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Is it head lice?

School’s out and the summer season is nearing.   Here in the Atlanta area, we’ve had lot of sunny/hot days and our share of rain.  We also had a relatively mild winter.

Therefore, there are bugs.  To me, sometimes, it seems like there are A LOT of bugs.  I’m one of those people that mosquitoes and spiders seem to really enjoy and my arms and legs are proof positive of that.

Adult Head Louse

How to determine if it’s head lice or another bug?

What Do You See?

With the prevalence of insects around, probably 10 or 15 times a week, I receive calls from parents, babysitters and grandparents questioning if a bug that is found in his/her child’s or his/her own hair or on a pillow, bathroom sink, etc. is head lice.  I receive a full description, we talk a little and if it’s during business hours and they’re close, I tell them to bring the evidence in for inspection (with a microscope or otherwise.)  Often it’s after hours or it’s not convenient to come in so I just ask they send me a photo of what they’ve found.   I’m not sure of my exact track record, and sometimes the photos are so blurry that it’s impossible to conclude definitively, but I’d say 80-90% of the time, I can tell if the bug is a nymph (maturing head louse) or adult louse.

This photo was sent by a client on Saturday, and despite it’s being small and not too clear, I did not think that a head louse was reflected.  Because I’d given the mother some confidence that it was probably not a louse (and because I suggested a thorough Terminator combing), they were able to relax until they came to our facility on Monday for a head check (and it was confirmed that the child was head lice free.)

We see gnats, we see those little flying ants (and remember that head lice do not have wings so if the bug is flying or has wings, it is definitely not a head louse) and we see lots of other bugs – especially during the warm late spring/summer months.

Most people reference the internet where images of head lice are magnified and look like something from a science fiction movie.  Therefore, it’s always best to contact Elimilice.  We’re happy to analyze your photos and to help.