of them once and for all. Picking the nits, casings, and louse out of the hair yourself will be time-consuming, back-breaking, and eye-straining. It can be easy to miss those one or two nits, and you’ll be left with a breakout yet again. Even those over-the-counter lice treatment products are filled with chemicals and toxins not safe for anyone’s yet. Sometimes they don’t even kill the nits. The safest and most effective lice treatment on the market is our AirAllé device here at Fresh Heads Lice Removal. Our revolutionary device uses only warm air to kill all nits and adult lice in under an hour. Schedule your appointment to be lice free today.

 


Schools Without Lice.

Schools Without Lice

Our mission at Fresh Heads Lice Removal is to get rid of lice in schools across the United States. We’ve partnered with Lice Clinics of America to create the Schools Without Lice program that gives teaches and nurses free screenings, resources, and treatments. Together, we can have schools without lice!

Woman checking for lice on her own head.

How to Check for Lice on Your Own Head

If one of your children has lice, it’s important to do a head check on yourself, as well as all the other members of your family, in order to detect lice early and prevent a full-blown infestation. Many people feel a bit apprehensive about checking their head for lice for the first time and are a bit unsure of where exactly to start. We’re here to outline some tips for how to check your own head for lice—tips that you can also use when checking other family members.

How to Check Your Own Head for Lice

Checking a child’s head for lice tends to be a little easier than checking your own, since you can lean in for a close look while working. However, the steps for a lice check are the same regardless of whose head you’re checking. In order to check your own head for lice, follow these steps:

  • Work with hair when it’s damp, such as after a bath or shower.
  • Using a detangler will help the comb glide through the hair more easily, especially if you have wavy or thick hair. Apply your detangler of choice and comb it through completely.
  • Now grab your nit remover comb and lay it flat against your head at the root of your hair.
  • Glide the comb all the way from the scalp and roots down to the ends of your hair.
  • For short or medium hair, comb all your hair to the right, then back to the left. Repeat by combing front to back and back to front. For long hair, you’ll part hair down the middle. Place one side in a ponytail while you comb through the loose side. Then switch.
  • Pause about every 5 strokes to wipe the comb onto a white paper towel and inspect it check for nits/lice.

What Exactly Am I Looking For?

A critical part of knowing how to check for lice on your own head is knowing what to look for. When checking for lice, you’re primarily looking for three things: nits, nymphs, and adult lice.

  •  Adult Lice: Adult lice are the easiest to spot. You’ll see small bugs with legs, and they can be dead or alive. They are grayish tan, and are typically the size of sesame seeds.
  • Nymphs: Nymphs are immature lice that have just hatched. They have the same shape as adult head lice, but are much smaller—about the size of a pinhead. Nymphs start out very light gray or tan, but darken as they start feeding and maturing into adults. Nymphs reach maturity 9-12 days after hatching.
  • Nits: Nits are the eggs laid by female lice. They are extremely small (barely visible to the naked eye) and oval-shaped, and at first glance can just appear like grains of dirt or sand. Nits are comprised of a translucent outer casing that houses a baby louse (nymph) inside. They start out clear, and then darken to a light tan as the nymph grows. After the nymph hatches from the egg, the empty casing can appear clear again, or white. Nits will be “glued” to the hair shaft, close to the scalp for warmth, which is why it is important to make sure you position your comb at your scalp so as to not miss them. Note that it is just as important to identify nits as it is to identify live lice, because even if you kill the adult lice, if any nits remain, they’ll hatch after about 8-9 days, and you’ll be re-infested.

Head Lice Clinics in Jacksonville and Orlando, FL, and Savannah, GA

Learning how to check for lice on your own head can be difficult. At Fresh Heads Lice Removal, we are experts at identifying and treating lice. Our professional technicians and experts take a safe, effective and affordable approach to treatment, stopping lice in their tracks using cutting-edge technology. If you are interested in learning more about our lice treatment options, contact us today.


Schools Without Lice.

