General FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions About Head Lice : General FAQs

Q: What are head lice?

Ans:  Head lice are tan or brown wingless bugs that can be as tiny as the point of a pencil or as large as a small ant (2-4 millimeters). They can only live and reproduce on a human head.

Q: What’s the difference between lice and nits?

Ans: Lice are bugs, and nits are lice eggs. Each louse starts as a nit — a tiny, waterproof, hard-to-remove egg that is laid on the hair shaft of a human head.

Q: How long is the life cycle of nits and lice?

Ans: From the time a nit is laid until the time the louse dies of old age, 32-38 days will have passed. Nits take only 7-10 days to hatch, at which point they become nymphs. While in the nymph stage, they shed their skins three times before reaching their adult size around 17-20 days after emerging from the egg. Freaky fact: after being fertilized just one time, female lice are fertile for life!

Q: How do people get lice?

Ans: More than 90 percent of head lice cases stem from direct head-to-head contact. Lice cannot jump or fly — but every time you take a selfie with a friend or put your heads together in a team huddle, lice have a golden opportunity to hitch a ride on another head!To a lesser extent, lice can also be spread by…

  • Sharing brushes or hair accessories
  • Lying on someone else’s bed or pillow (such as during sleepovers)
  • Sharing hats, helmets, or dress-up clothes
  • Cloth seats in theaters, buses, trains, or airplanes

Hugs (But please, don’t stop hugging! Just perform regular head checks)

Q: What’s the best way to prevent head lice?

Ans: Your kids won’t like our advice, but cutting down on selfies is a good start. Since lice cannot jump or fly, they can’t resist the adventure of exploring fresh terrain whenever a new head comes into the picture. Every time we put our heads together for a fast photo, it creates another great opportunity for lice to spread. That’s one reason we’re seeing more teenagers and young adults affected with lice than you might expect.

Q: Can lice fly or jump?

Ans: No! Fortunately, lice can only crawl, which is why it’s so important to be aware of situations where head-to-head contact generally occurs.

Last updated on July 22, 2019 by Lice Lifters DFW