If your child has head lice, you should immediately wash any clothing that comes in contact with the child’s head. You can use hot water and a high heat setting to kill the lice and nits. You should not throw away the clothes but store them in a plastic bag in a cool place. Dry-cleaning the clothing is also a good idea. Avoid using pesticides on the clothes as they may cause a chemical reaction and harm the entire family. You should also check for head lice on other household members.
While head lice live on the head, body lice prefer the clothing of their host. Both types of lice have three stages in their life cycle: the egg, larvae, and adult head louse. Lice eggs are oval cylinders that cling to the hair on the head and clothing. Lice eggs are most common near the ears and in the back of the head. They can also live on clothes near the seams and creases.
The lifespan of head lice is between two and 13 days. The eggs can live on clothes for up to six to nine days, but they are not able to live outside of the host’s body for that long. The life cycle of the louse is similar to that of the egg, and they live on the body as well. Depending on the environment, they can be very abundant. It is possible for a person to have as many as 30,000 body lice, which is more than twice as many as head lice. The female lays 50-150 eggs in her lifetime, with some laying 275-300 eggs. They need a blood meal every five hours, and when they hatch, they live for between five and eight days.