If you’re wondering how to get rid of lice, I’m here to tell you that there are thankfully a lot of natural home remedies to kill lice. There are a few kinds of lice including head lice, body lice and pubic lice. While body lice and pubic lice can occur as a result of unclean living conditions and a lack of personal hygiene, head lice can happen to anyone, even the cleanest amongst us.
The CDC estimates that somewhere between six to 12 million head lice infestations happen every year among kids aged three to 11 years of age. In the United States, you’ll find the majority of head lice cases occurring in preschool and elementary school children and the people they live with. The good news is that head lice don’t carry or spread disease. But they will have their victims scratching their heads so intensely that a secondary bacterial infection can occur. This is why at the first sign of head lice, you want to spring into action to get the lice out of your or your loved one’s head, decontaminate your home and belongings, and make sure that no one else in your home gets this annoying parasitic attack.
Let’s look at exactly what is lice, how to get rid of lice, and most importantly, what are the best approaches to natural head lice treatment, including the best lice-fighting essential oils.
What Are Lice?
What does lice look like? Lice are very small, parasitic insects without wings that feed on human blood. Adult head lice are are only about two to three millimeters in length. Since they don’t have wings, they don’t fly and they also don’t hop. Lice get around by crawling (this is probably making you scratch your head already, sorry!).
There are a few different kinds of lice:
•Head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis): This type of lice develops on the scalp and neck. The lice actually attach their eggs to the base of the hair shafts. So head lice always equates to lice in hair. Head lice is typically most obvious or visible at the nape of the neck and over the ears. An infestation with head lice is also called pediculosis.
•Body lice: These lice live in clothing and on bedding and move onto your skin to feed. Body lice most often affect people who aren’t able to bathe or launder clothing regularly, such as homeless or transient individuals.
•Pubic lice: Also called crabs, this variety of lice infestation occurs on the hair and skin of the pubic area. Less often it can occur on coarse body hair like that of the chest, eyebrows or eyelashes.
With head lice, the tiny lice actually attach their eggs, or nits, to the bottom of the hair shafts. These eggs can be difficult to see. They typically take about eight to nine days to hatch. The eggs that are most likely to hatch tend to be a quarter inch or less from where your hair comes out of the scalp. The eggs that are more than a quarter inch from the base of the hair shaft are likely to have already hatched, are dead or are empty casings.
When you’re looking at how to get rid of lice, it’s important to kill both the lice and the lice eggs in order to be effective.