What Happens When You Have Nits but No Lice

If you have nits in your hair, the presence of an adult female louse is guaranteed. Why is it that you simply cannot find it or any other insects for that matter? Before we dig it to the question, let’s explain what lice are and why your concern is warranted.

What are Head Lice and Nits?

A head louse is a tiny insect that lives on the human scalp and feeds on its blood. More than one louse are known as lice. Head lice are tiny, wingless insects that are barely noticeable to the naked eye. They live close to the human scalp. Head lice come in several forms: the nit, the nymph, and the adult louse. Adult female lice are about the size of a sesame seed. They lay nits on the scalp close to the base of the hair shaft. Lice can survive up to 30 days on a person’s head and can lay up to eight eggs a day. Louse nits are lice eggs. They are considerably smaller than lice and are oval-shaped. Nits are also attached to the hair shaft, often behind the ears or near the nape of the neck. Nits may appear similar to dandruff, but cannot be easily removed or brushed off. Nits are usually found on the bottom of the hair shaft near the scalp. They are not on the scalp itself, because they need to attach to the hair. Nits remain unhatched for six to nine days before hatching. If the tiny eggs look white or clear, the lice have hatched. If they have a brown, tan, or yellowish hue, the insects haven’t yet hatched. When the eggs eventually hatch, they will release a nymph. Nymphs look like an adult head louse, but smaller. The nymph stage lasts approximately a week before becoming a full-grown louse, according to WebMD. While the adult lice remain on the head of the original host or another host to which it is transferred, it can live up to about a month. During that time, lice are busy, laying as many as eight nits per day

Is It Possible to Have Nits but No Lice?

The Process of Removing Lice and Nits There are many reasons why you could find nits but no lice on a scalp. It’s possible to experience this satiation in the very early stages of an infestation. It’s also possible to have nits leftover from a prior outbreak. Other scenarios for nits but no lice include:
  • The louse might have laid its eggs then traveled to another head
  • It might have found your head incompatible and not laid as many eggs
  • It might have gotten old and died
  • It might have been knocked out of your hair when you were brushing or combing
These are but a few of the reasons why the louse might not be visible on your scalp. And though you may think that it’s because of your inadequate nit-picking abilities, the truth is that the louse is usually the easiest to remove. And since it’s not there, this means you need to remove all the nits as quickly as possible, so there’s no chance of a re-infestation.

How Common are Head Lice Infestations?

Head lice infestations typically affect children and, in most cases, result from the direct transfer of insects from one child’s hair to another. Head lice infestations are not the result of poor personal hygiene or unclean living environment. If you’re frustrated by head lice, you’re not alone. An estimated 6 to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Head lice most commonly affect children ages 3 to 11 years old. Infestations in school are common and can also happen through direct head-to-head contact at camp, sleepovers, or sports. But if you think head lice only affect children, think again. Adults can contract the tiny insects too. If you want to learn more about how lice spread in pools, pillowcases, or helmets? Check out our “The Spread of Head lice – How Does It Work” infographic. Do Lice Eggs Cause Itching? One of the most common symptoms of head lice is an itchy scalp, according to the Mayo Clinic. The itching is an allergic reaction to a louse bite, not the presence of lice eggs. The itchiness from lice may not show up for a few weeks after your initial infestation. Along with itching, lice can cause other symptoms, such as:
  • Sores that develop as a result of scratching
  • Irritability
  • A sensation of something moving on your head
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • The appearance of lice eggs, or small white objects in your hair
If this is your first time dealing with head lice, don’t panic. Take a deep breath, and check out our guide for identifying head lice. Remember, lice are easily treated. It’s important to note that head lice are not a medical or public health hazard. Head lice do not spread disease. Head lice can be a nuisance because they may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.

Lice and Nit Location Reveals A Lot About Infestation

If you are unsure about how severe your lice infestation is or if you’re wondering about seeking professional lice treatment, it’s essential to know the location of lice and nits. As we mentioned, nits are typically near the scalp, but not on it. The number of nits also reveals a lot of the severity of your lice infestation. A few scattered nits mean you likely caught the infestation early. But if there are a lot of lice present on the scalp, it’s more difficult to determine how long they’ve been there. If you see many nits, but no lice, you should likely seek professional lice removal treatment. You’ll have several results:
  • You’ll either find lice
  • You’ll find dead lice and nits
  • You’ll find dead lice but no nits
  • You’ll only find nits
If you’ve only found nits but no lice, there are two possibilities. You might have a mild infestation problem. Or it could be leftover nits from an infestation that occurred a while ago. There’s no way of telling the real cause, but you’ll know what to do. Watch this video to see Lice Troopers Four-Step Lice Removal Process

The Do’s and Don’ts of Lice Treatment

Now that you are certain that you have no lice and only nits, you might be tempted to treat your hair at home. And that’s something we do not recommend. There are several types of over-the-counter treatments for lice and nits in children and adults. Shampoos, conditioners, insecticides, gels, sprays, and combs are just some of the products that you can find online or at your local drugstore. Many of these products contain harmful chemicals that can affect the central nervous system. The main appeal of many over-the-counter treatments is their low prices. But the saying ‘you get what you pay for, really rings true here. Many of these products are not effective, and in some cases, can be extremely damaging for your hair and scalp. The same is true for using these products on your child’s hair. Research shows that over the past few decades, a genetic mutation in lice enabled them to develop a significant resistance to these chemicals found in several over-the-counter treatments. Instead, it’s much more effective if you opt for pesticide free lice removal treatments.

Call Lice Troopers Today for Professional Lice and Nit Removal

Scheduling professional lice removal treatment is as easy as making a phone call. Simply call us to make an appointment, and we will get you in right away. Our lice removal clinics use pesticide free treatments to leave you and your family lice-free. Lice Troopers treats tens of thousands of lice cases every year. That’s why doctors recommend us, and moms love us. We also help:
  • Gain the peace of mind that your family is lice free!
  • Professional, discreet, and confidential—Lice Troopers technicians have experience dealing with children
  • Our staff will provide you with information on how to avoid future infestations
At Lice Troopers, our methods are simple and effective. Our lice removal products are non-toxic and pesticide-free. We don’t use any unnecessary gimmicks. Our lice experts are specially-trained in the art of nitpicking. We use professional-grade nit combs to remove lice, nymphs, and nits—many of which are undetectable to the naked eye. Call us now at 1 (800) 403-5423 for fast, professional lice treatment in one of our clinics or in your home’s comfort and privacy. We’ll get rid of your lice in no time!