Schools Without Lice

Our goal at Fresh Heads Lice Removal is to get rid of lice in schools across the United States. That’s why we partnered with the Lice Clinics of America to create the Schools Without Lice program. This program gives nurses and teachers free resources, screenings, and treatments. Together, we can have schools without lice!

Girl scratching her head due to head lice.

Lice: What to Look For

You’ve just received information that one of your child’s friends has head lice, and so you frantically grab the nearest flashlight and rat-tail comb and begin to inspect your child’s head. But then you realize that you are unsure what lice look like. Are the brownish dots you see head lice? Is that flakiness just a result of a dry scalp? What about those translucent ovular tubes that you notice on the comb—is it lice or just some sort of scalp debris? For most parents, uncertainty in identifying a lice case adds to the already stressful situation of your child potentially having lice. Below we’ll describe what lice looks like in hair, as well as some commonly found scalp debris.

Adult lice on strands of hair.

Adult Lice

Adult lice are about the size of a sesame seed, and they have six legs and no wings. They are usually brownish with their color ranging from a pale sandy color to yellowy, grey-brown or dark brown.

Lice nit.

Nits

Nits or lice eggs are just as essential to identify as live lice are. This is because even if you identify and kill adult lice if nits remain, they will hatch and “re-infest” your child. Nits have translucent outer casings that house baby lice inside. The nymphs are brown, and so nits will appear brown when placed against a white background. Each nit is round on one side and pointy on the other with a tail-like antenna coming out of the pointy end. Look for something about the size of a sesame seed and close to the scalp rather than farther down the length of the hair. It is possible to identify nits in your child’s hair, but don’t feel bad if you have trouble; they are often difficult to recognize to the untrained eye and often require professional technicians or medical personnel to spot them.

Hair Casts

Hair casts, which are also called pseudo nits, are thin, elongated, and white tubes that are found along the hair. Because most people assume that nits are white, hair casts are often mistaken for nits. If you see these narrow and cylinder-shaped white tubes along your child’s hair shaft, rest assured that they are not lice, but rather a normal hair concretion.

DEC Plugs

DEC Plugs or desquamated epithelial cells occur when oil glands in the scalp become overly active to compensate for the drying effect of chemical treatments. They are white, irregularly shaped pieces of fat, and completely harmless. They are distinguishable from nits because of their white color and their positioning.

Fresh Heads Lice Removal

Understanding the warning signs of lice is essential to avoiding a long-lasting outbreak. When you know what you are looking for, coming in for treatment starts earlier. Fresh Heads Lice Removal wants to keep you, your children, and your family lice-free for the years to come. If you are a resident in Orlando, FL, Jacksonville, FL, or Savannah, GA, contact our offices today.

 


Schools Without Lice.

Schools Without Lice

At Fresh Heads Lice Removal, our goal is to eradicate lice in schools across the country. We have partnered with Lice Clinics of America to create the Schools Without Lice program, which supports our nurses and teachers with free resources, screenings, and treatments. Let’s take another step toward lice-free schools!

What Do Lice Eggs Look Like?

What Do Lice Eggs Look Like?

Lice eggs (nits) are often more difficult to identify than live adult lice, and many parents have a hard time finding them in their child’s scalp. Parent’s are often unsure how to identify what they see in their child’s hair, and nits are often confused with dandruff, or even hair casts—leading to unnecessary false lice scares. Because we frequently encounter parents who are unsure what lice eggs look like, we thought it would be helpful to put together a short guide on how to identify lice eggs and distinguish them from other common scalp and hair debris.

What Do Nits Look Like?

Many parents look solely for live adult lice in their child’s hair, but we like to stress the importance of also looking for and identifying nits. Nits are just as important to identify as live lice are because even if you identify and kill adult lice, if nits remain, they will hatch and “re-infest” your child. Nits have translucent outer casings that house baby lice (called nymphs) inside. Many parents think that they are looking for “white lice eggs” in their child’s hair, but nits will appear brown in appearance, not white. This is because the nymphs inside the translucent casing are brown, and so when placed against a white background, the nit will also appear brown. Nits are round on one side and pointy on the other with a tail-like antenna coming out of the pointy end. If you see something that fits this description and is about the size of a sesame seed (maybe smaller), you are likely looking at a nit.

