What Do Head Lice Look Like?
There are more than 3,000 louse species in existence, but only three are known to affect humans:
- Head lice—live in human hair, close to the scalp
- Body lice—live in clothing and bedding; most commonly found on people who aren’t able to bathe or wash their laundry regularly
- Pubic lice—also called crabs, these lice live on the skin and hair around the pubic area
Household pets, like dogs and cats, do not spread human head lice.
What do head lice look like?
Head lice are tiny, parasitic insects measuring about the size of a sesame seed (2-3 millimeters). They are wingless creatures and move about by grasping onto hair or threads with their claws.
Because head lice are tiny and often in motion, they can be difficult to spot with the naked eye. The best way to detect them is through a wet check, segmenting hair with professional-grade lice and nit comb.
What do Nits, or head lice eggs look like?
Nits, or head lice eggs, are typically easier to detect. Less than a millimeter long (measuring roughly the size of dandruff) and oval in shape, they range from white to brown in color. Nits have a sticky residue, causing them to stay attached the hair until you seek lice treatment.
The CDC estimates 6 to 12 million head lice infestations occur in the United States each year. Head lice are highly contagious and are most often contracted by preschool students, elementary students, and those who work at daycares or schools with young children.
If you believe you or a family member has head lice, it’s important that you contact a trained lice removal professional as soon as possible to receive lice treatment. Lice Care Solutions offers same-day mobile lice removal appointments to treat for head lice and nits and teach you and your family how to get rid of lice.