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frequently asked questions

About head lice

a Head lice are tiny parasites that live in the hair and on the scalp. These parasites survive by biting into the scalp and sucking the blood of their human host. Head lice multiply and spread rapidly, laying their eggs (nits) in the hair of the infected host. The condition does not go away untreated.
a Adult head lice are similar to a sesame seed in both size and appearance. Lice eggs, also known as “nits,” are yellowish or whitish in color and are found attached to the hair shaft. Adult lice are generally grey or brown though they can camouflage and assume the color of the host’s hair.
a Moving and tickling sensations in the hair and scalp can be the first signs of a head lice infestation. As head lice bite into the scalp to feed on blood, their saliva causes an allergic reaction leading to itchy welts on the scalp. If not treated the welts become open sores which can become susceptible to further infection. Individuals with head lice may also show signs of distress and irritability. While an itchy scalp is a common symptom of head lice, an individual may have head lice but not an itchy scalp or may have an itchy scalp with no head lice. A thorough screening is necessary to confirm the presence or absence of head lice.
a You may be able to see lice in your child’s hair if you look carefully. However, lice are very tiny and can camouflage into the hair. Check the hair section by section for the presence of nits which will be attached to individual strands of hair, usually at the base of the hair shaft near the scalp. If you believe your child has been exposed to lice and are uncertain of whether or not an infestation is in progress, we recommend an immediate head lice screening. Our professionals are trained to spot lice rapidly, even in a recent infestation. Early detection saves your child unnecessary distress and helps to prevent the infestation from spreading to other children.
a Nits are eggs laid by an adult head louse. These eggs develop and hatch within 7-10 days. It is important to note that even one nit left behind can invite a repeat infestation. For this reason it is important that every louse and nit is removed from the hair and scalp.
a Head lice are one species, though in recent years there has been a rising occurrence of super lice which are increasingly resistant to chemical treatments. Body lice and pubic lice (crabs) are separate species with distinct characteristics and not directly related to head lice.
a Super lice are a yet stronger variety of head lice. With the barrage of chemical lice treatments—both OTC and prescription—lice have evolved to be stronger and more resistant to chemical treatment, gaining them the name "super lice". However, with Lice Troopers, the same treatment that we employ for standard head lice is used in eliminating super lice. There is no need to increase chemical strength or exposure, our treatment, based on manual removal of the lice, removes all varieties of head lice naturally, regardless of their strength.
a No, head lice don’t carry diseases, but head lice infestations that go untreated produce open sores that can lead to infection.
a Head lice are a parasite and a pest, and while an infestation can easily turn into a nightmare, a standard case of head lice does not pose a serious threat. If the infestation is detected early, and treated promptly and effectively, there should be no fear of danger or further health concerns.
a Lice must have a host (a human's scalp) in order to survive. Thus lice can only live for about 24 to 48 hours if not in contact with a human host. That said, care should be taken in the home when an individual has lice or has recently been treated as there may still be live lice or nits in the home.
a The life cycle of a louse is about 30 days, however in that time the lice are laying numerous eggs—up to 200 eggs per louse—that will hatch and do the same. Thus an infestation, untreated, can last indefinitely.
a The exact source of head lice is unknown, but head lice were one of the ten plagues and have been found on the bodies of mummies, suggesting ancient origins. They are found worldwide.
a Head lice live exclusively on the scalp. Body lice live on the body and in clothing. They look quite similar to the naked eye, but where the lice are found will often help to determine if the condition is head lice or body lice.
a Head lice and nits can be found all throughout the hair, but they will often be seen closer to the scalp as this is their source of sustenance and they need the warmth of the scalp to hatch. Once they have made contact with the hair of a new host, they crawl the length of the hair to reach the surface of the scalp in order to lay their eggs. They also like the nape of the neck and behind the ears as this provides a warm location for the eggs to hatch as well.
a Head lice are parasites that feed on the blood of humans. Without access to human blood, they die within 24-48 hours.
a Head lice bite into the scalp in order to suck the blood of their host but, unlike a tick, they do not burrow into or beneath the skin.
a Head lice are insects that have 6 legs.
a No. Head lice don’t have wings or hind legs and thus are unable to fly or jump.
a Yes. Lice bite into the scalp to feed off the blood of their host.
a No. It is a myth that head lice infestations are brought on by poor hygiene. In fact, experience shows that head lice seem to prefer clean scalp and hair, and strong bodily odors may even repel head lice. In the end, all people are equally susceptible to a head lice infestation if they have had contact with someone carrying lice. Lice cannot be washed away so no amount of bathing or hair washing can protect an individual from head lice.
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