The Facts of Lice

What Are Head Lice?

Head lice are tiny six-legged blood-sucking parasites. Each leg is equipped with a claw, enabling the lice to grasp onto the shaft of the child’s hair. They can vary in color from grayish white to reddish brown. Head lice, like chameleons, have the ability to adapt to their environment.

How Many Nits Does a Louse Lay?

The female louse lays her eggs by gluing them to your hair shafts. She will produce approximately 200 eggs in her lifetime. Eggs, or nits as they’re commonly called, generally hatch in 7 to 10 days. Once hatched, they have a life expectancy of approximately 30 days.

What Do Head Lice Look Like?

If you’re unsure that you’re seeing head lice, take a close up picture and text it to us at (206) 214-6181. We will analyze it and let you know what we think.

How Long Can Louse Survive?

Lice depend on human blood for survival. A louse separated from its human host will rarely survive more than 24 hours.

How Can I Prevent Head Lice From Spreading?

The sooner head lice are detected, the better. Quick action and preventive measures can minimize their spread and chance of returning.
Screen your child for lice once a week.
Keep long hair pulled back in a braid or ponytail.
Avoid head-to-head contact.
Don’t share clothing or other personal items, ie: hats, scarves etc.
Notify your school, friends, and family immediately if you’ve detected head lice on your child! This is the most important step to prevent your child from getting infested again.

What Else Should I Know?

Lice are wingless and CANNOT jump or fly. They can, however, move with amazing speeds.
Head lice cannot live and breed in or on “things” or “places” i.e. furniture, carpets, cars, movie theaters, airplanes.
Head lice do not live on pets.
Longer hair is more likely to attract head lice.
Head lice cannot travel to other parts of your body.
On average, lice cannot survive off of your head for more than 24 hours.
A nit cannot hatch off of a human head.
Many strains of head lice are immune to toxic chemicals sold over the counter. If these products do work, only adult lice get killed. These products don’t affect nits or young lice-nymphs.
Still have questions? Give us a call at 206-214-6181 or submit a form today!