Ever Wondered as How to Identify Head Louse and Nits

All over the world, many number of people, irrespective gender and creed, are affected by head louse menace. Head louse is a tiny parasitic insect that lives on human head and needs human blood for its survival. Once infested, these head lice are difficult to eradicate, however, a concerted effort is sure to result in total eradication of head lice menace.


Many people carry a mistaken notion that head louse found on human and animal louse are one and the same, but they are entirely different and both of them cannot survive interchangeably in their habitat.

Features of Animal Louse

Animal louse is also commonly known as fleas and they are normally seen on your pet cat or dog. Animal louse is a flat-bodied dark colored parasitic insect that lives on pets and need animal blood for survival.

These insects are very swift in their jumping ability and that will make if very difficult for people to catch them. Both the animal louse and its eggs will look like small dark patches on your pet’s body, and the lice are responsible for creating an itching sensation because of which your pet cat or dog will keep scratching over their body often using either their legs or their teeth.

Features of Head Lice and its Nits

Though a human head louse is also a parasitic insect, it is quite different in its body structure. Human head lice are light brown in color and have got six legs. All the six legs are located more near to the head of the louse thus helping it in its swift movement between hair strands.

Further the abdomen will be elongated and bulging thus giving it a protruding shape or appearance. Human head lice cannot jump or fly, but can move very swiftly on one’s head making it difficult for people to either identify or to catch them.

The nits laid by females will look like dandruff and all the nits stay securely attached to hair strands just above the scalp area. You can find more of nits in areas where hair growth is more such as behind the ear area and at the nape of the neck area. Nits are the real hard nuts to crack, as they are not affected by majority of insecticidal treatments and hence in any head lice treatment efforts directed towards killing nits will be more effective in real sense.

Similarities Between Human Head Louse and Animal Louse

But for the parasitic nature and blood sucking behaviour, there are no other known similarities between the human head louse and animal louse. Both spread through physical contacts and both of them cannot live interchangeably in their natural habitats.



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