How To Calculate How Long You Have Had Lice

Best And Easy Ways To Treat Lice At Home


How Long You Have Had Lice – Head lice are parasitic insects that usually live close to the head. Even though they don’t spread disease, they are a bother that can be hard to get rid of because they are itching, uncomfortable, and easy to spread.

If you or someone you care about has lice, you may be curious about how long these tiny bugs have been living on your head.

Read on to find out how you might be able to tell based on the size and look of them. We’ll mostly talk about head lice, but there are also different kinds of lice that can live on body hair and pubic hair.

How to find how long you have had lice?

You can figure out how long you may have had lice in a few different ways. Here are some signs that can help you figure out how long you have had them.


When lice first get into your hair, your head doesn’t usually start to itch. You might not feel itchy for about 4 to 6 weeks after getting lice. This is because it takes time for the lice to spread and make you feel itchy.

The itching normally happens because your skin has become used to the saliva that lice leave behind when they feed. If you’ve had lice before, your body is already used to the saliva of lice, so it’s possible that you’ll feel sick faster.

Most of the time, this itching will happen about two days after you get an invasion. It is also possible that you’ll never have any of the signs of having them. In this case, you’ll have to tell who they are by what they look like.


Lice can be hard to spot if you don’t know what to look for. You might think that dandruff, a scab, or hair product leftovers are nits. Use the following to give yourself the best chance of seeing them:

  • A very fine-toothed nit comb
  • Using a magnifying glass
  • A piece of paper
  • At sight having plenty of light

If your hair is wet and has conditioner in it to help untangle it, this job might be easier. They don’t like light and are very small, which makes it hard to spot them. But depending on where and how you see them, you might be able to figure out how long you have had lice.

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Infestation Timeline

  • Few nits with less than two weeks: An adult louse will climb onto your hair and lay 6 to 10 eggs a day, which will hatch in about 9 days. So, if you look at your head and don’t see any adult lice but do see a few small eggs, it’s likely that you got them early and have had them for less than two weeks.
  • Nits and nymphs for 1.5 to 2 weeks: If you see nits and small, moving lice, you’ve probably had lice for 1.5 to 2 weeks. This is because you don’t see many adult lice, but you do see lots of small, newly hatched eggs and a lot more nits than a person who has had them for only a few days.
  • Nits, nymphs and adult lice at least two weeks: If you see lice of different sizes, you may have had them for at least two weeks. If you are itchy and there are different stages of lice on your head, you have probably had lice for four to six weeks or even longer.
  • Nits that are more than 1/4 inch from the scalp (old infestation): Only see tiny nits that are more than a quarter of an inch from the scalp? It’s likely an old pest problem. You may have gotten rid of them, but some of them may still be moving down your head. Lice eggs usually hatch near the head, so if you see nits further down your hair, it could mean that the infestation is over.

How To Get Rid Of Lice At Home

Some things you can do at home to get rid of lice are as follows:

  • Using a medicated directed lice treatment shampoo: If your hair is very long, you might need two baths to clean your head well enough. These usually come with small combs that you can use to remove nits by hand.
  • Using of a nit comb: Repeat every 3–4 days until there are no more nits to see.
  • About a week after the first time you used the shampoo, you should use it again: This can “catch” any leftover lice when they go through their next life cycle, when they should be gone for good.

Over time, lice have changed so that some treatments that used to work well no longer do. Pyrethrin, permethrin, malathion, and phenothrin are all medicines that don’t work as well as they used to. These medicines are still often found in over-the-counter treatments for them, so keep an eye out for them when you’re shopping.

Keep in mind that mayonnaise, kerosene, oils, and apple cider vinegar are just some of the “home remedies” that are said to kill them. But none of these have been shown to work, and some of them, like kerosene, can be very bad for the head. Instead, use methods that have been approved by doctors.

