Lice FAQ

The Lice Chicks have extensive Head lice knowledge and reference material to share. Educating yourself will help in the battle, and may also relieve some anxiety! Believe it or not head lice are actually complicated and fascinating!

 
  • What are / is head lice? Head lice are insects that can be found on the head and eyebrows of humans. Sometimes even a beard!

  • Can you see head lice bugs? Can head lice bugs be easily seen or spotted? Head lice are chameleons and can blend in with their host hair color. Sometimes they can be very hard to spot. Lice move quickly and scoot from the light.

  • What do head lice eat? Head lice feed on human blood three times day and live close to the human scalp.

  • Can nits hatch off the head? Nits (eggs) use the scalps warmth and moisture as an incubator to hatch. They usually do not hatch off the head.

  • What do head lice look like? Adults are about the size of a sesame seed, have 6 legs, are wingless and have a brownish tinge.

  • Do head lice jump or fly? They do not jump or fly. Only crawl…FAST!

  • What does a nit look like on the hair? A nit is laid on one side of the hair shaft. You can look at a hair and not see it until you turn the hair over. Nits will be tear drop shape and always the same size.

  • Do head lice live on pets? Lice only live on humans, not pets.

  • Do head lice live any where else on the body? There are 3 types of lice humans get. Body lice, pubic lice, and head lice. All body part specific, therefore head lice only can live on the head/ scalp.

  • Do lice prefer certain people or blood types? Lice prefer certain blood types. O+ being the most desired. Once feeding on one blood type, they will die if a different blood type is introduced. Check out our blog GAB for more Fascinating Facts About Head Lice You Don’t Know…But Should.

  • How many eggs / nits does a louse lay a day? A louse lays up to 6-10 eggs a day and can live 30 days before it dies. Therefore a bug can lay 180-300 eggs before it dies.

  • Do lice spread disease? Research is being done on lice and its potential to carry disease.

  • Can a nit reattach once removed from the hair? No, a nit cannot reattach to the hair once its been removed.

  • How many lice do I have to catch to have an infestation? / How easy is it to catch lice? A female louse mates once and is pregnant for life! Therefore contracting 1 pregnant louse can start an infestation quickly.

  • Are prescription medications for head lice harmful or all natural? Prescription oral medications prescribed by doctors contain the same ingredient used to kill heart worm in dogs! It is a stronger pesticide than OTC medications such as RID and NIX.

  • Can I successfully treat head lice with over the counter lice shampoos or prescriptions? Neither prescription lice medication nor OTC shampoos can be guaranteed to kill lice. Head lice have become resistant to the pesticides they contain. The best approach is to look at natural remedies for lice which are enzyme based.

  • How do you get head lice? Lice transmission is generally from head to head contact. Lice can be transferred through objects like hats, helmets, and hair brushes, but is less common.

  • Do lice prefer clean or dirty hair? Lice prefer any head with a blood supply no matter clean or dirty hair, etc.; no human is immune.

  • Should I wear my hair up to prevent head lice? The longer the hair, the greater chance of infestation. Buns or braids are best at containing the hair from mixing with others hair.

  • Whats the best way to get rid of head lice? The only remedy for head lice is to physically remove the nits from the hair. There are no shortcuts. Nits stick to the hair and you have to pull them off. Nothing kills nits no matter what any product claims.

  • What is the best deterrent scent to prevent head lice? Lice do not like MINT! In lab tests lice were found to walk around/avoid scents such as tea tree, rosemary, & lavender, but RUN from mint. They have a keen eye and smell. Check out our preventative mint products!

  • How harmful are over the counter lice remedies? Over the counter Medications such as RID and NIX contain pesticides also found in Hartz flea shampoo, Raid yard guard, and Black Flag flea killer!

  • How do you know if you have lice? A person may have an infestation and have NO symptoms at all! Usual signs are itching, sleepless nights, low grade fever, rash behind the ears and / or neck.

  • Why does head lice itch? A louse secretes saliva to extract blood. The itching a host may experience is an allergic reaction to this saliva.

  • How hard is it to kill lice? Even warm salt water will kill an adult louse. It’s the nits and nymphs(babies) we worry about.

  • Do natural home remedies work to kill lice? Mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, olive oil, and the like will most likely kill or suffocate the adult lice but not take care of the whole problem. These remedies do NOT kill the nits - they will still have to be removed manually. Check out our blog GAB- Home Remedies to Treat Head Lice…Do they work?

  • Can chlorine kill head lice? Head lice stay on the human head when submerged in a swimming pool. Chlorine does not kill head lice.

  • Do lice die in the water of a pool or shower? No. Lice can hold their breath for up to 2 hours. They’re survivors!

  • How long has head lice been around? Since the beginning of man. Head lice were mentioned in the bible, George Washington talked about them, and there was a lice comb found in Cleopatra’s tomb!

  • Where do lice come from? From other people. Lice have been transferring from human to human for hundreds of years. They do not originate from the grass or trees like a lot of bugs do.

  • How common is head lice? VERY. Head lice is second only to colds as the most common ailment among school children, and it is one of the top 3 reasons children miss school.

  • Is there a lice season? There is no louse “season”. They thrive all year round, in all climates though there may be busier times.

  • Are lice shampoos from the store effective in killing all bugs? No. A baby louse(nymph) does not have a fully developed central nervous system and therefore cannot be killed with over the counter meds which target the central nervous system to be effective.

  • How are all natural enzyme treatments effective and not pesticides (OTC medications/ shampoos)? Natural enzymes kill the bugs physically as opposed to chemically like pesticides. Therefore they cannot become resistant. Enzymes break down the louse exoskeleton which they cannot live without. They have become resistant to chemical treatments such as RID and NIX.

  • Do I need to bag everything when cleaning the home of lice for 2 weeks? You do not need to bag all the toys or vacuum everything in the home. Lice and Nits only survive 12-24 hours off the head. After 12 hours the louse is dehydrated and unable to feed and is thus compromised. Bagging for 2 days is enough if these items can’t be washed.

  • Will the itching go away after treating for lice? Why am I still itchy after lice is gone? A person may be itchy up to 3 weeks post eradication due to a saliva allergy.

  • What is super lice? There is an increasing resistance among lice to the chemical shampoos/pesticides and are so hearty/resistant as to be dubbed “super lice”. It is not a new strain of lice.

How do you kill lice?