Do Lice Have Wings? What Do Lice Look Like?

How do lice grow?
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How do lice grow?

Head Lice Treatment

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The questions “do lice have wings?”, “what do lice look like?” or “what does lice look like?” are popular, that is why we made this post answering “what does head lice look like?”. It was carefully done by us to better help you up with your lice treatment. Keep reading!

Do you know for certain what lice and nits look like? We believe that in order to accurately identify a potential or ongoing lice infestation, people should be aware completely of what to look for in order to weed out a head lice infestation immediately before that begin to use a head lice treatment.

Inspecting and Identifying Lice

Generally speaking, lice are anywhere between 2 and 3 millimeters long, their thorax is flat and they lack wings (despite the popular belief that lice can fly) and it is usually divided in seven or more segments with the wider ones being located towards the middle of the thorax and the narrower one being located towards the distal end of a louse’s body.

Their color tends to vary depending on several environmental factors and can range from almost transparent to a reddish brown. Nits are transparent or whitish masses that can be oval-shape or almost entirely round. One of the most common mistakes that people make when doing visual inspections is spotting dust particles, lint or dirt and thinking that they are nits, but one great way to make sure is to try and remove these particles using your hands only. Nits are stuck to the hair strands using a very potent natural glue that is very difficult to remove.

When it comes to describing a louse’s appearance, we have to take several factors into consideration and the first part that is easy to identify using a magnifying glass or even the naked eye is the head; a louse’s head will have a pair of antennae that is divided in 5 smaller segments. These antennae tend to protrude towards the outside of the head and are slightly larger than the head itself. On the head, we can also spot a pair of eyes which are located right below the antennae although this tends to vary from species to species. For example, the Anoplura louse has very small eyes and sometimes they might not even be there at all, this can be caused by a growth disorder, imperfect breeding environment or a lack of vital nutrients. And while identifying the mouth and the feeding anatomical structures will be difficult to do without a microscope, it is important to consider the fact that their mouth and feeding parts are extremely efficient when it comes to piercing skin and sucking blood. These feeding structures are normally retracted and will only be displayed in their entirety when lice are feeding themselves.

If we continue our visual inspection of a louse, we can easily determine that lice only have six legs and these legs tend to be short and stumpy with a claw at the end. If we look at a louse from above we will notice that the first pair of legs protrudes upwards, the middle legs point towards the middle and the bottom legs protrude downwards. This makes it much easier for the louse to change directions when crawling and can also be quite helpful for the louse when holding on to a human strand of hair. Once the louse has climbed the strand of hair, it will use its claws to grasp the hair of their host. Once this parasitic interaction is complete, the louse will be able to move at decent speed across the surface. We believe it is important to mention that lice cannot jump at all, lice can only crawl.

Finally, if we inspect the abdomen, we will notice the seven visible segments that we described before, these segments will have a pair of spiracles that the louse uses to breathe while the last segment contains the sexual organs and the anus which is used to dispose of fecal matter.

As we can see, it is a lot easier to spot head lice if you know exactly what to look for, and while some of the anatomical structures might not be easy to identify with the naked eye, it is important to consider the fact that a magnifying glass or even an old pair of glasses can be excellent tools when it comes to identifying these parasites.

ClearLice: Natural Head Lice Treatment

If you do conclude that you or your family has contracted a head lice infestation, then this will require immediate attention. ClearLice makes natural head lice treatment products that are not only gentle and safe, but they are also very effective. ClearLice will get rid of lice and nits in one day, guaranteed. There is no need to re-treat with ClearLice products. Get ClearLice today and be lice-free tomorrow!

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