The Facts of Lice

The cycle of headlice.

There are three stages in the life of a louse.

The egg, the nymph and the adult louse.

 

What is an egg?

Eggs are laid at the base of the hair because it is warmer and humid , all the pressure points at the nape especially keep it a warmer environment for the louse..

They are usually ½ to ¼ inch from the scalp with a glue like substance and are attached onto an individual hair shaft at an angle.

The shells of there eggs are call nits. A female louse lays 3-5 eggs per day.

The egg takes 7-10 days to hatch. Eggs are hard to find. They are nearly colorless. Once they have hatched in 7-10 days, they are easier to see.

 

What is a nit?

Nits are small, oval shaped eggs that have hatched. They start out a light yellow or whitish-gray color and turn reddish brown as they develop.

A nit is a bit smaller than a pin head, approximately .01 inches to .03 inches. The shells are extrememly tough and hard to remove because of the glue.

 

What is a nymph?

After seven days , newborn lice are now called nymphs. Nymphs start to feed on human blood almost immediately. The nymph develops into a full grown louse usually in 9-10days. The main difference between nymphs and adult head lice are that nymphs are smaller and don’t mate or lay eggs.

 

What is a louse?

An adult louse can live for up to 30 days on the human head.

A female louse will lay up to 100 eggs in her lifetime.

A full grown louse is abut the size of a sesame seed. They are usually grayish brown in color.

 

Questions that may be on your mind regarding head-lice.

 

What are head-lice and what do they look like?

  • Head-lice are reddish – brown wingless insects, they do not jump or fly. They can only crawl from head to head.
  • Head-lice eggs (nits) are small, grayish white oval shaped eggs (with a nymph inside) that are glued at an angle to the side of the hair shaft. When they have first been laid they are a deeper grey, once the nymph (baby louse) has left the egg the shell appears whitish grey.
  • Head-lice females can lay up to 100 eggs and require just one mating to be fertilized.
  • Head-lice are able to reproduce after approximately 28 days and lice eggs hatch in 7-10 in warm weather. In cooler weather this can take up to 30 days.
  • Head-lice live on a host for approximately 60 days, 30 of which are egg laying days.
  • Head-lice eggs further than 1-2cm from the scalp are usually empty cases, which remain attached to the hair shaft.
  • Head-lice eggs close to the roots that are a dark grey colour are freshly laid eggs.
  • Head-lice infestations occur worldwide and are more common during the warmer weather.

 

What to do at home?

  • Bedding, pillowslips and hats need a hot temperature wash then put into a hot dryer.
  • Brushes and hair accessories need to be washed in hot water and de-haired, then put in a plastic bag and frozen over night is the best way to insure you have killed them all.
  • There is no need to vacuum the whole house, disinfect every corner, and fumigate the environment, as head lice do not survive for long off the head. The only way head lice can get water and food is by sucking blood from the scalp.
  • Always remember, lice do not live in the environment, they only survive on the head. Like any creature, head lice will not leave their food source to an inhospitable foreign environment.

 

How do l stop my children from being infested?

  • Spray every morning with Lice Prevention and use a Pyrethrum infused shampoo.
  • Girls: Use a lice prevention paste and spray daily to smooth away flyaway hairs which is easy access for lice to attach, and braid the hair daily or keep the hair-up, smooth and neat.
  • Boys: Use a daily lice prevention wax and shampoo to keep the lice away.

 

What if the other members of my family have lice?

  • Head to head contact is the most certain way to get head lice. Keep a distance with your head to head contact until that family member is treated and protect yourself with prevention products in the mean time, until the family member is 100% lice free.

 

When can I stop using head lice prevention?

  • Pre, and primary school families are infested most often, due to children working closely together, and the head to head contact.
  • Prevention is better than cure, so generally we suggest until out of primary school.
  • However, there is still the possibility that you may get head lice after you leave primary school through a school friend who may have younger siblings at home.

 

Will l get head lice again?

  • We can’t guarantee you wont get them again, but we can guarantee there is a higher risk you will get them if you don’t use prevention products.
  • Prevention products help to break down the louses immune system. So if you are using natural preventative ingredients like Pyrethrum (African Daisy) in the hair, the louse will stay away from that particular head.
  • Head lice cannot hop, jump or fly. They swing and climb on the hair and move to the scalp to feed. So keeping the hair pulled back at all times, and spraying with prevention products and avoiding head to head contact is best practice.

 

Do head-lice transmit diseases?

  • No, they don’t. However parasitic infestations have been shown to affect cognitive function in children and potentially reduce learning performance.

 

How old will l be when l stop getting head-lice?

  • You can never be too old or too young for head lice, they do not discriminate, they crawl from head to head. If you’re a mother, grandmother or even a baby, and are in close contact (head to head) with younger children who are infested there is always a risk of infestation.

 

Why was l not itchy and l still had head-lice?

  • We find people become immune and used to head lice especially if you have had them for sometime.

 

Where did l get head-lice from?

  • You can’t be sure how, where or when you got them. It could be from school friends, playground head to head contact, cuddling cousins, the list is endless, however you won’t get them from a sandpit or an environment. Best practice is to spray daily and always keep hair pulled or braided back, and try to keep head to head contact to a minimum, or if possible nil, so you don’t get them at all.

 

Are the head-lice products at “The SPOT 2 Be”safe?

  • Yes, “The SPOT 2 Be” take a lot of pride in sourcing the most natural products with essential oils, organic prevention, and removal products on the market for their children and families. Our success in the removal of head lice is not just from the products, but the time and professional lice removal procedure that we all use within our salons.

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