The most common question posed by parents of young children is “how fast do head lice move?” Lice are very small and can move quickly across the head. The adult louse can lay up to five or six eggs per day. The eggs are carried by the louse’s body in nit shells close to the scalp. Once the nymphs hatch, they live on the human scalp for nine to fifteen days. Once they hatch, the lice are a permanent part of the human hair and are difficult to remove.
Lice live on the scalp of their human hosts and cannot survive in water or soil. The average healthy child has fewer than 10 live lice. Lice infestations are asymptomatic until the victim is exposed to the lice’s saliva and becomes itchy. In cases of untreated infestation, secondary infection of the scalp can occur. Fortunately, head lice do not carry any other diseases or vectors.
Head lice eggs can be difficult to spot, as they are so tiny. They resemble tiny white or red dandruff and are attached to the hair shaft. When the eggs hatch, they become pale and see-through. When adults are ready to reproduce, they will start laying more eggs.
It is important to find the lice as quickly as possible. Although head lice are not easy to find, they are common on the scalp. They can be found near the scalp, behind the ears, or even on the eyebrows. The best way to check for them is to part the hair in small sections and look closely. Repeat the process daily for a week. Make sure to check all family members.