Head Lice

Head lice are tiny, wingless insects which make their home in human hair and feed on human blood. They multiply rapidly and are spread from person to person by direct head-to-head contact. They can also be spread by sharing combs, hats and other objects such as carpet, car seats and beddling. Anyone can get head lice; they are not a sign of being dirty. Although head lice move quickly they cannot fly, jump or hop onto another person; they are not spread by pets.

Lice do not spread diseases, and are therefore not a major health problem.

nits on hairThe greyish-colored oval-shaped eggs, called nits, are glued to the base of the hair, close the scalp.

head lice on combAdults are 1/10 to 1/8 of an inch long. They are clear in color when hatched, then quickly develop a reddish-brown color after feeding.

head louse magnified

Click on images to view full-size

Identification and Control Information