Lice Eggs on Hair Clippings

Lice eggs on hair clippings.

 

Lice egg under magnification.

Lice egg under magnification.

Hair Casts and Dandruff

Hair casts and dandruff are common scalp debris that is often mistaken for nits. The easiest way to distinguish between dandruff and nits is that dandruff easily combs out of the hair, whereas nits don’t comb out. Nits are very difficult to remove from the hair because they secrete a cement-like bonding agent that adheres them to the hair shaft. Also, nits typically remain close to the scalp, whereas dandruff flakes can migrate farther down the length of the hair.

Hair casts (often called “pseudo nits”) are thin, elongated, and white tubes that are found along the hair. Because most people assume that they are supposed to be looking for white lice eggs, hair casts are often mistaken for nits. If you see these narrow and cylinder-shaped white tubes along your child’s hair shaft, rest assured that they are not lice, but rather a normal hair concretion.

Let Our Trained Professionals Look for Lice Eggs

It is possible to identify nits in your child’s hair but recognizing what lice eggs look like can be difficult, and you shouldn’t be upset if you have trouble finding them. Nits are often difficult to recognize to the untrained eye and often require professional technicians or medical personnel to spot them. At Fresh Heads Lice Removal, we pride ourselves on being a lice service that your family can rely on for the safe diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of lice. Our trained technicians can identify eggs or lice at any stage of infestation, and help you get the lice treatment you need. To learn more about our list of services and featured products, contact us at one of our Jacksonville, FL, Orlando, FL, or Savannah, GA locations today!

 


 

Schools Without Lice.

Putting an End to Lice in Schools

Fresh Heads Lice Removal clinics want to keep our children safe in schools across the country, which is why we have partnered with Lice Clinics of America to create the Schools Without Lice program. Our goal is to completely eradicate lice in schools from California to Florida, and everywhere in between. By supporting our educators, we can take another step toward creating schools without lice. Learn more about Schools Without Lice!

 

 

 

How Long Does It Take to Catch Head Lice?

How Long Does It Take to Catch Head Lice?

Your child may have lice–now what? If you are a parent in a state of panic after discovering that your child was around a classmate or playmate that has lice, you are not alone. We often get calls from stressed-out parents wondering how long it can take for their child to get a case of head lice after being exposed, and what the process of checking for head lice involves.

Immediate Diagnosis

Contracting a case of lice can occur immediately after your child is exposed to them. If your child has their head in contact with (or near) someone with lice, it only takes one live female louse to crawl onto your child’s head to start a lice case. Once you find out that your child has been exposed to someone with an infestation, it is possible for you to catch it early by checking for head lice. If you can spot a live crawling bug, you can identify the case early and get treatment underway.

Diagnosis After Weeks of Onset

While immediately spotting head lice is ideal, in most cases, it takes a few weeks after exposure to accurately identify and diagnose lice on your child’s head. Usually, a louse crawls up the hair strands to reach the scalp. Once on the scalp, it remains there and lays eggs, in which case it will be more difficult to spot immediately.

Female lice are capable of laying six to ten eggs a day over a period of a month. This means that within a few weeks, your child can potentially have over 100 eggs in their hair. So, while it is essential to keep routinely checking for head lice, keep in mind that without the proper tools, lighting, and experience the average untrained individual may have difficulty spotting them until they become advanced.

Professional Head Lice Removal in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Savannah

Contacting a reputable lice service can help you diagnose, treat, or prevent a full-blown lice infestation. At Fresh Heads, our professional technicians are experts at checking for head lice. We have locations in Jacksonville and Orlando, FL, as well as Savannah, GA.

