Lice are tiny wingless bugs that live by sucking blood and other secretions on their host. They are the type of insect that spread quickly from one person to another. Lice don’t jump, nor do they fly! Still you can get them just by using the infested comb of some other fellow. So, every person can get lice, not only children, as many people think. Moreover, all types of lice are found worldwide. But let’s dig more into this topic. In this article, you will discover all about lice.
Types of Lice
Louse (plural: lice) is an insect of the Phthiraptera order, including about 5,000 species. Fortunately or not, only three of these species choose human hosts. These species are:
- The head louse. As the name says, they live on your head. This lice type doesn’t spread any diseases, but it causes irritations and itchiness. So, if your child scratches his head, an infection is likely to develop.
- The body louse. This type of lice invades your body and even clothing. Lice-prone areas are usually those areas of poor hygiene, which are also crowded. You can get this one by close person-to-person contact with infested people.
- The pubic louse. This one is also known as crab and is more common among people with sexually transmitted infections.
What Does Lice Look Like?
We want you to have as much details as possible. This is why we are going to present you the specific characteristics of each of the lice that host on humans. Bit before doing this, here are some general features of lice:
- It is wingless
- It has 6 legs
- They move by crawling
|Head lice||- The head louse is tiny, but apparent to the naked eye.|
- The largest ones are similar in size with a sesame seed.
- An adult louse is about 2 to 3 millimeters long.
|Gray or brown, with various shades of these colours. ||- Their shape is oval|
- Lives among humans head hairs
- Feeds on blood from extracted your scalp
|Body lice||They vary in size from 2 to 4 mm length.||- It is tan to greyish-white|
- The eggs are yellow to white in colour
|- They have flat body|
- They crawl on their host’s skin several times per day to feed on blood.
|Pubic lice||- They are similar in size with a pinhead, so they are tiny.|
- An adult louse is about 1 to 2 mm long
- They are smaller than the other two lice types.
|- Yellow grey parasites|
- Slightly translucent
- They are hardly visible on light-skinned persons.
|- Their body shape is round|
- They don’t jump from one person to another.
Again, the lice life-cycle of a louse depends on the species. But firstly you need to know that every louse goes through three life stages:
- Egg or nit
- Adult louse
Let’s find out below for how long does each lice type live!
|- The egg also called nit is attached to the hair.|
- After about 7 to 9 days, the egg hatches into a nymph.
- The nymphs are tiny and they prefer to stay close to the scalp, to feed.
- In about 9 to 12 days, the nymph reaches the adult stage
- When becoming adult, the louse is able to reproduce.
|- Adult female lay nits; these attach themselves to the base of the hair shaft as close as possible to the skin|
- When nit, people confuse the louse with dandruff
- It takes about a week for the nits to hatch into nymphs
- Nymphs need to go through three molts in order to reach the adult stage.
- Nymphs become adult lice in about 7 days.
- An adult can live up to 30 on humans’ body.
- Without feeding on blood, lice die in almost 1 to 2 days.
|- Female lice are able to lie between 50 and 150 eggs during their life.|
- The eggs are somehow glued to the pubic hair and it is hard to remove them
- A nymph hatches from its egg in about 7 to 10 days
- After three molts, nymphs reach the adult stage in about a week.
Signs of Lice Infestation
For all types of lice infestation, there some common signs you must take into consideration. Also, be aware that it may take several weeks before the signs below may be noticeable:
If you are dealing with head lice:
- Intense itchy feeling
- Irritated scalp (this is an allergic reaction your body has due to parasite’s saliva)
- You can notice small red bumps on the scalp, but also on shoulders or neck.
- In some cases, sores may develop on the scalp.
If you are dealing with body lice:
- Severe itching
- Small red dots on the skin that develop into some papula-like lesions.
- Moreover, there may be symptoms like headache and loss of appetite, if the infestation is an advanced stage.
- A neglected infestation will cause pigmentation and thickening of the skin
- This type of lice can also spread other diseases.
