What does lice look like, Yahoo Answers

What does lice look like?

This is soooo nasty but my neice had lice not to long ago and my head had been itching and i think i have lice but i dont know what they look like i have never had it before. how do i get rid of lice??

15 Answers

Have someone take long skewers or pencils and comb through your hair to see if you actually have them. Most people don’t have them, but they think they do so they’re mind starts playing tricks on them, making them think their head is itching when it really doesn’t.

If you do have them, you won’t see them at first. First they’re just eggs. Those are kinda hard to see. They’re almost always white, extremely small, and they stick to your hair strands like duck tape and super glue mixed together. I’m not sure how long it takes for the eggs to hatch, but then the lice will hatch and begin to move around. Most commonly they’re white. They look like. little bugs. They’re single segmented bugs. They can be brown or black, but 90% of the time they’re white.

It does take special shampoo and comb to get rid of them. DO NOT use the cheap stuff, because they’ll just come back. Use RidX or something like that. It’s bloody expensive (up to $80), but WELL worth it. Have someone comb through your hair first to check. Also, someone else has to do the medicated shampoo and combing for you. You can’t do it yourself.

Then you have to treat all your stuff. Combs/brushes, hair clips and hair ties, stuffed animals you sleep with, bedding, sheets, pillows, furniture. There are sprays you can use on the furniture, and you biol in water on the stove your brushes and hair things. But the clothes and bed linens and pillows you bag up in double trash bags for two or three weeks.


What do lice look like?

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Head lice are tiny parasites that live on the human head and feed on blood from the scalp. They are common in children and spread as a result of head-to-head human contact, not through pets.

Head lice are neither dangerous nor a sign of poor hygiene, and they do not spread any diseases. The main symptom of lice is itching.

People can treat a head lice infestation with over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication, which will kill the head lice.

Head lice have six legs and are usually grayish-white or tan. However, they can camouflage, so they may appear darker or lighter to match different hair colors.

Head lice have three stages in their lifecycle:

  • eggs, which people often refer to as nits
  • nymphs
  • adult head lice

A nymph hatches from the egg and goes through several stages of growth before turning into an adult head louse. Nymphs look similar to adult head lice but are smaller, roughly the same size as a pinhead.

Adult head lice are about 2–3 millimeters (mm) in length, which is roughly the size of a sesame seed. Head lice crawl and cannot fly or jump.

People may need a magnifying glass to see head lice in detail.

The eggs, or nits, are tiny ovals that stick to the hair shaft, measuring 0.8 mm by 0.3 mm.

Female head lice lay the eggs within 6 mm of the scalp. People will often find them behind the ears and on the back of the neck.

The term nits can also refer to the empty egg casings that remain in the hair once the nymph has hatched. These are easier to see, especially on darker hair, as they are lighter, usually white or yellow.

The most common symptom of head lice is an itchy head. The itchiness is the result of a local allergic reaction to the lice bites.

People with head lice may also notice the following symptoms:

  • a tickling sensation on the head
  • the feeling of something moving on the head or through the hair
  • difficulty sleeping as head lice become more active in darkness
  • sores on the head from scratching

It is possible to develop an infection in the sores from scratching the head. People will need to see their doctor if they get a scalp infection.

Other conditions or items in the hair may look similar to head lice. People can sometimes mistake hairspray droplets, scabs, or dirt for nits.

Some other issues that can resemble head lice include:

Hair casts

Hair casts are white, tube-like debris, and they surround the hair shaft. They are usually 2 to 8 mm in length. They are uncommon and often have an association with other skin conditions.

Hair casts slide easily along the hair, whereas nits stick to it and are harder to remove. People may be able to remove hair casts with coal tar shampoo or a fine-toothed comb.

People with light-colored hair should be careful about using coal tar shampoo as it can discolor the hair.


Dandruff can look similar to head lice eggs and also causes the scalp to itch. Dandruff is a scalp condition in which dry skin comes away from the scalp in white flakes.

Dandruff lies on the scalp and comes away easily, whereas nits stick to the hair.

People can treat dandruff effectively using a dandruff shampoo. Dandruff shampoos are available in drug stores and online.


Mites are small insects that cause scabies by digging into the skin and irritating it, which makes the skin itchy. Scabies usually affects the fingers, ankles, or wrists rather than the head.

