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!

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.

orlando head lice treatment center

How to Check for Lice

Most parents are less than thrilled with the thought of checking their child for head lice. But when you suspect your child has lice, check you must. Whether you notice symptoms or get the infamous school letter, you want to check for lice as soon as possible.

Head lice spread rapidly. The earlier you spot a case, the easier it is to treat. If you do confirm an infestation on your child, you’ll need to check the whole family. It’s important to confirm an infestation before undergoing any treatment. The following tips will help you check for lice at home. You can also visit our Jacksonville, Savannah, or Orlando head lice treatment centers for a thorough, professional check.

Note if your child has any signs or symptoms of head lice.

  • Itching of the scalp, especially on the neck or behind the ears
  • Tickling feeling on the scalp
  • Feeling that something is moving in his or her hair
  • Sores on the head from scratching
  • Trouble sleeping due to itching (head lice are more active in the dark)

What you need to check for lice.

  • Bright lighting or a flashlight
  • Lice comb (you can purchase one at a head lice treatment center)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Plastic bowl

How to check for head lice on dry hair.

  • Start checking your child’s scalp by parting the hair in multiple places. Look especially closely at the nape of the neck and behind the ears.
  • Check for any movement in the hair, especially when shining a light on it.
  • Look for lice and their nits (eggs). Lice are the size of sesame seeds and white to grayish in color. Nits are tiny and hard to spot. They are white or beige in color and feel like a grain of sand.
  • Nits can be hard to distinguish from dandruff. The biggest difference is that dandruff will easily brush off. Nits are glued to the hair shaft and harder to remove. A head lice treatment center like Fresh Heads can confirm if what you’re seeing is live nits or just dandruff.

How to check for head lice on wet hair.

  • Some people find it easier to identify lice at home on wet hair.
  • Wet your child’s hair.
  • Apply a liberal amount of conditioner.
  • Use a lice comb to go through your child’s hair in sections, from roots to ends.
  • Look for nits to be caught in the comb’s teeth. You can also tap the comb into a plastic bowl to try to spot them.

If you’ve found an active case of lice, it’s time to check the whole family. Anyone who has any signs of head lice in the house will need to be treated. If you are still not sure after checking at home, visit a head lice treatment center for a professional check.

With locations in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Orlando, and Savannah, Fresh Heads Lice Treatment Centers offer thorough head checks for the entire family. And if treatment is required, the fee will be waived. Fresh Heads offers several options, including the AirAllé treatment. AirAllé is FDA-cleared to safely and effectively treat lice—without any chemicals. Call Fresh Heads at (407) 326-0560 to schedule your child’s head lice to check or lice treatment.

girl cries into hands

Phantom Lice and Morgellons Disease

It’s understandable to panic at the thought of your child’s head lice spreading throughout your home. It can cause even the calmest parent to start feeling a bit, well, itchy. But once you’ve been checked or received head lice treatment in Orlando, your paranoia will probably subside. For a rare few, however, the itchiness is caused by something called phantom lice syndrome or Morgellons disease.

People who suffer from conditions like phantom lice syndrome, delusional bug syndrome or Morgellons disease report feeling like something is literally trapped under their skin. They believe lice, bugs, worms, eggs, fibers or tiny specks are right under their skin or are trying to come out of it. They may seek medical attention or head lice treatment, even though they do not physically show any signs of an infestation.

It sounds surreal, but this type of mysterious skin condition gained national attention when Joni Mitchell announced in an interview that she suffers from Morgellons disease. In a 2010 Los Angeles Times piece, Mitchell stated, “I have this weird, incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space. Fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral.”

Morgellons disease is believed to be a psychological condition. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that the symptoms of Morgellons very closely match those of a mental illness called delusional parasitosis—the false belief of being infested with parasites.

Symptoms reported by those affected include:

  • Skin rashes or sores that cause severe itching
  • The sensation of something crawling under the skin, compared to bugs moving or stinging
  • Feeling as if fibers or strings are in or on the skin
  • Intense fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Short-term memory loss

After studying Morgellons, the CDC reported that it is a relatively rare condition, and appears to primarily affect middle-aged white women. Morgellons is fairly controversial in the medical community, and health professionals tend to believe one of the following:

  • It is a specific condition that needs more research to be confirmed.
  • That symptoms of Morgellons are due to another cause, often mental illness.
  • Don’t acknowledge Morgellons or are waiting for further research to be done.

Conditions such as phantom head lice syndrome or Morgellons may not be well understood, but it’s clear that they lower the quality of life for those who suffer. People with these conditions should seek a caring medical provider and keep an open mind. With their doctor, they can discuss treatment for other issues that they may have such as anxiety, depression or mental illness.

For information on head lice treatment in Orlando, Jacksonville, and Savannah and the services we offer, please visit our services page.

head lice treatment checklist

5 Steps to Take When You Discover Head Lice

Have you discovered a case of head lice in your home and you don’t know where to begin? Your first inclination may be to panic and go on a deep-cleaning frenzy! Try to keep calm. There are some fairly straightforward steps you can take towards an effective head lice treatment that lasts and keep your sanity while you’re at it.

1. Don’t panic. While they are most certainly a nuisance and can be a bit uncomfortable, head lice do not cause harm or carry any diseases.

2. Check everyone’s head in your household. Comb through each person’s hair carefully. If one person has head lice, chances are others in the family do too. And it’s much more sensible to treat everyone at the same time. Lice spread most commonly from head to head contact and by shared objects such as hats, brushes, pillows, and blankets.

