Understanding about head lice isn't fun but it is important to know so you can be ready should your child be diagnosed. The following information comes from a local company Ladibugs, Inc. Their website is www.ladibugsinc.com where you'll find more information. Ladibugs also has products that are chemical free, made from natural products which is a potential solution to the problem.
I have to confess even talking about lice makes me itch. However, unpleasant it may be we all should know more so we can be prepared. Having been a nanny for children and a preschool teacher, I've experienced some lice outbreaks so I know it's good to know more.
Nannies from the Heartland does not endorse any particular product or service. This source is for information purposes only.
What are Head Lice?
Lice are tiny insects that make their home in human hair and feed on the human scalp. Head lice multiply rapidly and will lie up to 8 - 10 eggs per day. These eggs are called nits. The nits are glued to the hair shaft approximately 1/4 inch away from the scalp for warmth and have a tear drop appearance. They are dark in color and cannot be "flicked" off the hair shaft; they need to be "scraped" off. After 7 - 10 days the nits will begin to hatch. Once they have hatched with louse is called a nymph. Nymphs will not lay eggs until they are mature which will take an additional 7 - 10 days. Once the nymphs have reached maturity they will begin laying eggs to continue the cycle. During the life of a louse they can lay 80 - 140 eggs.
1. How is Head Lice passed from one person to the next?
Lice do not jump or fly. It takes only 30 seconds of head to head contact for transmission of head lice to occur. Sharing hats, helmets, goggles, clothing, etc. from someone with head lice can also contribute to head lice transmission.
2. Can my pet get head lice?
No. Pets do not get head lice. A louse may be transported through the home by the pet but the louse will not lay eggs on a pet.
3. What are the differences between over the counter (OTC) products and those available through Ladibugs?
The OTC products contain chemicals and pesticides that the lice have become resistant to. Ladibugs products are all natural and work by suffocation and breaking down the protein that adheres the egg to the hair shaft.
*There are prescription solutions from your physician but these do come with a list of warnings.
How to diagnose Head Lice?
The best way to catch lice early is to do frequent head checks. Try to check your children daily while there is a known outbreak happening. When doing a head check, look closely at the nape of the neck, behind the ears, crown and bang area. Live bugs move very rapidly through the hair and are hard to detect but you can see the nit that is attached to the hair shaft. Children with head lice may sometimes complain of intense itching. They may even have small red bite marks at the nape of the neck and scalp. The most reliable way to check for head lice is to do a thorough comb-out using a special comb which is available through Ladibugs.
We'll follow this information up with another posting about managing your home and personal items if you do have a break out.