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You Don't Know, What You Don't Know. Get The Facts.

lice and eggs

What Are Lice?

Head lice are tiny, wingless parasites, that live on the human head and feed on blood from the scalp.

Lice have six legs equipped with claws to move quickly while maintaining a firm grasp on the shaft of hair. Usually grayish-white to reddish-brown in color, head lice adapt in appearance to blend into their environment. Therefore, lice may appear darker or lighter depending on a person's hair color. A female louse attaches eggs to the hair shaft. One female louse can produce 140+ eggs in their lifetime.


Head lice have 3 Stages in their lifecycle:

  1. Eggs (commonly referred to as nits)

  2. Nymphs (juvenile or baby lice)

  3. Adult Louse (reproductive stage)

Signs & Symptoms Of Head Lice

  • Itching of the head or scalp

  • Tickling or a sensation of something moving in hair

  • Redness or irritation on scalp or near nape of neck

  • Tiny red bumps or sores on scalp from scratching

  • Visible bugs moving on the scalp

  • Oval or teardrop-shaped eggs attached to the hair shaft (typically around 6mm from the scalp)

  • Swollen glands or low-grade fever


Note: Some people do not experience itching remaining unaware of a lice infestation until visible signs such as eggs or bugs are evident

hair with lice and eggs
life cycle of lice

The Life Cycle of Lice

After moving to a new host, the female louse begins attaching eggs to the shaft of the hair. From that point, the life cycle of a new generation of lice begins.

A louse has three stages in its life cycle:

  1. Egg (or nit)

  2. Nymph - newly hatched and quickly evolving into full-sized adult within weeks

  3. Reproducing Adult

  4. From an egg until death, the complete life cycle of a louse can span for up to 35 days

How Do Lice Spread?

  • While anyone can contract lice, they are most commonly spread among school-age children and their households.

  • Lice cannot fly or jump. 

  • The #1 form of spread is through head-to-head contact.

  • Transfer from items such as brushes or hats is a less likely form of transmission. Separated from a human host, lice will rarely survive beyond 24 hours. Updated research indicates that lice have a 10-12 hour window to find another human host before experiencing the effects of dehydration.

  • Lice aren't spread by pets. Lice are species-specific, lacking the ability to cross from animals to humans.

kids smiling with heads together
kids in front of school bus

Preventing The Spread Of Lice

  • Teach children to avoid close head-to-head contact

  • Avoid sharing of hats, brushes and hair accessories. 

  • Keep hair pulled back in a braid or bun.

  • Utilize lice deterrent products.

  • Comb through wet hair after baths or showers with lice comb for 2-5 minutes to facilitate early detection. 

  • Watch for signs, such as scratching, swollen glands, or a rash at the back of the neck.

  • Be-a-friend and tell-a-friend about known cases so they can also be aware and on the lookout. 

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