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Doctor insights on: How Long Can Nits And Lice Survive Off Of A Head

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
212 doctors shared insights

Head Lice (Definition)

Also known as pediculus humanus capitis, these are tiny parasites that feed on the scalp. Head lice is very contagious and the most common method of transmission ...Read more


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How long can head lice survive on my furniture and clothes?

How long can head lice survive on my furniture and clothes?

A few days: Lice starve to death in 1-2 days off the human host. Nits however survive longer. A nit hatches 7-9 days after the egg is laid. As a result it is recommended to first treat the lice on the "host" then wash clothes, bedcovers and vacume furniture. Also wash brushes and combs. ...Read more

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How can I tell how long my child has had head lice, by the number if nits?

How can I tell how long my child has had head lice, by the number if nits?

Not by the number...: ...But by their location on the hair shafts. A head louse will attach her eggs (which is what nits are) to hair shafts at the point where they come out of the skin. As the hair grows, the nits move up from the scalp surface. Hair grows about 1 inch per month, on average - so if the nits are a half-inch away from the scalp, lice have been present for about 2 weeks; an inch away, 4 weeks; and so on. ...Read more

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How long is it supposed to it take for head lice to show up and start itching?

How long is it supposed to it take for head lice to show up and start itching?

Lice: It may take 2 to 3 weeks (or sometimes even longer) to become aware of lice or nits. Itching does not occur for all people. ...Read more

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How long do head lice generally live?

How long do head lice generally live?

Head Lice: The life span of an adult louse on a host ranges up to 30 days. During this time, the female head louse can deposit about 90 eggs. After incubating for seven to 10 days, the nits hatch and, after another 10 days, mature into adult head lice and the cycle begins again. Off the host, adult head lice can live about two to four days at 74 degrees fahrenheit (f) and one to two days at 86 degrees. ...Read more

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How long does it take a child to get rid of head lice?

Less than a week.: Now many head lice are resistant to our traditional therapies. Cheap method which works is to apply gold listerine to the scalp x 1 hour and cover with shower cap. Then apply househould vinegar and comb through the entire head using sections of 10-20 hairs to remove all nits or eggs.. Leave the vinegar x 1 hour then wash. Repeat in 1 wk. New study showed oral Ivermectin works well. Need an rx! ...Read more

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How long does it take to get rid of head lice in a child?

One treatment: Generally, one treatment (shampoo, nit comb, hair accessory/brush cleaning and linen/bedding change) should be sufficient to rid one of lice. However, reoccurrence is common due to re-infection from improper cleaning of accessories, brushes or linens. ...Read more

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How long after head lice get onto my head would they start laying the eggs/nits?

How long after head lice get onto my head would they start laying the eggs/nits?

It depends on where: they are in their life cycle when they get onto your head. There are adult males and females and only the females lay eggs. Check out this link to the life cycle of head lice: https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A0LEViwYs61UOaIAcj0PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw--?p=head+lice+life+cycle&back=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Dhead%2Blice%2Blife%2Bcycle%26hsimp%3Dyhs-001%26hspart%3Dmozilla%26ei%3DUTF-8&w=847&h=484&imgurl=www.mnlicelady.com%2Fresources%2FHeadlice_Lifecycle.jpg&size=38KB&name=Headlice_Lifecycle.jpg&rcurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mnlicelady.com%2Fmyths-facts.php&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mnlicelady.com%2Fmyths-facts.php&type=&no=1&tt=119&oid=49592317e194b3ea05198706d481fab7&tit=head+lice+life+cycle&sigr=119fl54uk&sigi=11j6919ca&sign=10mr2ehqg&sigt=103d1h5lg&sigb=130dlufm9&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001 ...Read more

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How can you most effectively remove head lice in a long haired 11 year old female?

