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What are the symptoms of Headlice and Nits?


The main symptom of head lice is horrendous itching of the hair and scalp caused by the bites of the lice. It appears that children are more troubled with itching than adults although there is a wide spectrum of sensitivities. Children infected by head lice will vigorously scratch their heads which should raise the first alarm.  However, some head lice infected children and adults will have minimal itching.


The head lice bites can sometimes become infected and may appear red and inflamed. This may lead to the of developing swollen lymph glands in the neck.


Scratching will often occur during sleep which disrupts sleep patterns, making the sufferer feel weary and tired.   It is thought that the phrase ‘feeling lousy’  (louse-y) comes from the irritation of body lice and head lice.

Head lice range from less than a 1/32” up to 1/8” ( 1 to 4 millimetres) in length and 1/32” (1 mm) wide.  They range from white to dark brown. Head lice move very quickly along the hair shafts and from hair to hair. Head lice can move up to 30 cm per minute.

Head lice are very difficult to spot and extremely difficult to catch without the aid of special fine toothed head lice or nit combs.