Pest Control

Lice Eggs In Hair , What Should I Do ?

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Do you have lice problems? If so you might have lice or lice eggs in hair. I have few solutions for you. In this article I am going to describe your lice life cycle and much more. Read until the end.

Lice Eggs In Hair

How do you get lice?

You may get lice due to either head-to-head contact or through body-to-body contact. You will get lice despite how well you maintain your hygiene. If you do not treat it properly , chances are that it would be a recurring problem. 

Lice usually depends on human blood, and they can infest the human head and the body. Further, you may get lice if you get in contact with lice eggs too. They can not fly and jump. 

Instead they will spread to you through head-to-head contact and through body-to-body contact.

This could usually happen when children play in families and when they interact with each other much closer. Besides, if you have kept your belongings with other lice  infested belongings , it would also pave the way to spread the lice. 

This would commonly happen in your closets , or in our lockers. Further if you have kept other  pillows’ blankets and combs in close proximity it would allow the lice to spread. If you have items such as clothing, combs, hair decorations, towels and blankets which you share with others , it will also result in lice infestation in your head. 

Last but not least, you would end up having lice infestations if you had lied on a bed or in cloth covered furniture right after someone who already had lice on his head had slept on those. Lice can survive on those surfaces for a couple of days.

Lice are small and wingless parasitic insects. Their natural habitat would be the human scalp.  Further they may also occupy  around your ears and your neck area. 

They would usually feed on human blood. They can easily spread through the school children. To sum up, the two key factors in spreading  the lice would be usually by personal contact and sharing belongings.   In addition to head lice, you may also contact  body lice and pubic lice. Body lice are commonly visible among the people who do not maintain good hygiene.  

Further you can find pubic lice also and you could  spot them  around the pubic area and on coarse body hair.

What does it mean if you have lice eggs but no lice?

It could be mainly due to leftovers from an infestation which had taken place previously. They would be literally dead, and those lice eggs would not hatch. However, it is still very difficult to specify the difference. Hence it is recommended to treat those lice eggs despite there being no lice.

Lice life cycle

We can categorize the lice life cycle into three stages such as egg stage , the nymph stage, and the  adult stage.

If we elaborate further on the lice eggs, those are known as nits. It is very difficult to spot them, and chances are that you may even find it difficult to identify them along with the dandruff or with hair spray droplets. Adult females do the  laying of nits and  they will form on the  base of the hair shaft. 

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The lice eggs are 0.8 mm long, 0.3 mm wide and they are oval shaped. The lice eggs would tend to take a  yellow to white color. 

Moreover they will start hatching within a week’s time. However it may vary from 6 days to 9 days.

Next stage would be the nymph stage. Once the eggs hatch, they will release a nymph. Next the nit shell will become more prominent and dull yellow in color. They would stay enclosed in the hair shaft. The nymph would resemble the look of an adult head louse. 

However, they would take the size of a pinhead. Nymphs would take about 7 days to become adults once they complete hatching.

The final stage of the lice would be the adult stage. They would be more like the size of a sesame seed. 

They would carry about 6 legs, and they would further comprise claws. They would tend to take a tan to grayish  white color. Moreover, they would have dark hair as well. The female lice is relatively larger compared to the size of a male lice.

They can lay up to 8 nits at a time. Moreover, the adult lice can live up to one months’ time on a person’s head. It is important that they gain blood several times per day. If they fail to fulfill the  blood meals, it  will result in their death.

Lice Eggs In Hair

How fast do lice multiply?

The multiplication of the Adult lice happens in a faster way. In fact, they can lay up to 10 eggs per day. 

Further it would take about 12 days to 14 days for the newly hatched lice eggs to become adults. Further they can spread faster among people too. A head louse which is in adulthood can stay alive on a human’s head for about 30 days’ time. However, if they fall off from a person, they will quickly perish.

How many eggs do lice lay daily?

Female lice eggs can lay up to six eggs daily. They are usually larger than the male lice also.

How long do lice eggs stay in your hair?

Lice eggs can survive in your hair for more than two weeks’ time  since their laying took place. On the other hand, lice in adulthood can stay alive for three weeks on the scalp. Further they can stay alive for about one day’s time off the scalp.

What happens if you don’t get all the lice eggs out?

If you do not get rid of the lice eggs, they will hatch and restart their cycle in about 7-10 days’ time from that point. As such  ensure that you remove all the lice eggs from your hair.  That will avoid the re infestation. Unless they mature and become adults. Next, they will lay more nits.

