Everything to Know About Head Lice 

Head lice can be difficult to get rid of due to the nature of the head lice life cycle and the minute size of the eggs.
Below is some information that will help explain more about head lice and nits, and what you can do to treat them.

What are
Head Lice?

Head lice are wingless insects, between 1 and 3 mm in size, which live on human beings and feed on blood. They spread easily from person to person by body contact and shared clothing and other personal items.

Every four hours or so, a louse bites into a tiny blood vessel for a meal. Because the saliva of the head louse contains an anaesthetic, you won't feel the initial bite. However, as its saliva gets under your skin, bites begin to itch. This may lead to intense scratching that often breaks the skin and can lead to infections.

What are
Head Lice?

Head lice are wingless insects, between 1 and 3 mm in size, which live on human beings and feed on blood. They spread easily from person to person by body contact and shared clothing and other personal items.

Every four hours or so, a louse bites into a tiny blood vessel for a meal. Because the saliva of the head louse contains an anaesthetic, you won't feel the initial bite. However, as its saliva gets under your skin, bites begin to itch. This may lead to intense scratching that often breaks the skin and can lead to infections.

Head Lice

Head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) are about the size of a sesame seed, and can easily be seen, although they hide quickly when exposed to light.

Head lice are very specialised and only eat human blood. They live exclusively on humans and are found on the head, especially around the nape of the neck and the area behind the ears. They are especially common in school children between the ages of three and twelve.

Head lice eat several times a day, injecting irritating saliva into the wound to prevent coagulation. Scratching the scalp can result in infections.

Nits

Strictly speaking, nits are the eggs before they have hatched. The lice that emerge are called nymphs. Nymphs grow and molt 3 times before they become adult lice after 16 to 18 days.

For this reason, re-treatment should be carried out about 7 days after the first treatment to kill off any juvenile head lice (nymphs) that have hatched since the first treatment.

A third treatment may be needed at 14 days to kill off any head lice that are late in hatching. By killing nymphs before they grow to adulthood, the life cycle can be broken.

LEARN HOW TO IDENTIFY HEAD LICE 

Causes of Head Lice

Contrary to popular belief, contracting lice is not related to poor hygiene – in fact, head lice are thought to prefer clean hair to dirty hair. However, good hygiene can combat body lice.

Head lice are spread by personal contact and by shared brushes, combs, hats, and other personal items. Head lice are common in school children and do not discriminate

Causes of Head Lice

Contrary to popular belief, contracting lice is not related to poor hygiene – in fact, head lice are thought to prefer clean hair to dirty hair. However, good hygiene can combat body lice.

Head lice are spread by personal contact and by shared brushes, combs, hats, and other personal items. Head lice are common in school children and do not discriminate

Head Lice Life Cycle

The life cycle of head lice is a key factor in the treatment process. Effective head lice treatments disrupt their life cycle through either special formulations or repeat treatments.

Understanding the life cycle of head lice and nits helps you time treatments effectively, ensuring you target them at the right stage – whether it's the nits or the adults – with fewer headaches.

Head Lice Pictures

Unsure what to look for? Get a head start and see what real head lice look like and how to differentiate nits from dandruff.

After all, knowing exactly what to look for will come in handy when you need to get rid of them!

LEARN HOW TO IDENTIFY HEAD LICE 

How to Check for Head Lice

It’s a good idea to check kids for head lice regularly! Finding nits and lice early can help reduce the time and effort for treatment and prevent them from spreading.

Learn about the common signs & symptoms of head lice as well as how to check either yourself or a family member for head lice.

Your 3-STEP Treatment Guide.

For thorough treatment, it is important that you treat head lice by following the treatment directions on pack. Some treatments require use of a metal tooth comb and combing solution to complete the treatment and some treatments require you to repeat treatment 7 days after the initial treatment.

treatStep 1: TREAT
step1-treatstep1-treat

Need a treatment solution for head lice? KP24 offers treatments tailored to your family's head lice needs.

removeStep 2: REMOVE
step2-removestep2-remove

Need nits removed? For effective nit removal, use KP24 products specifically designed for head lice and egg elimination. 

repelStep 3: REPEL AND PREVENT
step3-repelstep3-repel

Want to prevent head lice and nits? KP24 has head lice defence sprays as well as preventative shampoos for your family.

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How to use KP24

Always read the label and follow the directions for use.