How to Check Yourself for Head Lice

Does your scalp feel itchy? If so, don’t dismiss the possibility that you might have a head lice infestation! After all, the tiny creepy crawlies don’t discriminate against anyone! While experts say that head lice aren’t a health hazard and don’t spread diseases, the psychological impact they have shouldn’t be ignored. They’re a physical nuisance, as well, often leading to painful open sores. A person suffering from a head lice infestation can feel extreme discomfort, along with embarrassment and frustration. So if you have an inkling that you might be dealing with these parasites, make sure you check yourself for the tiny insects and take the necessary steps to get rid of them. Here’s what you need to know to check yourself for head lice at home.

Types of Lice—Make Sure You Don’t Have Another Type of Lice

We know of 3 species of lice, each of which tends to occur in different populations. Their names represent where in the body they reside. All three of these ectoparasites feed exclusively on humans. 1) Head Lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) The head louse lives in human hair, spending the entirety of its life cycle on its host. It lays eggs—known as nits—there. It also feeds there and nestles there. Of the 3 species of lice, this one causes the longest infestations. We prefer not to shave the hair on our heads, as we can for pubic lice. On our heads, they have more area to cover and more time to reproduce. And since they remain on their hosts, opposite to body lice, it takes more direct effort to get rid of an infestation. Head lice most commonly affect children due to circumstances of head-to-head contact. They prefer clean, loose hair. And, luckily, this common parasite doesn’t carry or spread disease. 2) Body Lice (Pediculus humanus humanus) Spending most of its time in clothing laying eggs, the body louse only comes into contact with its human host when it needs to feed. Differently from the head louse, it doesn’t constantly remain on its host. Most can rid themselves of these parasites by washing any possible bed sheets or clothing items in which they reside, but this doesn’t mean they’re less dangerous. They generally affect populations without access to good hygiene, such as the homeless or those living in poverty-stricken areas. They can spread disease such as typhus and louse-borne relapsing fever. 3) Pubic Lice (Pthirus pubis) The pubic louse, also known as the crab louse, attaches to coarse human hair, such as pubic hair, eyelashes, or even beard hair. It spreads to pubic hair more often, however, and can be removed by sharing the region. They occur most commonly in adults and do not spread disease. We’ll focus on head lice here, as they’re the most common and tend to cause the most persistent infestations-making them the most difficult to get rid of.

Symptoms of Head Lice

An Itchy feeling on your head You’ll find that your head will itch throughout the day. These parasitic insects deposit saliva when they bite, and this causes an allergic reaction. With a light infestation, however, you may not feel itchy right away. • Red bumps on your head or neck The allergic reaction from bites will cause light red bumps. • Sores or rashes, often infected Scratching the bites can cause painful sores which may become infected and sees over. • Nits, small white-ish lice eggs, on your hair shaft You’ll find small, white eggs may begin to appear on your hair shaft near the root. They cling strongly and are difficult to remove. • Feeling of movement on your headTrouble sleeping & poor mood

Preparation: Here’s What You’ll Need

• A fine-toothed comb • Bright ceiling light or flashlight • A magnifying glass (optional, but highly useful) • A mirror, best if handheld (2 mirrors are even better!) • Detangler or conditioner • Water Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to get started and check yourself for lice!

Step 1

First, make sure you have adequate lighting in the room where you’ll be checking for head lice. You’ll find it difficult to spot the tiny insects in a dark or dimly lit room. You may also use a flashlight or open the windows for natural lighting. If you opt for natural lighting, make sure you perform your inspection in the brightest time of day (noon to 2pm).

Step 2

Once you’ve made sure to light the room well, move on to parting your hair into halves. Doing this makes it easier for you to inspect your entire head thoroughly.

Step 3

Start at the nape of your neck and behind your ears. These warmer spots on your scalp attract lice. They’ll nestle in these areas and lay eggs, so you will commonly find nits there as well. Examine the area behind your ear with a mirror. You may also face two mirrors toward each other to get a visual more easily.

Step 4

Notice what may be nits in your hair? Make sure that’s the case, and you haven’t actually spotted dandruff. Pull on the nit and shake out your head. If the particles refuse to budge, then they’re nits.

Step 5

Finally, check the base of your neck. You can do so by putting a mirror in front of your bathroom mirror. If you find these pesky parasites crawling on your scalp, get in touch with a professional head lice removal service as soon as possible! Near Hialeah, Hollywood, Kendall, or elsewhere in South or Central Florida? Connect with Lice Troopers today! Our clinics are all over the nation and serve even more areas with our in-home treatment option. We’re one of the most reliable lice clinics, offering exceptional lice removal services with pesticide free, guaranteed treatments! We also provide excellent head lice screening, as well as home inspection services and in-home treatments. Give us a call today at (800) 403-5423 to book your lice removal appointment!