If you are dealing with pubic lice:
- Intense itching, especially during nighttime
- You notice nits (lice eggs) on your pubic hair.
- There is blood on your underwear (because of the scratching).
- You can also have mild fever.
- People who get lice present irritability.
- There are blue spots on your skin.
- Pubic lice can also host on children, if they come in contact with people or objects that are infested. Still, pubic lice on children host on their eyelashes, not in the pubic area. They have symptoms like itchy feeling, irritation and burning.
How Do You Get Lice?
They are spread by direct contact with infested hair. Mainly, you can get head lice when hugging someone with lice. Also you are lice-prone when you use somebody else’s personal items (comb) or fabric. Of course, we talk about a person who has lice.
You are likely to get lice if you have person-to-person contact with people infested with lice. In addition, body lice are common in shelters for homeless people, in refugee camps and on people in wretched poverty, due to unhygienic conditions.
More often, teenagers are the ones who get pubic lice. Lice pass from one person to another during sexual contact. Though, rarely, you can also get them by using bathing suits, blankets, sheets or other items.
How to Kill Lice?
If you or your children go through a lice infestation, don’t panic. Nowadays, there are so many treatments to help you. From the electric lice killing comb to shampoos and sprays, there are plenty of solutions! Find the list below and thank us later!
Head Lice Treatments
1. V-Comb – The Innovative, Allergy and Chemical Free Head Lice Treatment: This is one of those priceless products. It is an electric comb that vacuums lice and eggs while combing the hair. In addition, this comb has a disposable capture filter so you can be sure the lice are gone for good. Easy to use and aslo chemical free! Check this product on Amazon, here is the link.
2. Schooltime Shampoo for Lice & Nit Removal This can be used both as treatment and prevention measure. Schooltime Shampoo is very effective, after just one 15-minute application. You need to know that you child will be safe, as this is hyppoallergenic! Amazon will help you again, click here to see more details on the product.
3. Licefreee Spray: Did you know that this is the America’s no 1 non-toxic lice treatment brand? Well, even if it doesn’t contain any pesticide, it successfully kills lice and eggs on contact! As a bonus, they offer you a comb, for additional help. Look here to find more.
4. Treatment service: There are salon that can help you solve this problem. Of course, they are quite expensive. Still, their results are guaranteed!
Body Lice Treatments
In most cases, improving hygiene conditions is the best treatment against this type of lice. Still, as they also stay on items in your house, you can speed the eradication process. How? We recommend you some very useful products:
1. Eco Defense Lice Treatment For Home, Bedding, Belongings, and More: You can use this product on sheets, clothes or any other infested belongings. It kills lice on contact and it is also non-toxic, so your pets are also safe. Click here to see more details about it.
2. No More Lice: Here is another natural product that will remove lice from your home. It doesn’t stain and you can use it even on furnire. This is a solutionwhich is safe for your family and pets, but don’t apply it on them. If you want more details, click here.
Pubic Lice Treatment
GENITREX Natural shampoo for Pubic Lice: This is a product designed to kill pubic lice. Moreover, it is all natural and safe. Pesticide-free! Of course, you can also find it on Amazon, click here.
When it comes to lice treatment, it is not the time to be close-fisted. You need to understand this is a serious problem. Prices vary depending on what you opt for. If you use a product on the market, the costs start at about $7. If you choose a salon, it will cost you around 100 per hour, per person.
Well, lice issue is more about prevention than about treatment. So make sure to follow the rules below and you will be at safe!
- Don’t share your personal items with anyone (combs, towels, brushes)
- Don’t share clothing, sheets, pillow with infested persons.
- Periodically examine yourself and the other members of your family.
- Apply prevention products, to make sure lice won’t choose you as a host.
This was our advice for you. In this article you have find out all about lice: how to identify them, how to kill them & more helpful advice. Please remember that prevention is very important! Also, you need to apply the treatment products, according to the instructions on the label. Good luck!