Here are some basic facts about head lice. You should really know what you are dealing with. As they say, knowledge is power.
Head lice are very small, and often difficult to find on the scalp, but they are not microscopic.
Lice and eggs are not like viruses - they can be seen with the naked eye. Their eggs are like tiny oval drops that are yellowish-white and are completely glued to the hair. The baby louse starts out as small as a speck of pepper. After hatching, it is completely clear in colour, but it turns red after its first meal, and it then turns a translucent brownish colour as it grows. Its colour can also be enhanced by the colour of the hair it is in – head lice look darker in lighter hair and can easily blend in with darker hair. A louse is as big as a sesame seed when it is fully grown.
The life cycle of lice lasts around 50 days.
They are in an egg for 7-10 days. After they hatch, they grow and molt their way to adulthood for another 10 days or so, and then once they reach adulthood, they live for about 30 days.
The female louse can lay about 3-10 eggs every day.
She can lay up to about 100 eggs in her lifetime. It sounds like a lot, but you can always pick her eggs off faster than she can lay them if you are diligent.
Lice are only passed from head to head through direct contact.
They cannot jump, they cannot fly, and you can’t get them just by being a room with someone who had head lice. The most current research shows that you also cannot get them from inanimate objects such as hats or brushes that have been used by someone who has head lice.
Head lice are a nuisance and a big inconvenience, but they are not a health issue. Unless you scratch your head so much that you create wounds that get infected, the head lice just create a bothersome itch, and that’s all.
Head lice like clean heads. They like dirty heads. They just like heads.
Having head lice does not mean that you have poor hygiene.
Head lice can only survive off the head for 2-3 days.
Otherwise, they starve.
Head lice can hold their breath and hang on.
This is why they are not affected when you go swimming or have a shower.
Head lice live on the human head (and sometimes they visit the neck for a snack).
You cannot give them to or get them from your pets. If you see bites on other parts of your body, you are dealing with something else and should seek medical attention. If you see bugs crawling around your home and you know that they didn’t just get shaken or brushed off of your head, then you can safely say that they aren’t head lice but a different problem to deal with.
Head lice are stopped by head cleaning, not house cleaning.There is no evidence to show that house cleaning or laundering will reduce your chances of reinfestation or will increase your chances of getting rid of the problem. They live on the head and are useless off of the head. So don't waste your energy by performing a marathon cleaning/laundry frenzy. Save your time for dealing with what's on the head.