People who notice a rash and uneven red lines on the skin or scalp might have scabies and should see their doctor, who may prescribe a topical cream as treatment.

To treat a head lice infestation, people can use medicines called pediculicides, which kill head lice. Some treatments are not suitable for young children, so it is best to check with a doctor or pharmacist before using them.

People can apply OTC head lice treatment topically to the head. It is important to follow the instructions on the medicine, which may advise a person to:

  • wash the hair and dry it with a towel to remove excess water
  • use a nonconditioning shampoo, as conditioner can create a barrier between the hair and the treatment
  • follow the instructions on how long to leave the treatment on the hair
  • rinse the hair over a sink instead of in the bath or shower to stop the treatment causing any irritation to the rest of the skin
  • use warm rather than hot water
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The treatment may cause a mild burning or irritating feeling. Afterward, people should use a nit comb to remove any dead or live lice that remain as well as the eggs.

Both of these treatments only kill live head lice, not the unhatched eggs, so people may need to apply a second dose of treatment 9 to 10 days after the initial one.

If OTC solutions are not effective, people can see their doctor. They may need to use prescription medicine that contains:

  • benzyl alcohol
  • malathion
  • spinosad
  • ivermectin

People should follow their doctor’s instructions when applying prescription head lice treatment, as misusing or overusing it may cause side effects.

Alongside treatments, people can take action to help limit lice and prevent a reinfestation, though treating all household members with active lice at the same time is usually sufficient. Some tips for prevention include:

  • washing any items of clothing or bedding that people have used in the last couple of days in a hot wash above 128.3°F (53.5°C) to kill the lice
  • vacuuming floors and furniture onto which people with head lice may shed hair
  • avoiding sharing any hair accessories, clothing, or items that come in contact with the head of a person with lice

Head lice can only survive for up to 2 days away from the human head, so they will not last long in any surrounding areas.

Shampoos for head lice are available for purchase in drug stores, pharmacies, and online.


Where Do Lice Come From – What Causes Head Lice

Now that every civilized person has an easy daily access to water right in his or her house, it is very difficult to believe that lice are still a great problem among people. Thus, if you find out that your child or you personally have lice, you may be shocked. You immediately start thinking about the possible ways of how you get lice in your hair.

Lice are small insects that parasite on humans. They suck human blood and deposit their eggs on host’s hair. Having lice is not just unpleasant, but also dangerous, as they transmit various serious diseases. Besides their bites are quite itchy and when you scratch them you can let infections penetrate through the wounds. Let us consider the ways of how do you get head lice.

What Causes Head Lice

Among the most plausible head lice causes are lack of personal hygiene and contact with a person who has lice. You are never safe with the last reason, as you cannot know for sure if this or that person has lice, unless it is very obvious. But in modern world it is hard to imagine someone who is so neglectful to his or her health that will expose his or her hair full of lice and nits to the public without doing anything about this delicate problem.

As for personal hygiene, this cause is a bit exaggerated. It is not enough to have shower and wash your hair regularly otherwise people would forget about lice in civilized countries forever. Water neither kills lice nor washes away their eggs. So if by any chance you got a head louse, it can easily settle on your hair and survive your daily water procedures. Well then, how do people get lice? The answer is clear – from other people, who already have lice. It is also possible to get lice from infected objects, but without a human they live not more than for two days.

Where Do Lice Come From?

Where do lice come from? There is always someone who has lice in this world, for example, a homeless. He or she uses the same public transport as you do. And it might happen that some insects from his or her hair can get onto a seat, which you take later. As soon as a female louse gets onto your scalp, it starts oviposition. During one day it lays about 5 eggs, which transform to larvae in 7-10 days.

Among other causes of head lice is using borrowed things that are infested by lice. That is why you have to be very careful if you share your personal items with someone, but it is better not to land or borrow such things as combs, hair brushes, hats or anything else which may have contact with your hair.

Lice Among Children

Very often problem of lice arises in children groups: at schools or kindergartens. How do kids get lice? It is very simple for children to get lice as they closely contact with each other. To keep the chances that your child gets lice to minimum you should teach him or her not to share personal belonging with other kids. Moreover you should check him or her for lice regularly and as soon as you notice nits in your child’s hair, immediately start treatment.

The problem of lice is very unpleasant, but it is not too dangerous, if you start treatment in time. So if you suspect that you might have lice, check yourself immediately. The sooner you start removing them, the easier it will be to get rid of lice completely.


What Do Body Lice Bites Look Like?

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Body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis) are small insects that feed on human blood. These parasites live and lay their eggs on human clothing and crawl onto the skin surface to suck blood. They usually feed when the host is resting, and they like to bite on soft areas where clothes are in tight contact with the skin. Body-lice infestation occurs through close contact with infested individuals, primarily those that live around crowded and unsanitary places (for example, homeless people and refugees). Because of their unclean origin, these parasitic bugs can also transmit diseases, including epidemic typhus (Rickettsia prowazekii), trench fever (Bartonella quintana) and relapsing fever (Borrelia recurrentis).

Look for tiny red dots. These itchy dots are the initial signs of body-lice bites and are commonly seen around soft, creased areas of the skin, such as the armpits, cubital fossa (crease above the elbow), underwear region, groin, upper thighs and waistline.

Look for rashes on your skin. The initial tiny red dots will eventually evolve into elevated pimple-like rashes that closely resemble German measles. These rashes are signs of your skin’s allergic reactions to body-lice bites.

Inspect your skin for signs of inflammation. If you constantly scratch the bites, the red rashes will become inflamed, turning into small, light-red conical elevations with white dots on the centers.

Observe any unusual changes on the affected areas of your skin. If you have body lice for a long period of time, certain areas of your skin may become thickened and appear darker—a skin condition known as vagabond’s disease. These thickened and discolored areas are most common around severely infested or bitten parts of the skin, such as the waistline, upper thighs and groin.

Watch for possible signs of irritation and infection. If you constantly itch and scratch the bites, your skin may become crusty and abraded, which can lead to formation of sores. These sores can potentially be infected by other microorganisms, such as fungi or bacteria.

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Body lice look similar to head lice but are longer in length. Pubic lice (or crabs) have round bodies that distinguish them from body lice and head lice.

To get rid of body lice, take a hot bath or shower. Wash your whole body thoroughly with soap and avoid being close to others until your lice are gone. Vacuum floors, couches and other furniture. Wash your clothes, bedding and towels in hot soapy water (130 degrees Fahrenheit) and dry it on the hot cycle for 20 minutes. Ironing clothes can also help eliminate nits. If necessary, buy lice medicine in the form of shampoo, lotion or cream. Do not use lice medicine on a child younger than two years of age.

Call your doctor immediately if any of the following occurs:

• If your lice bites become severely infected, have pus and emit a foul smell.

• If you feel any unusual sensations after or when using lice medication, including dizziness, headache, hot flashes, vomiting, a burning or stinging sensation or numbness on your skin.

• If you experience any symptoms of epidemic typhus, including high fever and chills, severe headache and muscle pain, cough, skin rashes, lethargy, delirium, increase sensitivity to light and falling blood pressure that can lead to possible hypotension.


6 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Chicken Lice in Your Coop for Good

Jennifer is a full-time homesteader who started her journey in the foothills of North Carolina in 2010. Currently, she spends her days gardening, caring for her orchard and vineyard, raising chickens, ducks, goats, and bees. Jennifer is an avid canner who provides almost all food for her family needs. She enjoys working on DIY remodeling projects to bring beauty to her homestead in her spare times.

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Have you ever heard of the term chicken lice? It makes your skin crawl and your head itch a little doesn’t it?

Though chicken lice aren’t the kind which lives in human hair, they can cause many problems for your flock.

Therefore, it’s important to understand what chicken lice are, how to prevent it, what signs to look for with an infestation of your flock, and how to treat chicken lice within your flock.

I’m going to fill you in on all of the information you need to know to keep your flock healthy and happy.

Here’s what you need to know about chicken lice:

What Are Chicken Lice?

If you’ve ever had a run-in with human lice, chicken lice will most likely sound all too familiar to you. Keep in mind; chicken lice only live on chickens. They may jump on you or your clothing, but they can’t feed on you which means they’ll die.

In short, chicken lice are small, flat insects. They have six legs and move quickly around the host.

Like human lice, they lay their eggs at the base of the chicken’s feathers, and the adults live on the skin of the chicken.

The good news is the lifecycle of chicken lice is relatively short. The bad news is they’re continually reproducing.