Lice: Tx of lice requires accurate identification of nits & / or lice. A pediculicide is usually used- otc like nix (permethrin) or rid or prescription meds like lindane or malathion. Work carefully through hair & remove individual nits. Purchase a special lice nit comb to aid you. Check for nits & remove as seen over the next 7 to 10 days. If there are nits after 7 to 10 days – a 2nd pediculicide tx may be needed. ...Read more

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Can an infection by head lice be healed naturally? if yes, then how long will it take.

Can an infection by head lice be healed naturally? if yes, then how long will it take.

Define natural ????: Some have offered experience that a stout vinegar, like pickling vinegar can be used as a wash over several days to a week and do this.The acidic solution does loosen the nits/egg casings so they can be removed easily with a nit comb.If this did not work one of the OTC or prescription products could be used. ...Read more

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Might head-lice survive on body hair?

Might head-lice survive on body hair?

Usually not: Unless the body hair is very thick and coarse (like head hair) there is not usually a concern that the lice will remain on the body. ...Read more

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How long will you have to wait to interact with people after getting rid of head lice?

No Nit standard: The national pediculosis association (npa) recommends “no-nit” standards. This means that a child would meet reentry standards for schools, daycare, etc when they no longer have lice, nits or egg cases on their head/ in hair. Just to let you know – this is controversial. ...Read more

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I have these long tan bugs with brown spots on then I have washed my hair with head lice shampoo and are still there what can I do ?

I have these long tan bugs with brown spots on then I have washed my hair with head lice shampoo and  are still there what can I do ?

Check every day: The usual plan is to have somebody remove every nit (egg) he can find after the first Nix (permethrin) shampoo. Checking one's hair and head for lice or nits, every day, will prevent lice from gaining a foothold again. Repeating the Nix (permethrin) shampoo in 1 week helps. As long as any and all nits (lice eggs) are quickly removed each day, the lice problem goes away. After 1 month of checking, one can just check weekly. ...Read more

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How long does it take after nix, (permethrin) to get rid of head lice in a child?

Nix (permethrin) is not...: ...My favorite treatment, as many strains of head lice are now resistant to it. Elimite cream (applied to dry hair & left on overnight under shower cap) works better, although not officially approved for that indication. Malathion (ovide lotion) works fastest, but stinks, and is flammable! kwell shampoo also works fast (repeat in 1 week), but like nix, (permethrin) resistance is common. ...Read more

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How long will I need to comb lice and nits from infested hair after initial treatment

How long will I need to comb lice and nits from infested hair after initial treatment

Until clear: It is tedious but every last nit must be combed out to ensure cure (hours of combing). ...Read more

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Where do head lice come from?

Where do head lice come from?

Get: You get lice from someone else that has lice. Usually for head lice from comb, brush, hat, other head wear etc. ...Read more

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How to remove head lice naturally?

Lots of effort: There is a large movement to not coat the head with Permethrin or lindane due to potential neurotoxicity, and the risk is relevant. Non medicated products like licemd or ovid are effective, but nothing works better than the nit-loosening gel (ok, so it's not totally natural), the fine toothed comb, and lots of time and effort getting out all nits and lice. Then repeating the effort. ...Read more

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How common is head lice in the us?

How common is head lice in the us?

Endemic: More common on elementary age children. It will occur in pockets within a school or classroom .It will also occur in waves over time. ...Read more

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How do I know if I have head lice?

Lice Head: Mature head lice are approximately the size of a sesame seed, don't hop or jump and lay eggs called nits that stick to the hair shaft. Main symptoms are severe itching especially at night when they feed. Due to this, scratch marks on the skin can be visible. You may also find swollen glands at the back of the ears school nurses are very familiar with them. You can consult your doctor if uncertain. ...Read more

Body Lice (Definition)

Similar to head lice, these tiny parasitic insects live on the clothes and can often be seen at the seams. They feed on the blood of the host, and ...Read more


Dr. Richard Rissmiller
328 doctors shared insights

Pediculosis (Definition)

Refers to infestation with lice. Pediculosis can include head lice, body ...Read more