Head lice are small crawling insects that are spread from person to person. Because they cannot fly or jump, they can only be transferred through head-to-head contact. Children can catch them at school, daycare, sleepovers, and sports activities. It’s important to treat an infestation as soon as possible so you can protect your children from spreading the disease.
The nit (egg) of a head louse is a tiny yellow or white egg. They are hard to see and are hidden in the seams of clothing. Adult lice can stay on a human’s head for up to 30 days. They lay about eight eggs each day. When the adult louse emerges, it looks like a tiny crab and grows up to be about one millimeter long.
Head louse adult insects can be hard to spot without a magnifying glass. The louse lives in hair follicles about an inch from the scalp. Its size will change as the nymphs hatch. Adult head lice are a shade darker than the nymphs.
The easiest way to spot lice is to examine your child’s hair closely. Make sure to use disposable gloves. The hair should be wet, so the lice are less likely to scurry away. You should sit in a well-lit area and part the hair into small sections. Examine the scalp, comb outward slowly, and look for any lice moving from their eggs. If you notice any lice, you should treat them right away.