What you have always wanted to know about lice...
Lice that occur in humans are sucking insects that leave bite holes in the scalp. These holes cause itching. Lice cannot jump or fly, only crawl. They move from head to head via electrostatic attraction and at random.
How can you recognise them?
- 2 - 4mm
- from sandy-coloured to dark grey
- dark red after sucking blood
- 6 legs with hooks
- < 1mm
- white or yellow in colour
- look like dandruff, but are stuck in place
- shell is left behind after the eggs have hatched
The life of a louse
A female louse lays up to 8 nits per day for 10 days.
After 7- 8 days a nit becomes a young louse (nymph). 7 to 10 days later, the nymph becomes an adult and can lay nits itself.
Feeds on human blood and can survive without food and warmth for 8 to 24 hours.
After this the louse dies from dehydration.
Lice are happiest in the darkest areas of your scalp. They like to be behind your ears, where it is warm and moist. They also stay close to the scalp. So cutting your hair won't help.
Anyone can become infested. Lice move via hair-to-hair contact, which means that children are particularly at risk. There is no link between lice and poor hygiene.