We can identify eggs or lice at any stage of infestation and get your child the treatment they need at an affordable price. We stop lice in their tracks using a completely safe, FDA cleared medical device, so that we can help your child return to life as healthy as quickly as possible. To learn more about our list of services and featured products, contact us today!

Head lice vs Body Lice

Are Head Lice the Same as Body Lice?

The short answer is no, head lice and body lice have similar characteristics, but they are not the same. It helps to know the difference before scheduling an appointment at your nearest head lice center. After all, the treatment for one type of lice won’t work for the other. Here are some tips for distinguishing head lice from body lice:

Their Appearance

  • Head Lice

Adults are about the size of a sesame seed, around 2-3 mm in length and brownish in color. You can see them attach to the hairs of the head near the base of the hair shaft and they go to the scalp to lay eggs.

  • Body Lice

Adults are slightly longer than head lice, 2.3-3.6mm in length. Still, they’re very similar in appearance. They are also brownish in color and have two antennae on their heads. Body lice aren’t found in the same locations as head lice. In fact, they only go to the human body to feed.

How Do You Catch Them

  • Head Lice

These are caught when you come into close contact with infected people, especially their hair. Head lice cannot jump or fly, instead, they crawl from one host to another. Even objects, such as clothes, hats, combs or brushes seldomly transmit lice as the lice die within a day without human blood.

  • Body Lice

Body lice can spread via direct contact and through contact with items that are carrying the lice. As previously mentioned, body lice don’t stay on the body, they dwell in items such as clothing, bedding and towels, only making their way to the body to feed.

Who is at Risk of Catching Lice?

  • Head Lice

Head lice occur primarily among children of preschool and elementary school age. Since direct, head-to-head contact is the main way the lice are transmitted, young kids at school are most likely to get infestations. According to the CDC, 6-12 million infestations occur each year in the U.S. to children. More girls get head lice than boys because of their long hair, which is easier for the critters to climb on to. Even though head lice are common it’s treatment has come a long way from at home pesticide infused formulas. Your local head lice center can clear your family of head lice with one FDA approved all-natural treatment backed by a 45-day guarantee.

  • Body Lice

While body lice usually require direct person-to-person contact, the creatures tend to thrive in crowded conditions, messy environments and on those with poor hygiene. People in places like homeless shelters and other crammed dwellings are susceptible to body lice infestations, which can spread quickly in such conditions.

Finding a Head Lice Center You Can Trust

These are the main differences between head and body lice. Be sure to check for these before deciding to go to your local head lice center. For further questions and assistance, contact Fresh Heads Lice Removal today. We are a science-based head lice treatment center that kills head lice and their eggs using only heated air. This is completely pesticide and chemical-free single treatment that kills head lice and their eggs with no follow up necessary, guaranteed!

Head Lice Symptoms

Common Head Lice Symptoms

Are you worried about a head lice infestation? It is a real risk for adults and children alike, so here are common head lice symptoms. These signs can help you determine whether-or-not professional head lice removal is needed.

Lice on your scalp, neck or ears

If others can see lice on your head, or if there are lice on your hand after scratching, then the conclusion is self-evident: You most likely have an infestation and could use treatment immediately.

Nits on Hair Shafts

Nits are lice eggs which typically are laid on your hair shafts. Incubating nits are tiny, so they are usually difficult to see. Nits are easier to see when they’ve hatched because they become lighter in color. Nits are easiest to see around the ears and the neck’s hairline. Seeing some nits does not mean that there is an ongoing infestation, as they could be from a prior episode.

Itchiness and Sores

Scratching your head frequently, despite not having a history of eczema or dandruff? If it’s not those common scalp conditions, then it may be lice. Their bites cause an allergic reaction sometimes resulting in open sores. Sores can also be caused by prolonged scratching at the scalp.

Tickling, Crawling Feeling

Do you feel things crawling around on your head or your hairline? This is also a common lice symptom.