Other things you should have to do

In addition to treating the hair, you should do the following with any personal things that may have come into contact with lice:

  • Wash the person’s clothes, sheets, towels, and other similar items in hot water that is at least 128.3°F (53.5°C) hot.
  • If you can’t wash something, put it in a tight bag and leave it there for at least two weeks, or take it to a dry cleaner.
  • All living areas should be carefully vacuumed to get rid of any hairs that may have nits stuck to them.
  • Put combs and brushes in water that is at least 130°F (54.4°C) hot for 5 to 10 minutes to kill any nits that are still on them.

You might also ask the school or babysitter if you or your child have ever had them. These groups may have rules about head lice and when a child can go back to school after being diagnosed and treated.

If there weren’t such rules, most people wouldn’t have to be alone as long as they treated the lice and took steps to stop it from spreading.

When to go to the doctor

If you can’t get rid of the lice at home, it’s time to see a doctor. To get rid of the nits, you may need to take medicine or have a professional do it. If the lice make your skin very red and itchy, the scratching could make you sick.

If you have lice and your skin is swollen, red, and hurting, this could mean you have an infection or are at risk of getting one. You may need some kind of antibiotic treatments.

Medical Treatments Options

Some examples of lice medicines that require a prescription are:

  • Benzyl alcohol lotion
  • Malathion lotion
  • Spinosad topical suspension
  • Lindane shampoo (a second-line prescription treatment)

Lice treatments that you have to get a prescription for tend to have stronger medicines that can hurt the skin. Before you use medicinal treatments, you should talk to your doctor about any possible side effects and how to lessen them.

Depending on how you feel, your doctor may also be able to suggest other ways to treat and get rid of them.

Easy Steps You Can Take To Prevent

Here are some things you can do to make sure you don’t get lice or pass them on:

  • Don’t touch hair when you’re at school, on the playground, playing sports, or at a sleepover.
  • Don’t share combs, hats, scarves, helmets, ribbons, barrettes, or other personal things that come in contact with hair.
  • Pillows and towels that haven’t been washed after being used by someone who had lice shouldn’t be used.

Head lice need a host to live because they are parasites. When they fall off a person, they usually don’t last more than two days. Washing and separating things can help make sure that they don’t live anywhere else but on your head.

A Few More Details

Lice are Pediculus humanus capitis, which is a type of bug. As parasites, they live on people and eat their blood. Lice can’t fly or hop, so they can only spread from person to person. When kids play, head-to-head contact is the most usual way they get them.

Even though it is less likely, it can also be spread by touching personal things (like a comb or brush) or clothing.

Lice can show up in one of three ways on the hair:

  • Eggs/nits: Nits are small, oval-shaped lice eggs that a female louse generally lays near the scalp. They usually look white, yellow, or clear, and if you can see them, you might mistake them for dandruff or hair product flakes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that it takes between 8 and 9 days for nits to hatch after a female lays eggs.
  • Nymphs: Nymphs are newly hatched nits. They are smaller than an adult louse. After hatching, they feed on blood for about 9 to 12 days and grow into adults.
  • Adults: After about 12 days, a louse is fully grown. An adult louse is generally no bigger than a sesame seed when it is fully grown. Most of the time, they look tan, gray, or white. Most of the time, adult females are bigger than adult men. Most adult lice don’t live on the head for more than 30 days.

Head lice have tiny claws at the end of their legs that look like hooks. This makes it hard to get rid of them from the hair shaft.

Other Details

Lice are hard to find because they are so small and tend to live on the back of your head. Some signs that you might have lice are:

  • Often feels like tickling in the hair
  • Having trouble sleeping because lice mostly move at night
  • A rash on the back of the head
  • Sores that get worse over time because someone scratches them
  • Head that itch for no reason, especially near the nape of the neck

Even though lice don’t spread diseases, they are still annoying. Most of the time, they aren’t caused by bad hygiene or health. Instead, they happen when you or someone you care about comes into touch with someone who has them.

The Conclusion

If you see nits or lice, the number of them and how they make you feel may tell you how long you have had them. This can help you figure out where you might have gotten them and show you if there might be problems treating them.

Talk to your doctor if your lice keep coming back or if you don’t know how to treat them.

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