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How do you keep lice eggs away from hatching?

It would be really challenging to deal with the lice, especially due to the small sizes they have. Further, they can hold on to the human hair tightly , it  makes it even more difficult to overcome them.

Lice have a short life cycle and once they lay eggs they will start hatching in a short period. Hence it is vital that you prevent them hatching. As aforesaid, lice eggs will be laid and stay enclosed in the hair by a sticky glue substance. It will be louse mother who will create that sticky substance. 

It is crucial in holding them onto the hair tightly and it will ensure that they will not fall off from the head.

As such to prevent them reoccurring you need to  pick them up manually one by one. If you wish to remove the nits, you can use a metal nit comb. If you find it difficult to find a metal nit comb, you can use your fingertips and do it.

On the other hand, nits will also not fall off on their own. Instead, they would stay enclosed in the hair as they grow. Hence chances are that they may still hang onto the hair even after you remove the lice from the hair after several years. 

If you had to use lice removal products or any other head lice removal services, chances are that the nits may survive as they would only kill the bugs. They would remain on the hair until you cut the hair off.

However, the nits will not create a major threat. They would only be troublesome during a routine lice check as you may misinterpret them as lice. In fact, a person carrying nits may be identified as a person who has lice again.

Consequently, it will make the affected person panic and he will end up buying lice removal products etc.  As such, ensure that you eradicate the nits as well. That will avoid any potential confusion which would take place  and further it will ensure that the person’s head is completely clean and free of lice.

Can lice eggs hatch if not on hair?

Lice eggs cannot hatch if they are on hair. Head lice can stay alive off scalp just for one- or two-days’ time. They cannot feed on the blood and due to that they perish quickly. Head lice eggs will perish within one week’s time if they do not get the right heat and humidity levels. 

When I say the right heat and humidity levels, they should be in line with the conditions they get on humans’ scalp. As such they cannot hatch anywhere else other than on the scalp. Further, the newly emerged nymphs cannot feed on the human blood, they would perish within  a short period too.

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As per the experts, we need to seal the belongings of a person who is infested with lice for about two weeks’ time before we dry clean them. Unless lice will hatch from the nits.

Lice Eggs In Hair

How long can lice live on a hairbrush?

Usually, lice can live on a hairbrush for about 24 hours. They cannot survive on non-human layers for more than 24 hours. For example, they cannot survive for a longer period on carpets, hardwood floors, clothing, furniture etc. 

Nits  cannot survive without a human host. It is important that they have warmth in the scalp to stay alive and to incubate before the hatching takes place. Moreover, they need to feed on human blood to thrive and if they cannot fulfill that, they will end up dead.

How to get rid of lice eggs in hair

There are several ways of getting rid of the lice eggs in your hair. One is by using the medicated shampoos which you can easily find to kill the adult lice and nits. For example, products like Nix and Rid are fine examples for this. 

They have pyrethrins and pyrethroids ingredients in those shampoo products. However, there are several shampoos which already contain these ingredients that are not that effective in eliminating  the lice in your hair.

However, if you consult a doctor , he will prescribe medicated shampoos which contain malathion, benzyl alcohol , Spinosad and ivermectin etc. 

However, refrain from using these medical products for younger children below 2 months old. Instead talk to your doctor and obtain an alternate medication for them.

Moreover, I suggest vacuuming carpets and upholstered  furniture so that it will avoid the lice landing in another host. Ensure that you wash the bedding and clothing properly. I recommend tumble drying them on high heat for about 20 minutes so that it will create a fatal impact on the lice.

Other than the aforesaid, you can apply essential oils like tea tree, anise oil, ylang ylang to the hair so that they will kill the lice. 

You may also apply compounds such as butter mayonnaise, petrol jelly and olive oil to the hair too. They will literally smother lice. 

Apart from that , you can wet comb your hair too. To do that, you can apply a conditioner to wet the hair and comb your hair with a fine-toothed comb. Keep doing this for about once every  three to four days and continue doing this for two weeks’ time. 

Can lice kill you?

Lice  will not carry any diseases and result in death. In fact, they are not dangerous. However, they are annoying, and they would be more like a sign of poor hygiene. 

As such , you need to treat those lice and eliminate them from your hair so that it will not spread further.  

Credit to : The Lice Lady

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.