Lice are parasites that live on people’s hair. Each animal species has its lice. The most common in humans are those that live on the scalp. They feed on the blood that they suck when they bite. They are very common in school age. Today we will talk about what does lice look like, and how to get rid of them.
Removing lice and nits quickly and effectively is one of the biggest headaches for mothers/fathers or caregivers.
Rare is the week or month in which the infestation alert does not appear in a WhatsApp group in a school. The objective of this article is to collect the recommendations to recognize, prevent, and eliminate them. So, let’s know more about what does lice look like.
What does lice look like?
Lice are 3-4mm long in adulthood, the size of a sesame seed. Their six legs end in hook-shaped claws that they use to grip the hair firmly.
They are transparent. That is what makes the lice so challenging to detect in the hair. Once they have eaten, the lice turn a reddish-brown color. They lay their pearly white eggs very close to the scalp. You may find dead eggs that are brownish, or empty white-colored shells (nits), which look like dandruff in some cases.
- The eggs hatch after seven days. These “baby lice” are nymphs.
- In 10 days, the nymphs become adults capable of laying eggs.
- Adult lice live for about 30 days. During this period, female lice lay between 200 and 300 eggs.
Lice often invade the heads of our children when they return to school benches. Community life favors the transmission of parasites. While many anti-lice products exist, some parents prefer to turn to natural solutions to eliminate these little bugs. How to fight against lice naturally? What are the favorite products for treating hair effectively?
Dangers of conventional treatments: What does lice look like?
Their composition distinguishes the classic anti-lice treatments. Indeed, products are containing synthetic pyrethroids and those containing malathion.
Pyrethroids are toxic to the nervous system of parasites. Many parents suspected conventional synthetic pyrethrin lice products to exert neurotoxicity. The few studies on the subject conclude that the toxicity is low for humans.
Malathion is a molecule exploit since the 1970s. Its toxicity also consider to be low in humans. However, malathion-based products harm the environment, especially bees and some birds.
These different elements lead some consumers to favor anti-lice products of natural origin.
Fight against lice: natural repellents.
Lice go from head to head, clinging to the hair. They like clean land. Classic shampoos cannot eliminate them. They feed on blood, and their saliva is very itchy on the scalp.
Some essential oils have repellent properties. This is particularly the case with lavender. But not easy to properly dose crucial oils, especially for children. Using ready-made treatments is the best option. Here are the preventive products available on our site:
The Pranapoux lotion with essential oils (lavender, lemon, oregano) is a ready-to-use spray that vaporizes on clothes (hats, scarves) on the neck and temples. It can be used from 2 and a half years old.
Some shampoo also have preventive care. It contains lavender and can use every day during times of risk. Without alcohol, without insecticides, it has natural products and does not attack the scalp.
Natural treating treatments
In the event of contamination, it is necessary to act quickly. Indeed, the female louse lays about ten eggs per day, which mature after about 15 days. The invasion is, therefore, rapid. Here are some procedures to follow to get rid of lice.
The coconut oil is effective against lice. It is necessary to apply coconut oil on the entire hair to act effectively, from roots to ends. Leave on for 6 to 8 hours (to cover the hair with a swimming cap or transparent film). Then pass the lice comb, rinse and dry. You can repeat this operation every four days until the lice are extinct.
The combination of coconut oil and essential oils can give you a great result. Indeed, by adding a few drops of lavender, you achieve an effective treatment. Apply this natural product to fight against lice and leave on the hair for 45 minutes. Then rinse and wash them.
White vinegar is a readily available product. To eliminate lice from your hair or that of your child, all you need to do is a shampoo with vinegar (watch out for the eyes!). Afterward, rinse thoroughly, then pass the anti-lice comb to eliminate the parasites. Repeat one or more shampoos to remove the vinegar smell.
The baking soda is effective against slow. Mix a small amount of baking soda with water. Apply this paste on the scalp and massage for several minutes. Then, rinse, shampoo, and then finish the treatment bypassing the ragweed to eliminate the nits.
Admittedly, do-it-yourself solutions are very economical, but they can take longer than conventional treatment. For parents in a hurry who are looking for efficiency in a minimum of time, Aromapoux lotion is from the laboratory PranaroWem. Delivered with a comb, it gets rid of lice and nits in 3 days, at the rate of one application of 15 minutes per day.
Actions in parallel: What does lice look like?
When the hard part is complete, you have to get rid of the lice and nits. It is imperative to avoid recurrence so that you do not have to start the whole process repeats. To prevent new contaminations and get back into the fight against lice :
- Gather household linen in contact with lice such as pillowcases, cushions, sheets
- Then wash these things at 60 ° C, minimum.
- To complete this action, you have the option of drying the laundry for at least 30 minutes.
