What are the symptoms of lice?

Most people get an itchy scalp when they have lice. The itchiness is caused by an allergic reaction to the bugs’ saliva when they bite your scalp to feed on your blood. Some people describe the sensation as more of a burning or stinging feeling rather than itchy. And some people will have tiny red bumps on their scalp or back of the neck from the lice bites.

However, we have seen plenty of people who are severely infested with lice and don’t itch at all, because they don’t have a reaction to the saliva. Another reason people may not itch is if they are taking allergy medications that reduce the itchy sensation. So don’t rule out lice just because your scalp doesn’t itch or you don’t have red bumps.

Why is it so difficult to get rid of lice?

Lice have become resistant to the pesticides in the home treatment kits (Rid, Nix, etc.) so those treatments are not as effective as they used to be many years ago. Studies have shown that the over-the-counter kits are now less than 50% effective. Many people who use those kits still have live bugs crawling around on their heads.

Also, those kits do NOT kill the nits (eggs), even though some companies claim that they do. The hard shell on the nits is extremely difficult to penetrate. There is no product on the market that kills the nits, so don’t be fooled by the false claims!

To stop the cycle from continuing, the best thing to do is to comb out the nits so they don’t get a chance to hatch. The nits are extremely difficult to remove because they are glued onto the hair with a cement-like substance. Most people mistakenly think they’ve removed all the nits because it’s difficult to see the new ones that were just laid (they are almost microscopic and clear, so they blend in with the hair).

This is why it is important to do MULTIPLE treatments, so you can cycle through all the nits that are in different stages of development and remove them before they hatch. If you don’t, within 7-10 days those nits will hatch. Then within another 7-10 days, those newborns will be full-blown adults, start mating, and lay more eggs. So if you don’t do multiple treatments, there is a good chance you will leave nits behind and the whole cycle will start over.

Do chlorine, hair dye, and hair styling products kill lice?

No, none of these kill lice. Lice go into a state of “suspended animation” when submerged in water. This makes them able to hold their breath for several hours, so you can’t drown them easily. Chlorine and hair dye do nothing to kill lice. However, if you dye your hair when you have lice, the hair dye will stain the nits (eggs) and will make them even harder to see! Hair gel, mousse, hairspray, and other styling products do not do anything to kill lice or prevent you from getting lice.

How can I prevent from getting lice?

The only way to guarantee that you will NEVER get lice is to shave your head COMPLETELY BALD. Any amount of hair (even the shortest buzz cut) is enough hair for lice to nest in. To minimize your exposure, never share brushes, hair accessories, hats, pillows, or sports helmets with others. Girls should wear their hair in a tight bun to keep it from touching other people’s heads. Using a lot of hair products like gel, mousse and hair spray are NOT effective at repelling lice.

However, our Lice Choice Head Spray is gentle enough for you to use daily to help prevent lice. If sprayed daily on your hair, the Head Spray will immediately start breaking down the exoskeleton of any bug that has transferred onto your head, so it can’t mate and lay eggs. There are many lice “repellents” on the market that claim to discourage lice from wanting to go on your head because they won’t like the smell of the coconut, rosemary, peppermint, tea tree, etc. However, there is no scientific evidence that lice truly are repelled by these scents. And in our treatment facility, we have treated thousands of families who had been using these so-called “repellents” when they got lice.

If I was exposed to someone with lice, will I definitely get it?

Not necessarily. You can even sleep in the same bed with someone who has lice and you might not ever get it from them. The reason is that lice are attracted to certain body chemistries more than others. So some people will get lice every time they are exposed to it, while other people will never get lice. It’s somewhat similar to the way that some people get eaten up by mosquitos while the person standing next to them doesn’t get bitten at all. Since we don’t know which body chemistries are more lice-prone than others, it’s always best to take precautions so you don’t put yourself at risk. Click here to learn more about how to prevent getting lice. 

Do I need to hire an exterminator to come spray my house if we have lice?

Absolutely not! In fact, you’d be wasting your money (and needlessly exposing your family to toxic chemicals) since lice have now become resistant to those pesticides anyway. Instead, you can vacuum your carpets or area rugs and then discard your vacuum bag or empty your canister. And since lice can’t hold on to smooth surfaces like wood, tile, marble or linoleum floors, you don’t need to be concerned with those.

Do I need to throw away pillows, bedding, brushes, or hair accessories if we have lice?

No. Everything can be effectively treated when you have lice, so nothing needs to be thrown away. Fortunately, lice are not like bed bugs. They do not burrow down in mattresses or furniture. Lice stay on the surfaces where there is direct human contact. If you follow our guidelines for treating your house, you won’t risk getting re-infested from your environment.

If a hair strand falls off my head and it has a nit (egg) attached to it, can it hatch and re-infest someone?

This is highly unlikely, and here’s why. The nits need your body heat (like an incubator) to help them hatch. That’s why the nits are usually laid close to your scalp. So if a strand of hair with a nit on it falls off your head, that nit will most likely not survive. And even if it happened to land on a warm surface and did hatch, the nymph (newborn bug) would need to get onto a human head really quickly to feed or it will die. So the likelihood of all those conditions lining up perfectly for that nit to survive is one in a million.  

Is it possible to get lice in my eyebrows, eyelashes, or facial hair?

Technically, head lice can be anywhere on your head, including your face. However, in the thousands of treatments we have done in our lice centers over the years, we have never seen lice in anyone’s eyebrows, eyelashes or facial hair, not even in the most extreme infestations (and we’ve seen plenty of people with HEAVY cases of lice). So based on our experience, we can tell you that it is highly unlikely.

Is it possible for head lice to travel to other parts of the body?

No. Oddly enough, head lice stay on the head only. There are other types of lice (body lice and pubic lice) that each has its own “territory” on the body where they reside. So you will not find head lice on your body. And you will not find body lice or pubic lice on your head.

Can I use your Head Lice Spray on my furniture? And can I use your Household Spray on my head?

No, you need to use each spray for its designated purpose ONLY. Each solution has different active ingredients, so they are NOT interchangeable. The Head Lice Spray is not safe for upholstery and could potentially stain it. And the Household Spray has not been tested to be used as a head treatment.