Head lice are small parasitic insects that have evolved to live on the scalp of humans. They depend upon human blood for survival.
Head lice are around the size of a grain of rice. They can adapt to the hair color of the their host making them very difficult to detect. They do not have wings and cannot jump or fly.
They are about the size of, or smaller than a poppy seed. They blend in with the hair color of the infested person and are typically found on the scalp at the nape of the neck and behind the ears.
They are generally transmitted through head to head contact. Children in the ages 3-11 are the typical carrier of head lice. This is simply because they are more likely to come into contact with one another through play and interaction. Children are not the only ones that get head lice, any person with hair on their head is susceptible. It is believed that less than 10% of lice and nit infestations are picked up through the environment. Dogs, cats, or other household pets do not bring in head lice.
Head lice are attracted to some people more than others. The reasons are not exactly clear, although it is known that blood type and RH factor can be a variable. What we do know is that it is not because a person is dirty. Head lice prefer clean hair since it is easier for the female to attach her eggs.
Head lice are merely a nuisance and not a health problem. A secondary infection could be caused from opening a sore from the in secant scratching.
Inspect your child’s head. Look for nits (eggs) near the nape of the neck and behind the ears, they will be located close to the scalp. Head lice eggs cannot be brushed or flicked off, and are difficult to pull out of the hair. Also look for live lice bugs that will be in the hair close to the scalp and usually blend in with the hair color. If you are still unsure contact us for a head check.
If you have been able to identify your child with head lice then you can probably identify head lice in your own hair. Go to a mirror and take the hair from the back of your head, if you see eggs or lice bugs then you have head lice. If you are still not certain, contact us for a head check.
If head lice are found then it needs immediate attention. The reproduction of head lice is an ongoing cycle. Every day that is allowed to go by is another day for the female to lay her eggs. More eggs result in more lice, which means more eggs. Removing head lice is a difficult process and very time consuming. It is well worth taking care of the problem now than let a full on infestation take place. Contact us for assistance.