Head Lice Information

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Head Lice Information Pediculus Humanus Capitis is the latin name for head lice or head louse.

Accurate head lice info,is important to the success of getting rid of this little pest safely and effectively.

Head Lice are a parasitic organism unable to live independently without a host. In fact there are two hosts one human and one primate. The chimpanzee is one. I know! Crazy isn’t it? Chimpanzee's also have this little pest to contend with, explains why they nit pick too!

Head Lice spend their entire life cycle on the human scalp and scalp of chimpanzees, feeding exclusively on blood from these hosts. They also, have a distant relative known as pubic lice. Another hair clinging parasite located in the nether regions of one’s body. Although visually different it is much closer in appearance to lice which infest other primates.

Louse Eggs

  • Louse eggs are, oval shaped, have a shiny coffee coloured look and they stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Once they hatch they lose that coffee-coloured appearance and take on a white appearance similar to dandruff. At this stage they can be mistaken for dandruff, except you cannot shake them loose.
  • Eggs contain only one embryo, which are laid by the female head louse and develop outside her body.
  • By secreting a glue like substance from her reproductive organs, the eggs are attached to strands of hair close to the scalp. Except for the operculum, a cap through which the embryo breathes this glue covers the entire egg including the area of hair strand it is attached to.
  • Studies have shown that the glue was thought to be chitin based, but more recently have shown it to be made of proteins similar to hair keratin.
  • Depending on the time of year, eggs will typically emerge or hatch approximately seven days after being laid on a strand of hair. During the warmer months eggs will hatch inside the seven day period.

Studies have shown that a hatching time of 6-9 days after being laid is more accurate however this data is based upon “body lice” not head lice and shows hatching time and hatching probability are extremely temperature dependant.

My experience with these probabilities are quite correct, as the time of year be it winter, spring, summer or autumn does have a bearing on the hatching or emerging times.

This excerpt from Wikipedia

As of 2008[update], head louse hatching time and probability in situ (i.e., on a human head) have not been carefully examined.

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