Understanding the lice life cycle
Learning the lice life cycle can help understand how and when the infestation should be taken care of. If you’ve been noticing your child scratching their head, never assume it’s just an itchy scalp.
Dealing with lice can be stressful, there’s no doubt about that. But leaving the infestation untreated will only make it worse.
Many people ask us if the lice will eventually die and the problem will solve itself. The answer is no.
The lice life cycle
The lice life cycle lasts about 30 days. Once a female reaches adulthood, she will lay about three to five eggs, per day. Those eggs will hatch within seven to 10 days. Nymphs grow and develop into adults in about seven to 10 days. Not only will the problem get worse for the person who had it to begin with, but the chances of spreading it to another person are high, especially those in close contact.
Lice shampoos are not effective at killing lice
Head lice shampoos are not effective at killing lice. These methods are great to use as preventatives, but these alone will not remove a head lice infestation. The reason for this is that it will not effectively kill the nits that have been laid on the scalp. They will continue to grow and hatch.
Furthermore, adult head lice have the capability of holding their breath for up to eight hours at a time. According to MedicoRx, this is why home remedies such as suffocating head lice or using mayonnaise are completely ineffective as well.
Head lice is highly contagious
The easiest way to spread lice is through head-to-head contact. Lice don’t jump or fly. So, what exactly does head-to-head contact mean? It could be leaning in for a hug, whispering a secret, sitting together to share a good book or look at a computer screen, or even pushing heads together to snap a selfie, which is common teens and children.
Adults that live in the home of a small child are also at much higher risk of infection. One of the most common mistakes people make is not checking every person in their home for head lice. It is highly likely that if one person in your home has head lice, others are infected as well. We usually say at least 50 per cent of the household has it when there is active infestation in the home.
Nitpicking helps, but isn’t the best method
Sometimes parents rely solely on their ability to nitpick through a child’s hair and pick out every nit they find. Dandruff is oftentimes mistaken for lice, or parents find lice and think it’s just dandruff. A metal terminator comb is the best way to get rid of the nits. It may be helpful to lay a piece of paper towel down when combing and fanning the comb out after every swipe.
Here’s how we can help
Lice Clinics of Canada offers professional head lice checks. If a friend you’ve been around recently informs you that they have a lice infestation, or a letter comes home from your child’s classroom, Lice Clinics of Canada can screen your family to ensure you’re free of lice. If a lice infestation is found, we can eradicate the infestation in just 90 minutes. Our treatments will save you time and money in the long run, because the problem will be eliminated, rather than prolonged with ineffective treatments.
We know everything about the lice life cycle, and how to help you get rid of it! Call today to schedule your appointment.