Difficulty Sleeping

Feeling lice crawling on your scalp with painful sores can make it hard to fall asleep. If the infestation has gotten to this point, you need to get your scalp checked as soon as possible. If it’s not lice, it might be something else that could still need medical treatment.

False Signs of Lice Infestations

Studies have shown that many children who do not have active infestations still get treated for lice resulting in unnecessary exposure to chemicals and unneeded expenses with over the counter products. This is due to false alarms and uncertainties, which is why it’s important to consult a head lice professional.

Here are several false signs of lice infestations:

  • Dead or empty nits from a previous infestation
  • Dandruff
  • Dead hair and skin tissue on hair shafts
  • Dirt, debris, dust and scab tissue
  • Other small insects that just happen to be in the hair
  • Residue from hair products

When Professional Head Lice Removal is Needed

If you or a loved one is experiencing several of these common head lice symptoms, err on the side of caution and consult with a professional to find out the cause. Our professional head lice removal process uses the only FDA-cleared medical device† empowering parents and caregivers with the safest, most effective method to clear your family of head lice. We dehydrate the lice and eggs in a single treatment without the use of harmful toxins and pesticides. Book a revolutionary lice treatment at one of our locations today.

boy scratches head

What Happens when Head Lice Goes Untreated

Head lice are persistent parasites that usually affect school-aged children due to their close proximity to one another. Unfortunately, head lice can go undetected for some time since they are tiny and move so quickly. That’s why regular head checks and use of natural head lice treatments are so important when there are young kids at home. Here’s what can happen if head lice are left untreated.

Infections

While head lice are mostly an uncomfortable nuisance, there are some negative side effects of letting head lice go untreated. The biggest symptom of an infestation is an itchy scalp. The constant scratching can cause broken skin on a child’s scalp, leaving them prone to infections. Some of the more serious infections include:

Cellulitis

A bacterial infection of the skin and the tissues beneath the skin. The types of bacteria that typically cause this infection are Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, but various bacteria can cause cellulitis. Symptoms include redness, pain, tenderness, swelling and warmth of the impacted area. Antibiotic treatment is required for cellulitis, which is not contagious. Natural head lice treatment at the first sign of head lice can help prevent infection.

Impetigo

Impetigo is a skin infection that is sometimes associated with untreated head lice. It is a bacterial skin infection that is more commonly seen in children. Impetigo is contagious and is caused by staph and strep bacteria. Symptoms include a rash accompanied by either small blisters or a dark, tan colored crust that forms after the blisters burst. Antibiotics can be used to treat impetigo.

Piedra infection

An infection of the hair shaft, piedra infection is possible when a head lice infestation is left untreated. This type of infection is relatively rare and causes hardened nodules on the affected hair. It’s caused by a yeast-like fungus called Trichosporon and is not typically contagious. Symptoms include nodules, brittle hair, pain, and itching. Antifungal creams, shampoos, and oral antifungal medications are used to treat this type of infection.

Recurrence

While infections are certainly caused for concern, the most common complication of untreated head lice is a recurrence. Using a natural head lice treatment to rid your child of lice is the first step. Additionally, it’s critical to ensure that lice are removed from all clothing, furniture, and bedding. If not, it will reappear before you know it. Lice spread rapidly, with it only taking a little over a week for a louse to lay more eggs. Checking your child’s head frequently in the weeks after treatment can help you make sure you stay in the clear.

Natural Head Lice Treatment

The most effective way to make sure your child’s head lice is treated is with Fresh Head’s AirAllé treatment. This FDA-cleared device successfully destroys lice and nits with heat. The one-hour treatment is so effective, it comes with a 45-day retreatment policy to guard against recurrence!

Don’t let head lice go untreated in your home. Call us for more information or to schedule an all-natural head lice treatment at one of our locations in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Orlando, and Savannah.

How To Check For Head Lice

Fresh Heads Lice Removal’s Lead Technician provides you with tips on how to check your child’s head and scalp for head lice. For more tips and instruction on how to fight head lice, click here.