Treating head lice can be an overwhelming experience, so it is helpful if you discover the infestation early before the lice have a chance to multiply and spread (a female louse can lay up to 100 eggs in her 30 day lifespan). Here is how to recognize a lice infestation so you can identify it quickly:
SIGN #1: REPEATED SCRATCHING OF THE HEAD
Now, there are many reasons that can lead a person to scratch their head (dandruff, dry scalp, psoriasis, allergies, etc.), so don’t jump to conclusions. However, repeated scratching specifically behind the ears and at the nape of the neck can certainly be a symptom of head lice infestation.
SIGN #2: SMALL SORES AND/OR BLEEDING
Lice bite the scalp to feed on blood to sustain life; these bites can obviously create small sores that may bleed. Again, the best places to check are behind the ears and at the nape of the neck (a louse’s favorite places to lay eggs).
SIGN #3: IRRITABLE BEHAVIOR (CRANKY KIDS)
Because lice are primarily active in the evening while a person sleeps, the itching induced by these pests can cause irritability due to sleeplessness.
SIGN #4: RECENT EXPOSURE
Exposure to an individual with an active lice infestation is not a guarantee that you or your child will contract lice, but it can increase your chances. If you discover that you have had contact with an infested individual, simply perform a head check to verify if lice are present or not.
What do lice look like?
How to check for lice
How to treat head lice