What are head lice?
Head lice, otherwise known as nits, are tiny, wingless parasitic insects that live in human hair. This parasite survives by sucking blood from the scalp. If this makes you skin crawl, learn how to find, treat and banish head lice below.
How do you catch head lice?
Only transferred by humans, head lice can spread by coming in physical contact with someone with nits or by sharing an item of clothing.
What do head lice look like?
Only found on the scalp, head lice are only 1-4 millimetres in size and are either grey or a reddish brown. You will need to also look out for brown/yellow, tear-shaped eggs which cling to the hair.
How to kill head lice
Killing head lice takes about 2-3 weeks. No head lice treatment on the market currently kills 100% of head lice eggs, so repeating the following steps a week after the first treatment is the only sure way to banish head lice for good.
- Apply conditioner to hair from root to tip
- Use a head lice comb to remove lice and eggs, placing them in hot water to kill them
- Wash your hair with a head lice shampoo, being careful to apply to each section of hair and following instructions precisely
- A week from this first treatment, repeat the process again
Note: Washing sheets, clothes and treating carpet is not necessary as head lice can only live for one day off a human head.
Prevent head lice from returning
Although head lice do not spread disease, the itching is very uncomfortable. By doing everything you can to prevent head lice from entering your home, you will save yourself from having to waste time trying to remove them.
- Teach your kids to not share hats, scarves and clothing
- Regularly check the whole families hair with a lice comb
- Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar while washing
- Add a drop of Teatree oil to your hair brushes
- Keep long hair in a braid or bun
Keep your entire home pest free with our tips for eliminating fleas.
Check out some of our other healthcare blogs: