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What Does Lice Look Like?

Lice – is there anything more maddening? What does lice look like? How do you get rid of it? How can you keep lice from coming back?

Here are some quick tips and pictures on how to spot and treat lice so it does not become a never-ending ordeal:


Head Lice Identification:

Adult and immature lice look quite similar. Adults are 1/10 to 1/8 inches long and tan to gray in color. They cannot fly or hop, but crawl quickly.

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Lice eggs or nits, as they’re called are white when first laid. The nits turn brown before they hatch. Nits are glued to the hair strands about half an inch from the scalp. You can tell the difference between nits and dandruff because the glue is so strong the nits cannot be as easily removed.

What Does Lice Look Like?

Check the Family

Lice are tough to spot, so look for tiny, brownish eggs on your child’s scalp, especially at the nape of the neck and behind the ears. Hatched eggs will are white and be sure to check your entire household for lice at least once a week.

Use a Product to Treat Lice

There are several products out there that are available without a prescription, or talk to your doctor about treatment for head lice. It is important however that you follow the label directions on the product.

To assure you’ve removed the live, combing is essential as there might be lice not killed by lice products.

What about other treatments?

There has been buzz about using a treatment of mayonnaise, olive oil or Vaseline. Unfortunately lice can survive after an overnight treatment of these products.

Preventing Re-infestations:

After you treat your child, you should check your child’s head daily for lice. Lice are  small and easy to overlook. If you missed just a few tiny lice or eggs, the infestation will repeat. A lot of the time parents find that their child is re-infested because they did not eliminate all the lice/nits in the during the first attempt.


Wash bedding, recently worn clothing and towels when you treat your child.. It doesn’t have to be done daily. When using the washing machine, use hot, soapy water. Lice and nits will be killed in a 140 f dryer.


Vacuum everything you can including carpets, pillows, mattresses and overstuffed furniture. Vacuum the car seats as well if you can. It is recommended that you vacuum these items instead of using insecticidal sprays.

Items such as stuffed animals and pillows which are not washable can be stored in tightly sealed plastic bags for two weeks, which will kill the lice and their eggs. You may also freeze items overnight.

Combs and Brushes

Soak combs and brushes in very hot water for 15 minutes, at let your child know that they should not be sharing combs and brushes with other people.

Remember, it is much more important to comb the child’s hair with a nit comb than to spend time washing clothes and linens and vacuuming your house.

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Itsy Sparks

Itsy Sparks

Dedicated to Igniting Young Minds, ItsySparks provides knowledge to foster learning, creativity, and exploration!