The Lifespan of Lice
Pediculus humanus capitis, the head louse, is an insect of the order Psocodea and is an ectoparasite whose only host are humans. The louse feeds on blood several times daily and resides close to the scalp to maintain its body temperature. These terms may seem intimidating but for the team of lice specialists at Fresh Heads Lice Removal in Jacksonville Beach, lice are a problem of the past. We have assembled a few key items to look out for concerning the lifespan of lice, and how to mitigate future infestations below:
The life cycle of the head louse has three stages: Egg, Nymph, and Adult.
- Eggs: The clinical term for lice eggs are nits. They are hard to see and are often confused for dandruff or hair spray droplets. Nits are laid by the adult female and are cemented at the base of the hair shaft nearest the scalp. They are 0.8 mm by 0.3 mm, oval, and usually yellow to white. Nits take about one week to hatch (range 6 to 9 days). Viable eggs are usually located within 6 mm of the scalp.
- Nymphs: The nit hatches to release a nymph. The nit shell then becomes a more visible dull yellow and remains attached to the hair shaft. The nymph looks like an adult head louse but is about the size of a pinhead. Nymphs mature after three molts and become adults about seven days after hatching
- Adults: The adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed, has six legs (each with claws) and is tan to grayish-white. In persons with dark hair, the adult louse will appear darker. Females are usually larger than males and can lay up to eight nits per day. Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a person’s head. To live, adult lice need to feed on blood several times daily. Without blood meals, the louse will die within 1 to 2 days off the host.
- Instead of flaking off the scalp, they stay in place. Head lice can live up to 30 days on a human. Their eggs can live for more than two weeks. Head lice spread easily, particularly among school children, through head to head contact. Head lice are more common in close, overcrowded living conditions for this reason.
If you suspect that someone in your family has lice, the first step is to confirm the infestation. Use a lice comb, separate the hair into sections, and check the four major areas of the head:
- The front of the hairline
- Behind the ears
- The crown of the head
- Back of the neck
As you examine the whole head, it should quickly become clear whether you are dealing with a lice infestation or not. Look for live adult lice moving around on the scalp as well as eggs attached to the hair shaft. Once you have confirmed an infestation, the next step in lice control is using a wet combing method. Here is what you should do:
- Use a louse comb to remove as many lice and nits as you can, starting at the front and moving to the back of the head while keeping the comb flat against the skull.
- After moving front to back, work your way across the scalp side to side then back to front.
- Wipe the comb free of lice and nits every few strokes using a white towel so you can monitor your progress.
- Be sure to keep the hair wet throughout the entire process and apply a cream as needed – keep going until you are no longer removing any lice.
- Once finished, apply Prevention Oil to the scalp two to three times per week for long-lasting lice protection.
- To save yourself the hassle of repeating your lice treatment time and time, have it done right the first time around. Visit a Fresh Heads Lice Removal Clinic in Jacksonville Beach to tackle the infestation at the source and enjoy professional-strength results.
Professional Lice Removal in Jacksonville Beach
When it comes to lice control, prevention is the best method. The more you know about lice and how they spread, the better you will be able to protect yourself and your family. To further protect your family, familiarize yourself with the most common myths and misconceptions about lice and lice treatment so you don’t make the same mistakes
others have made. If you are worried about a lice infestation or the resurgence of lice on a little one, contact Fresh Heads Lice Removal for professional lice treatment today in Jacksonville Beach, Fl, Orlando, Fl, or Savannah, Ga.
Schools Without Lice
At Fresh Heads Lice Removal, our mission is to get rid of lice in schools across the United States. We’ve partnered with the Lice Clinics of America to create the Schools Without Lice program. Through this program, we provide school nurses and teachers with free screenings, resources, and treatments. Together, we can have schools without lice!