3. Decide on a treatment plan. There are many options on the market. For quick and effective head lice treatment in Jacksonville or Orlando, you can contact a treatment center such as Fresh Heads. Aside from traditional comb-outs, they offer an FDA-approved heated air treatment called AirAllé and a line of non-toxic DIY products if you prefer to go it alone.

4. Do some housecleaning. It doesn’t take a monumental effort like you may have feared. Most importantly, you’ll want to clean all clothing and bedding that’s been used in the last 48-hours with hot water and throw it in the dryer at high heat. The same goes for any stuffed animals or other fabric items. Vacuuming sofas, mattresses, and carpets that have been recently used by those infested is also a good idea. Soak combs, brushes and other hair items in hot water overnight.

5. Notify friends and your child’s school. It might seem embarrassing, but don’t let it be. Head lice is an equal-opportunity pest and not a sign of uncleanliness. It’s important to notify others to reduce the chances of a re-infestation.

If you’re ready to schedule effective head lice treatment in Jacksonville for you and your family, call Fresh Heads Lice Treatment Center today. Their FDA approved AirAllé Head Lice Machine is a science-based, chemical-free, effective lice treatment that comes with a 45-day guarantee!

girls hugging

How Do I Know If My Child Has Lice?

Head lice are amazingly inconspicuous in your child’s hair and can be very hard to spot or detect. Itching can be one of the first signs of head lice unless your child has a very light case. If your child has an itchy scalp or has been exposed to another child with lice, it’s best to check your child’s head and scalp, and especially behind the ears and near the neckline. Your experts at Fresh Heads Lice Removal are happy to help you discern whether or not your child has lice.

Can I See Lice on the Scalp?
You may be able to see the lice, but they are difficult to distinguish. However, more visible are the tiny white nits (or eggs) that are found on the hair shaft, about one-eighth inch from the scalp. Nits are dark brown in color, only turning clear and sometimes white when they have already hatched. They can appear further down the hair shaft when older, as they are cemented to the hair with a glue when laid. This glue is very strong, and the nits remain on the hair even after they have hatched…so basically, it is a common misconception that nits are white. They are typically either dark brown, or sometimes clear, and feel like a hard speed bump on the hair. They are difficult to detach them from the hair without the use of a special, fine-toothed nit comb (such as the Terminator Comb from Fresh Heads Lice Removal). This high-quality metal comb features ultra-close prongs that provide the single most effective weapon against nit removal.

Check for Nits and Lice:
You may see the nits (or eggs) even if you don’t see any lice. Did you know that a single louse can lay up to 150 eggs? That’s a lot of nits, so keep your eye out for their small white eggs that resemble dandruff. Check the “nape” (back of the neck close to the neckline of the scalp) of the neck and behind the ears first, as this is where lice are commonly found. However, nits and lice can live anywhere on the scalp, so be sure to check all over the entire head. If you find any sign of nits or lice, call Fresh Heads Lice Removal for immediate assistance!

Perform Routine Checks of Your Child’s Hair:
Even if your child does not have lice, it’s important to regularly look closely at your child’s head, and comb through hair while it’s wet, using a fine-toothed nit comb. Good hygiene is not an indicator that a child will or will not get lice. Preventative care and early detection are key in keeping lice out of your hair! If your child has been exposed to another child with lice, he or she is likely to contract lice. If there has been an outbreak at your child’s school, you need to check your child’s hair and scalp immediately; the sooner you find the lice and/or nits, the sooner you can treat and combat the lice!

Call Fresh Heads Lice Removal for more information about lice removal, live prevention, and what to do if your child has lice.

JACKSONVILLE: (904) 517-4087


How To Check for Head Lice

Most parents are fearful of the idea that their children will contract head lice, yet until they actually do battle head lice, those same parents have no idea how to check for it.  If you have never seen it, how would you know?  It would seem logical to turn to the internet for advice, but unfortunately, the web is chock full of misinformation.  But knowing how to check and checking often is your greatest defense against a really tough infestation.  Here’s what you need to know about how to check your child for head lice:


It is easiest to start looking at the nape of the neck and work your way up toward the front of the hair.  If the child has long enough hair, you should pull it up into a ponytail with one hand, and slowly work your way up, pulling small, paper-thin sections of hair down and examining each hair closely.  You should concentrate at the base of the hair, as the lice eggs are going to be found glued to the hair shaft, quite close to the scalp.  When these eggs are new, they are dark brown in color, and on blonde hair can look like specks of dirt.  Newer nits can be more difficult to see on children with darker hair, as they can blend in quite well.  Nits that are not viable, or that have already hatched can appear clearish, like droplets of water, or white, but will still be firmly attached to the hair.  Nits are most often found at the nape of the neck, the crown of the head, or the hairline around the front or sides of the head.

Often, dandruff is mistaken for lice eggs.  Lice eggs will be firmly attached to the hair and will feel like a hard speed bump if you run your fingers over them.  They will not slide down the hair shaft with your fingertips.  If you are seeing white debris that appears to be on the hair but will slide under your fingertips, you are more than likely looking at dandruff, not nits.

As soon as you find any evidence of lice or eggs, you should take action immediately.  Fresh Heads Lice Removal offers guaranteed lice removal services and we are available by appointment 7 days a week.