The life cycle of head lice begins with the nymph stage, when the lice are very small. These insects are about the size of a sesame seed, with six legs that extend from their central body. They are smaller than adult lice, but grow larger each time they molt. Adult lice can be as small as a sesame seed, but they are often lighter in color. Lice travel by crawling rather than jumping.
Lice can be spread from person to person, even in the same house. This makes it important to treat your child’s head, and to check other members of your family, especially if you have shared bedding with someone who has lice. Treatments for head lice are usually simple and only involve changing pillowcases and washing the affected area with hot water.
Although head lice are highly contagious, they are relatively harmless. They only live for a day or two, and they only feed on human blood. Lice can be spread to other people by direct contact with their hair or by touching shared objects. Once you have been exposed to a lice infestation, you can easily spread the disease to other people by sharing your clothes, bedding, towels, or bedding. Unlike other diseases, head lice are not spread by animals. The infection can affect individuals of any age or race.
The first sign of head lice is itching. The itching comes from the saliva produced by the lice. When you touch someone who is infested, you may experience itching. This is due to the allergic reaction to the louse’s saliva. In most cases, lice die in two days or less, but it may occur after four or more weeks.