"We're your connection to being lice free! Our name is changed, but our expert and highly recommended service is better than ever." ~Barbara Gips~ ~Founder & Lice Removal Specialist
What are head lice?
Head lice, or Pediculus humanus capitis, are tiny, crawling insects that live on the human scalp. They are parasites that survive by sucking small amounts of blood from the head. They have been around since Egyptian times. They cannot survive more than 24 hours off of the human head. The life cycle of lice begins when a female louse (singular for lice) attaches its egg (or nit), to the base of the hair shaft. It takes 7-10 days for the egg to hatch. It will take another 7-10 days for the nymph (immature louse) to grow into an adult. Lice can live on the human host for 30 days. A female louse may lay about 6 eggs a day averaging more than 100 eggs in a month.
How do you get head lice?
Head lice are most commonly acquired through head-to-head contact with an infested person's hair. It may also be transmitted through the sharing of personal items such as brushes, combs, hair accessories, hats, scarves, helmets and towels or by sitting or laying on an upholstered piece of furniture or bedding that an infested person was recently on. They do not jump, hop or fly!
What do lice and nits look like?
Adult lice look similar to a sesame seed in size and shape. They can range in color from clear to reddish or tan/brown. (depending on when they last fed.) Nymphs (immature lice) look like adult lice except they range in size...starting out as small as a spec...literally the size of a dot made with a sharp pencil! They have six legs and each has a hook at the end that the lice use to grab onto the hair shaft.
Nits (lice eggs) are always the same size and shape.
They are oval, smooth and laid on one side of the hair shaft, very
close to the scalp. They range in color from clear to off/white to tan
depending on the stage of the nymph inside. Nits are about the size of
a grain of sand. Nits are often confused with dandruff. If you rub it
with your finger and it comes off easily, then it is probably not a nit. If this sounds like what you are seeing, call The Lice Patrol at 914-666-LICE! (photos from the CDC website)
Why didn't the treatment products I used on my child work?
Lice have become resistant to some over-the-counter and prescription treatment products. Even if they kill some or all of the bugs, they do not kill the nits (eggs). If you don't remove the nits they will hatch into new bugs and start the infestation all over again. Lice cannot develop an immunity to our natural enzyme shampoo because lice use enzymes as part of their bodily functions, such as molting. The enzymes in the shampoo start the molting process by dissolving their exoskeleton before the lice are developmentally ready, which causes them to die. It also loosens the glue that holds the nits onto the hair making them easier to remove. If you have tried products that haven't worked call The Lice Patrol, Inc. at 914-666-LICE!
Can I just shampoo once and be done?
If getting rid of head lice was that easy you probably wouldn't be reading this. It takes more than just shampooing to break the cycle of lice. Treatment shampoos may kill lice, but you must also remove all of the nits (eggs) so they do not hatch into new bugs. The best way to remove nits is with a good metal nit comb...one that has long teeth that are very close together. The plastic nit combs that come with most treatment products are ineffective at removing nits. Even the best metal nit comb does not remove every single nit. You must also perform a visual check for and manually remove any remaining nits from the hair. To purchase the metal nit comb used by most professionals or to learn how to properly use one, contact The Lice Patrol at 914-666-LICE! Or better yet, we can do all of the work for you!
How do I de-louse my house?
Lice can only survive for 24 hours off of the human scalp. They are not breeding in your sofa or in your beds. Your house is not infested. However, a lingering bug or nit on a couch or bed could potentially re-infest someone. To avoid spreading head lice to others or becoming re-infested, we recommend you wash the infested person's bedding in hot water and dry it with high heat. Vacuum upholstered furniture and floors to pick up any stray hairs that might carry lice or nits. There is no need to throw anything away. Pillows and stuffed animals may be placed in the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes. Brushes, combs, hair accessories can be placed in hot water. Boil water, take it off the flame and let the items soak for 5 minutes. Anything that can't be cleaned may be put away for two weeks until the lice are gone. No need to go overboard cleaning or to purchase special detergents or furniture sprays. For advice on how to delouse your house, call The Lice Patrol at 914-666-LICE!
For clients we cannot accommodate, we recommend contacting Dale at Lice Off, Inc.at 914-424-1367