When we say that someone has head lice infestation, they have wingless, blood-sucking bugs on them. These bugs cannot fly and therefore spend their entire lives on the scalp. Lice infestation can be traumatic because one will scratch, itch and be constantly be irritated by them. The survival rate of the lice is high, meaning that one could be having head lice at any one given time.
Head lice infestation is highest in children
Though adults get infested by lice, children get infected the most because they are touching each other, sharing combs, clothes among other things. The lice are highly contagious such that your child could get infested at school and introduce them at home unknowingly.
How to identify the lice
The lice are usually very tiny and one might not be able to identify them by just looking. They reside in the seams of clothes, scalp and the base of the hair. Sometimes one will confuse the lice with the dandruff flakes. One way to distinguish a head lice infestation them is to try to comb the hair. The flakes will come off the hair easily. On the other hand, the nits produce a sticky substance which makes them to stick to the hair. The comb will not be able to remove them.
Life cycle of the lice
The eggs of lice are known as nits. A louse can lay thousands of eggs at the back of the ear, neck, scalp and the base of the hair. The nits incubate and grow into nymph’s .The nymphs or juvenile lice feed on the blood and mature quickly into adult lice. Then the female adult lice lay eggs and the cycle is repeated. If one comes into contact with someone with lice or share personal effects, lice infestation takes place. And the adult lice start a new life on the next victim. Given the fact that they are highly contagious, an entire household could be infected in a matter of days.
How to deal with head lice infestation
There are many approaches one can use to deal with lice infestation. The first one is dying the hair with hair color. Then there are brands of hair dyes which are very toxic to the lice and their young. They instantly kill the lice. One should ensure that they only use the hair dye with high ammonia content so that the lice are killed totally.
The hair colour will not be able to penetrate the shell of the eggs, and hence the nits will survive. The best way to ensure that the nits are destroyed is to subject them to high temperature. The heat will dry the shells, killing the nits in the process.
The other viable alternative is bleaching the hair .The bleaching of hair kills the adult lice and juvenile lice will be destroyed immediately.
When it comes to the lice, prevention is the way to go. Observe highest level of hygiene by separating the infested clothes and washing them in hot water. One should avoid sharing personal effects. clothes and hair utensils to avoid infecting each other.