Frequently Asked Questions

Can my dog get head lice?

No, animals do not get head lice, they need a human scalp for their blood supply.

How long does my child need to stay home from school?

Once every louse and nit is removed they are no longer contagious and there is no risk of them passing lice on to anyone else. They should return to school as soon as they are nit and lice free.

Can I get lice again?

There is no immunity from head lice and so the short answer is unfortunately yes. If you are in close contact with someone that has head lice then there is a risk of them spreading it to you. Once someone has been successfully treated, they need to be extra careful about a re-infestation because they either got it from a friend or passed it to a friend. This is why every person that has been in close contact with a person that is known to have head lice should be screened.

Can I catch lice from eggs that have fallen off the head?

No, you need a live bug, to lay eggs. Nits will not hatch off of the head.

Do head lice travel to other parts of the body?

There are other types of lice, such as body lice or scabies but they do not live on the head. They are not the same organism and treatment is not the same.

How long do I need to put stuffed animals away?

When all the nits and lice are removed and someone is “nit and lice free”, one to two days is more than an adequate amount of time to put things away. Lice don’t live off of the head for more than a day or two and nits do not live off of the hair.

Is there anything that can be used to prevent my child from getting lice?

Studies have been done that conclude that lice are repelled by scents such as citronella, tea tree and mint. While this might be true, there is nothing that is 100% effective all of the time. I think that there are some people that attract bugs (lice, mosquitoes etc.) more than others. We at Lice Be Gone have seen many families that regularly use preventive head lice products and they still come in for treatment with lice.

Do lice jump?

Lice crawl, they do not jump, fly or hop.

If I'm not itchy does that mean I don't have head lice?

No, not everyone is itchy with head lice. Don’t assume that because you’re not itchy that you don’t have it. Once someone hears the word “lice”, it’s not uncommon to feel itchy. The only way to know for sure if you have lice is to do a proper screening.

How do I kill head lice? How do I get rid of lice? How do I get rid of the nits?

These are frequent questions and the answer is simple, they need to be combed out. There is no value in using chemicals, heat treatments or vacuuming treatments. They are not 100% effective. What is effective every time, is removing all lice and nits by combing them out. It sounds simple and in theory it is but it requires patience, time and a level of skill. At Lice Be Gone, we spend as many hours as necessary for each treatment and each treatment is done by two lice technicians, this is one of the reasons we have a 100% success rate.

If you see something and you want confirmation that is a nit or a louse, save it, bring it to us and our lice removal professionals will look at it and determine if it is head lice. There is no fee to help you determine if your sample is in fact lice nor is there any obligation to use our services.

How often should I check my child for head lice?

At Lice Be Gone, we recommend that you do a weekly screening for head lice.

If you see your child scratching their head, then a screening for head lice should be done right away. The sooner head lice is detected, and all lice eggs (nits) are removed, the less chance there is of spreading it.

How did my child get lice?

There are many ways and places someone can get head lice. During the school year, when children are in close contact with their classmates, lice can crawl from one head to another (head lice do not jump, hop or fly). Any time that a person with head lice is in close contact (heads close together), there is a risk of spreading it.

My child was exposed to someone with head lice, when should I check?

It’s never too soon to check for head lice. If your child has been in close contact with anyone with head lice, and they “caught it”, finding any bug or eggs that day is advantageous. You would be able to see a louse and or nits right away. Early head lice detection is important to keep it from spreading to others.

If my child has short hair can they still have head lice?

Yes, the length of hair does not matter. Anyone with hair can have lice or nits.

What Do Head Lice Look Like?

Head lice are insects about the size of a sesame seed and may be clear, reddish brown or black in color. Although they can’t fly or hop, lice crawl very quickly away from light. For this reason, it is usually easier to detect.

What is the best way to check for head lice?

Routinely check your child’s head for head lice and nits. Part the hair all the way down to the scalp in very small sections, looking both for moving lice and nits. Look at the entire head this way. Look closely around the top of the neck and ears, the most common locations for eggs. The main symptom is an itchy scalp from lice bites. The bites may appear red or crusty.

Does Hair Color kill Head Lice and Nits?

Hair color will kill live lice but not the nits. In order to get rid of head lice, each nit and louse needs to be removed.

My child swims regularly, does the chlorine kill head lice?

No, chlorine will not kill lice.

Do lice live during the winter?

Lice live all year, we see families with head lice every day of the year.

My daughter wears her hair in braids, can she still get head lice?

While wearing hair in braids or tied back can help, it is not going to prevent getting lice if a bug crawls onto her hair. It could make it harder for the louse to stay on the head but do not assume that wearing hair tied back or in braids is going to prevent anyone from getting lice.

Does keeping hair greasy with oil help prevent head lice?

Lice can live in hair that is a little greasy. In order for the bugs to suffocate from oil, there would have to be so much oil covering every piece of hair. It is doubtful that anyone would want to walk around with that much grease in their hair on any regular basis.

What should I do with stuffed animals that are on the bed?

If stuffed animals are on the bed of the person that has lice, put them away (in a plastic bag, a spare room, out of reach of your child) for two days, or put them in a hot dryer for 20 minutes on high heat. There is no need to start taking things off of shelves.

After a child is treated for head lice, how long should they stay out of school?

Once every nit and louse are removed, that person is no longer contagious. At Lice Be Gone we treat children for lice removal in the morning and they return to school that same day. A person should be considered contagious until every nit and louse is removed. There is no way to tell when a nit will hatch and become a louse. Head lice are fast and they crawl from head to head.

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