The most incriminatory sign of lice: itching. Itch is characteristic around the center of the scalp and behind the ears. The itching is caused both as a result of the bite of the lice and of an allergic reaction to the saliva released during the blood sucking process. In many cases lice are present even when there is no itching, or the itching will appear a long time after infection. Please note that skin itching is sometimes caused by due skin irritation rather than the presence of lice on the head. It is recommended to check the cause of scratching and treat accordingly.
Lice Nymph: louse that hatched out of the egg. A nymph looks like the adult louse, but is smaller. Nymph gets to the size of an adult louse within 9 to 12 days and then begins to lay eggs.
Mature louse: the size of the mature louse is the size of a sesame seed. It has six legs and it’s color is gray to light brown. A mature louse lays about 6 eggs per day, and between 50 to 150 eggs in her lifetime. Mature lice feed on blood. Lice bits are very light and not always cause an itch (lice excrete numbness material). Head lice are usually found at the back of the head and behind the ears. They can survive up to 30 days on the hair of the head, but when not on the head, they can survive two days at most. Despite lice being unable to jump or fly, they pass easily from person to person through head to head contact or sharing personal items like towels, hairbrushes or hats.
Lice eggs are shiny, oval shape, and their length is less than 1 mm. Nits are usually laid in areas where there is high body temperature, like the neck and behind the ears. They stick to the hair using a very strong glue that surrounds the egg and the hair root. This adhesive is released from the louse’s reproductive organs. Lice eggs hatch within 7-10 days. Often it is possible to confuse nits with dandruff. However, unlike dandruff, lice eggs stick to hair and do not move when you touch them.
Interesting facts about nits:
– The eggs are covered with a shield that prevents dehydration and sometimes does not allow penetration of pesticides.
– During the development of the nits they can vary in color from light brown to yellow.
– Eggs that are about to hatch are usually located close to the hair root.
– Nits located one or more centimeters away from the scalp are eggs that already hatched and do not require treatment. Empty nits are white.