Signs & Symptoms

  • Head lice can cause itching and scratching, however only 60% of people actually itch.  The itching comes from an allergy to the saliva in the lice bites. Lice particularly love the scalp, behind the ears and the nape of the neck, but they love hair so can be found anywhere on the head.
  • Head lice are specific to the human head and need a human host to survive.  They will not travel to other parts of your body.  They are head lice.  They will not survive on the family cat or dog.
  • You can often see the lice eggs, commonly referred to  as nits, on the hair shaft. They look like tiny white little grains of sand and can often be mistaken for dandruff.  Your focus should be on the manual removal of all lice and nits from the head.  While some of those nits may be non viable, trying to determine the viability of every nit on the head without examination under a microscope can be very challenging and your time is better spent focusing on 100% removal of everything on the head.  This is really the only guaranteed way to get rid of a head lice infestation.
  • People often mistake dry scalp or  dandruff for nits.  One key difference is dandruff flakes off whereas nits literally stick to the hair shaft and will not move if you blow on them. Things like hair product residue and food can also stick to the hair shaft and do not move. Remember:  Nits are  only laid on one side of the hair shaft and have a very distinctive teardrop shape.  If you are struggling to identify what you are finding, please send us a photo of what you are finding to liceknowingyou@gmail.com.  We will do our best to identify via email.
  • When checking a head, chances are you will not see the lice because they are very fast moving. You will however see the nits and that is what you should be looking for to determine if you have an infestation.  While it is most common for eggs to be laid 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the scalp, in warmer weather eggs are commonly laid anywhere on the hairshaft.  This is because lice move more freely around the head in warmer weather. This is why people often think Springtime is lice season.  There is no such thing as a lice season.  Lice are a year-round problem, they are just more easily spotted in warmer weather.
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