The Stages of Head Lice Infestation

Like most pests, lice spread at a phenomenal rate but unlike other insects, our blood is their food which makes them so much more irritating. Lice reproduce at a ridiculous speed and spread so easily making them so difficult treat. On top of their ability to reproduce super-fast, they have evolved so they are resistant to most pesticide, they can go up to hours without food and around 2 days without a host. Understanding the life-cycle of lice puts you in a better position to break the cycle and effectively remove them.

The spread of lice

Contrary to what people most people think, lice don’t fly or even hop from head to head; they spread with direct contact. All it takes is a few moments of head to head contact (during a selfie for example) or few moments with an infested jacket or scarf and before you know it you have a critter walking around your head. Doctors believe that lice prefer clean, debris-free and well-groomed where they can walk around freely. They also can be found in bedding, clothing, brushes and furniture.

Nits and Nymphs

Nits are lice eggs and are laid close to the scalp. They are essentially the strongest stage of lice. The female louse lays eggs and covers it with a sticky substance that makes it difficult to remove. They can’t be washed off nor are they harmed by pesticide. The ONLY way to remove nits is to pick them out from hair strands manually—no comb is fine enough to grab a hold of nits. It takes between 6–7 days for nits to hatch; their hatchlings are called nymphs. When they first hatch, they remain close to the scalp for safety and are tough to find because of how small they are. Within 17 days, nymphs molt 3 times after which they are considered adults and are ready to reproduce.

Adulthood and Reproduction

Once they are adults, lice walk around freely all over the head. Female lice are bigger than their male counterparts and can lay up to 7 eggs a day for 17 days, just 2 days after mating. After 17 days of laying eggs, the female louse dies. Their ability to reproduce so fast is what makes lice infestation such a problem.

Treating Lice

Treating lice involves breaking this cycle and that can only happen when you treat the source of the problem – the nits. Attempting to treat lice by just killing off lice is ineffective when a fresh batch is ready to hatch. The best solution to treat lice is to comb through the hair thoroughly with a fine-tooth lice comb and to manually pick the nits. If you’re located in Plantation, Florida get in touch with Lice Troopers. We offer professional lice removing services that remove lice using pesticide free products, combing and nit-picking. We provide in-home lice removing services and home inspections and cleaning. In case you’re uncomfortable with removing lice at home, you can always visit us at our lice treatment center in Plantation. Call 954-652-6101 to book an appointment and say bye to lice!