Head lice are tiny parasitic insects that live in human hair. If you want to know how to check for lice and how to eliminate them, we have compiled a list of the most proven techniques to manage an infestation. In this article we're going to share some tips on how to get rid of lice and nits from hair. Before we begin, let's first understand what a head louse is.
The human head louse is a true insect, in that it has three pairs of legs. It does not have wings, nor powerful legs for jumping--rather, it moves around by grabbing onto hair shafts with claw-like legs. The head louse has to feed every four to six hours, and does so by drawing minute amounts of blood from the scalp. A louse must remain in human hair to support its feeding habits, and cannot survive for more than 24 hours when it falls off from the head onto other surfaces. They are not found in pets and are not transmitted by any other agents apart from humans.
If you want to eradicate these pesky parasites, you must know how to look for lice. And this means understanding the symptoms of an infestation.
That bothersome itchy sensation on the scalp that comes from an infestation is due to a reaction with the saliva of the lice. How soon after an infestation the itchiness starts depends on an individual's skin sensitivity. In some cases, it may take weeks before the individual is aware of an itchy feeling and starts scratching the scalp.
Tip 1: For a lice infestation, mechanical or manual removal is the most preferred method. One of the most effective measures is vacuuming the hair. You will need a special attachment for the vacuum, which can be found in pet supply stores. This attachment should fit perfectly into the vacuum nozzle, and ensure that the person does not feel uncomfortable. Vacuuming is one of the fastest and safest ways to remove lice.
Tip 2: When checking for lice, an effective tool is a fine-tooth comb specially designed to catch and remove these parasites. These can be found in most local drug stores. You can also get special combs from pet stores, although they are sold as flea combs. These simple tools have very fine teeth that can catch lice and remove them from hair.
Tip 3: If you want to eradicate an infestation from your own hair, you should know how to check yourself for lice properly. Perhaps the most common method is just by feeling around different parts of the scalp. Make sure you cover the whole head, going slowly, through all of the hair. If you find a head louse, you can simply grab it with the index finger and thumb, and remove it. Another simple method to check for lice is to use tape. Applying tape to hair can also remove head lice.
Tip 4: A simple and proven way to check for lice is to part the hair into sections and then look at each section one at a time. This method makes the pests more exposed and easier to remove. After inspecting a section of hair, mark it with a clip or hair pin. This is a good way to find and get rid of lice from a child's head. This method works best with a magnifying glass under a bright light, especially for people who have light-colored hair.
Tip 5: A warm comb may also be used to check for lice. You can heat up a comb so that it feels pleasantly hot on the scalp, and pass it through hair. This will excite the lice and cause them to leave their usual hiding places in the bases of hair shafts, close to the scalp. You can use a regular comb or a special fine-toothed lice comb for this simple, effective method.