A chicken louse will hatch in the feathers of a chicken around four to five days after the egg was laid. It takes about nine to 12 days to reach maturity.

From there, an adult louse will live for another 12 days. If the louse is female, she’ll take those 12 days to lay more eggs and continue her legacy on your host chicken.

It’s important to understand the lifecycle of chicken lice and what you’re looking for to know how to spot a lice infestation in your flock.

How to Prevent Chicken Lice

If your chickens have a lice infestation, it’s important to understand what causes it and what doesn’t cause it.

First, you need to know lice are a part of your birds living in nature. It isn’t because your coop wasn’t clean enough, or you did anything wrong in particular.

Second, know what could bring potential lice to your flock. Since your birds live in nature, it isn’t uncommon for them to come in contact with other animals.

Realize chicken lice can be carried by wild birds and rodents which roam around your yard and your coop while you’re sleeping at night.

Since you understand where lice can come from, how can you prevent it?

Well, there are quite a few ways to prevent a lice infestation in your flock. Here’s how:

1. Kick Wildlife Out

We do what we can as chicken keepers to keep wildlife away from our chickens as it is because everything likes the taste of chicken.

But it’s important to make sure the chickens’ feed is placed in a secure area where wildlife won’t be drawn in to feed on their food.

Also, consider placing netting over your chickens’ yard area to keep them safe and also from allowing birds to land in your chickens’ area.

If they can’t invade where your birds roam, they can’t get close enough to share their lice.

2. Dust Baths Are a Must

Dust baths are what help treat your chickens’ skin. This is what will rub any nits out of their feathers and make them an undesirable host for lice to want to live on.

With this in mind, be sure to give your chickens a dust bath area. You should include sand, diatomaceous earth, and wood ash (if possible) in their dust baths.

These items are what deter and kill lice. The more frequently your birds can roll around in it, the better off they’ll be.

3. Clean Your Coop

I told you not to beat yourself up if your birds have an infestation of lice. You shouldn’t automatically assume it’s because your coop wasn’t clean enough.

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pride yourself on keeping a tidy coop because you should. Your chickens’ health depends upon it. If you find lice on a chicken, chances are your other birds have it, and they’re living in your coop.

This is why it’s important to be sure you clean your coop adequately and regularly to deter any parasites from making your chickens’ home, their home.

4. Quarantine the Newbies

When you purchase new birds, don’t introduce them to your flock right away. You want to assume every bird you bring home will be healthy, but there are no guarantees.

This doesn’t mean someone tried to deceive you. It could mean your bird wasn’t showing many (if any) signs of illness, but the bird is still sick or infested.

However, if you quarantine your new birds for three to four weeks before introducing them to your flock, you’ll have time to watch and inspect the new birds.

If you see signs of illness or infestation, you should treat them and make sure they’re 100% better before introducing them to your flock.

5. Watch Your Flock

Be sure you inspect your flock every month or two to see if they are showing signs of any parasites.

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Simply run your fingers over each bird to see if you notice any nits or bugs on your birds’ feathers or skin.

If you don’t see any, your flock is good. If you see signs of parasites, you’ll need to treat the entire flock because parasites travel quickly.

6. Be Careful with Broody Hens

Finally, if you have broody hens, keep a close eye on them. They don’t get up, and dust bathes as regularly as they usually would if they weren’t trying to hatch eggs.

Because of this, they’re more susceptible to having parasites. You’ll need to keep an eye on them and treat them as needed if you find parasites on your broody hens.

Signs of Chicken Lice in Your Flock

It’s important to know the signs of chicken lice infestation. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Dirty feathers around or near the vent
  • Slow moving chickens
  • Comb becomes light in color
  • Egg production lowers
  • Weight loss
  • Change in food intake
  • Chickens pulling feathers
  • Scabby or irritated skin
  • Bald spots
  • Rough looking feathers losing their color
  • Seeing bugs crawling on the skin or nits in feathers

If you see any of these signs, you should act quickly to treat your flock. Parasites can make your chickens miserable and in some cases even cause death.

The sooner you act, the better off your flock will be, and the faster they will return to happy, laying chickens.

How to Treat Chicken Lice

We’ve covered what chicken lice are, how to prevent them, and the signs to look for to recognize an infestation.