- You can also lock the laundry in a garbage bag for 48 hours to a week before washing them. Lice die outside the hair.
- Also, remember to use a repellent treatment daily until the critical period is over.
Critical points of recognition: What does lice look like?
Eggs / Nits: The female louse will lay her eggs close to the scalp (1-3mm, close there, warm). These nits are tiny (0.5 mm, they are oval, with a small “stem,” brownish or yellowish, indicating that they are “full,” that they are incubating the louse that will be born). They are very attached to the hair. They are so small that they are often mistaken for dandruff. If the eggs/nits are far from the root (more than 1cm from the scalp), they probably indicate that they are “old eggs” and are already empty and discharged. We will see them in white or transparent. They are the sachet without the louse.
Nymph (3 instars):
Between seven and ten days, the nit hatches, and a louse (the nymph, 1 or 2 millimeters in size) comes out that quickly begins to suck the scalp (they eat four to six times a day). Their saliva has a series of enzymes that trigger an inflammatory reaction responsible for the characteristic itching. This itch can be immediate or happen even weeks after the infestation (therefore, it is possible to have lice and be minimally symptomatic). At ten days and after three stages of growth, it will become an adult.
Adult louse: females are larger than males (at a rate of 2-4mm). It has six legs, and they are grayish/white/brown. Each female louse lays five to ten nits a day. As you live a month, you can put a hundred or two hundred per life cycle. When we detect the adult louse walking on the children’s heads, we usually will also find nits or nymphs in different stages. So the problem has been there for more than fifteen days. And if we only find nits and not the louse walking, it is possible that there is also (the louse) but that we have not seen it (lack of training / because it is tiny and hides very well).
What symptoms and signs can lice cause?
Some people are asymptomatic or have few symptoms. The most common symptoms are:
- The tickling sensation from something moving in the hair.
- Itching, caused by an allergic reaction to head louse bites.
- Irritability and difficulty sleeping; head lice are most active in the dark.
- Injuries to the scalp caused by scratching. Sometimes, these lesions can infected by bacteria present on the person’s skin.
- It must be remembered that human head lice do not transmit disease.
FAQ of What does lice look like?
How can lice diagnoses?
Head lice infestation is diagnosed if live nymphs or adult lice are found on the person’s head. It is tough to find adult lice and nymphs because they are tiny, move quickly, and avoid light.
If you want to detect the lice, it is essential to carry out periodic hair checks daily in times of “suspected infected” (when there are known cases nearby, in class, and the family) before they multiply.
What is red louse?
The “red louse” is a mite whose learned name is Dermanyssus gallina. Unlike biting lice that live on chickens, red lice live in the henhouse: they are blood-sucking. That is, they feed on blood, especially that of hens.
They particularly appreciate dark and hot places and lodge themselves in the slightest crack, between perches, boards, in pipes.
In summer, when temperatures are pleasant, the parasite’s reproductive cycle accelerates: a louse can lay up to 200 to 300 eggs per week, which become adults in 7 days. Hence the exponential and quickly uncontrollable growth of the lice population!
How do you know if red mites are living in your chicken coop?
It can take several months before you suspect their presence, especially if the chicken coop is not cleaned regularly. If your hen’s general condition changes, you often start by trying to spot if a physical problem is not bothering her. Then you can ask yourself the question of the presence of red mites.
Red lice living in dark corners, if their numbers are low, you might not see them just by glancing around the chicken coop. It is then necessary to do meticulous research by inspecting every nook. and cranny, planks, perches, lifting the straw. Sometimes, the invasion is so essential that the lice are present in all the corners, and it is in this case, humans can prick.
To check for the presence of red mites in your henhouse, you can, for example, tape a folded white paper tissue on the perches in the evening. If red mites live in the coop, you should find some inside.
You can also spot their droppings, which look like wildfire that looks like a mixture of pepper and salt. Blood-soaked red mites can also be found in chicken droppings. They are often more visible at nightfall.
What danger for your chickens?
In the more or less long term, the hen’s bit by red mites become anemic (pale crest), and their general condition weakens.
Lice are the cause of severe itching (traces of bites on the skin, loss of feathers in the neck), which disturbs their sleep; this stressor causes a decrease in immune defenses and makes the hens more vulnerable to infections and intercurrent diseases.
In the event of a heavy infestation, laying is considerably reduced or even interrupted.
Conclusion of What does lice look like?
The first step is to know the lice and its different forms. We cannot fight what we do not know. And like everything in life, it is a matter of training and documentation.
The louse is transmitted from one person to another by direct contact. It has no wings (it does not fly). Do not jump. When rubbing or touching their heads, the (adult) louse passes from one hair to another with great ease.
It can also be transmitted by exchanging combs or other accessories (refrain from sharing these elements).