Lice eggs (called nits) are small (about 1/32 inch). These look like tiny white to cream (sometimes tan) colored oval specs before they hatch. Lice lay nits on hair shafts close to the scalp, where the temperature is perfect for keeping warm until they hatch. Nits look sort of like dandruff, only they can’t be removed by brushing or shaking them off and are usually the first sign of a head lice infestation.

Unless the infestation is heavy, it’s more common to see nits than it is to see live lice crawling on the scalp.

Lice eggs (nits) hatch within 1 to 2 weeks after they’re laid. Producing nymphs that develop through 3 stages prior to becoming adult lice. After hatching, the remaining shell looks white or clear and continues to be firmly attached to the hair shaft. After the nymph emerges from the egg, the nit as a hatched and empty eggshell remains attached to the hair unless physically removed by fine combing or manual pulling. See Lice Services.

These empty egg sheaths are highly reflective and visually apparent as white oval specks along the hair shaft. The distance of the nit from the scalp end of the hair roughly reflects the age of the nit. Nits located further away are usually older than nits close to the scalp. This is the stage when it’s easiest to spot them, as the hair is growing longer and the eggshell is moving further away from the scalp.

The nit sheath is very similar in structure to human hair. This explains why no effective nit removal pesticide products have been developed, as any product that is able to dissolve the nit sheath or glue would also dissolve hair and/or skin. We use an all-natural enzyme that is effective in dissolving the glue that holds the eggs onto the hair shaft. And also dissolving and killing the egg along with dissolving the exoskeleton of the live lice and nymphs in the hair.

Adult lice and nymphs (baby lice)

The adult louse is no bigger than a sesame seed and is grayish-white or tan. The adult form lives for 30 days, during which the female lays approximately 3-5 eggs per day. The female louse attaches her eggs, to the hair of the host with a glue-like, water-proof substance produced by the louse’s accessory glands. Nymphs are smaller and become adult lice about 1 to 2 weeks after they hatch. Most lice feed on blood several times a day, but they can survive up to 2 days off the scalp.

To combat nits, parents should employ a nit free comb. Along with lice treatments nit combs effectively remove lice and nits from a child’s hair. The most effective combs are metal and long, with a small gap between teeth and an easy-grip handle for superior control. Nit free combs are also washable and you can boil them and treatment can be repeated if necessary. We sell the terminator nit comb for $15.

The definition of the term “nit” has caused some debate in the scientific community, creating some confusion. For instance, a nit refers to numerous egg stages, such as fertilized eggs that will hatch, eggs that have already hatched, and dead embryos.

For parents, this broad definition affects schoolchildren attending “no nit” policy schools, which states that children cannot return to school until all nits have been eradicated.

Some believe that the broad definition of nits is unfair because only fertilized eggs pose a threat to other students. Because of this, some scientists now refer to hatched eggs as nits, while others maintain the broad definition with clarification. In any case “no nit” policy or not this is by far the best nit removing comb on the market.

Let’s Be P.A.L.S will also provide you with a Head Lice Clearance Certificate upon request.