It’s now time to figure out how to treat a chicken lice infestation when you know you have one. There are a few different options available. Here they are:

1. Treat with OTC Meds

Some chicken keepers think the only way to treat chicken lice is with over the counter meds. I haven’t had an infestation I couldn’t lick with proper cleaning techniques and diatomaceous earth.

However, this doesn’t mean other chicken keepers haven’t come across this bad of an infestation.

Therefore, it’s important to understand there are over the counter medicines you can use to treat chicken lice and if you’re more comfortable with this method, you should know what’s available.

If your flock is infested with chicken lice, you can use dog flea shampoos or dog flea dips. Don’t use medicine meant for humans because it won’t impact this particular type of lice and could harm your chickens.

Also, you can use garden and poultry dust. This is a great way to kill any pest or parasite you don’t want around your flock.

Most treatments should take four weeks and be done one time per week to kill off any newly hatched nits.

2. Treat with Wood Ash and DE

There are some chicken keeps which prefer to keep things more DIY and natural when possible. There’s nothing wrong with this method either.

I’ll be upfront; some people don’t like to use diatomaceous earth around their chickens because they’re afraid of it harming their delicate respiratory systems.

If you use DE around your birds, be wise with it. You should place diatomaceous earth and wood ash in their dusting bath and let your birds apply it to themselves unless the infestation is terrible.

In those cases, it’s best to hold the chicken and gently apply DE to their skin and stirring up as little dust as possible.

You’ll also want to be sure to thoroughly clean the coop, remove all bedding, and dust everything with diatomaceous earth. Don’t reapply bedding or anything to the floor of the coop for an hour.

Don’t allow your chickens back in the coop for two hours after you’ve applied this treatment to protect them from any flying dust particles which might impact their respiratory systems.

Again, be sure to apply this treatment once a week for four weeks. Keep inspecting your birds each week at treatment time to see if the parasites’ numbers are decreasing. Also, check out our info on Chicken Mites and molting, to know what else to look for.

Well, you are now in the know about chicken lice. You know how to spot them, what they do, how to prevent chicken lice, and how to treat an infestation. Hopefully, this will spare you and your chickens any unnecessary hardships.

We’d love to hear from you. How do you treat chicken lice? Has any method worked particularly well for you?

Please leave us your comments in the space provided below.


What Does Head Lice Look Like?

It’s easier to banish a lice infestation if you know about the appearance of nits, nymphs, and adult lice.

At some point, most of us have received a note from our kid’s school about exposure to head lice. That’s no surprise, since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that anywhere between 6 million and 12 million kids are infected each year in the U.S. But when you get that note, what exactly are you looking for? Here’s all you need to know about what head lice and nits look like.

Head Lice Appearance

Head lice have three forms: egg (nit), nymph, and adult.

What do nits look like? Oval-shaped nits are about the size of a knot in thread. They’re difficult to see, but you can feel them if you run a fingernail down the hair shaft from the scalp. Nits are usually light gray, tan, yellowish, or white in color. «They can look just like a grain of sand, and they’re not easily removed from the hair,» says Paradi Mirmirani, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with the American Academy of Dermatology. After the nits hatch, dull yellow shells remain on the hair shaft.

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What do lice look like? An immature louse (or nymph) looks like an adult, but it’s about the size of a pinhead. After a week after hatching, the louse grows to the size of a sesame seed, with six clawed leg and a tan to grayish-white color. Note that the CDC says lice may look darker on people with dark hair.

Where to Find Lice

Head lice and their nits are found almost exclusively on the scalp, particularly behind the ears, on top of the head, and near the neckline. They sometimes appear on eyelashes and brows, but this is rare.

Lice grasp the hair shaft with hooklike claws. Since they don’t like light and they’re extremely fast, you may only see or feel the nits when closely examining your child’s hair. Grab a flashlight, and look or feel for the tiny bumps, which will be cemented firmly to the hair shaft about a quarter-inch from the scalp. Lice can be tough to remove even after hatching, when only the empty casings remain.

If you find nits or head lice when you’re examining your kid’s hair, stay calm. It’s an annoying problem, but a solvable one. «Remember: Lice don’t carry disease,» says Dr. Mirmirani. «They’re icky, yes. But they’re no harm to your child’s health.» Find out about how to treat lice with this helpful guide.


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