Nits are lice eggs packed in a special shell of sticky and air-setting substance. Each nit contains one egg and is located on a separate human hair.
Due to the lice secreted by the lice, the nit is firmly adherent to the hair, and a few minutes later it is attached so securely that it can not be removed even with fingernails. The following photo shows such a close-up of nits fixed to the hair:
On a note
Nits in the hair are noticeable more lice for the reason that because of their light color they come across more often than the parasites themselves. With abundant infection of the head with lice, the number of nits is so great that the hair of the infected, even washed, looks as if sprinkled with croup.
At the same time, adult lice and moving larvae spend most of the time on the scalp and do not come into contact with the eyes. Therefore, in everyday life it is often said not about infection with lice, but about infection with nits, which is incorrect.
Simply, eggs are not called nits in the scientific environment because an essential part of the nit is its shell, which does not participate in the development of the larva and does not provide it with nutrition. It is most correct to define nits as a stage of development of a parasite.
Appearance of nits
With naked eyes, nits are just like a white dot in a person's hair. Below in the photo, nits are presented in large numbers, and at the first impression they resemble simple dandruff:
When looking at the microscope, the nits look like small, elongated capsules attached to the hairs. In this case, pubis lice look a little different: they are shorter and more rounded.
Below is a photo of the nits under the microscope:
Dimensions of nits are quite small. In head and ward lice, they have a length of about 0.7-0.8 mm, diameter - about 0.4 mm. Nits of pubic lice are even smaller, and reach a length of 0.6 mm.
Each nit looks like a small round shaped capsule shaped like a spindle. In the lower half, it has a small formation, formed by the same substance, of which the shell consists and resembling a wide band, tightly wrapping the hair. In the upper part there is a flat lid, which the larva pushes out when hatching.
It is interesting
According to the shape of the lid of the nitus and the way it looks after the larva leaves the egg, the entomologist can tell what kind of lice the specific nit belongs to.
In the photo below - nits at the time of hatching lice:
With the naked eye, it is very difficult to consider the lid itself, and to say there is a developing larva inside the capsule, or it has already hatched, it is impossible. Both developing and empty nits look almost identical.
With a long enough infection with lice and lack of treatment on the hair, a large number of empty shells from nits accumulate in humans. Because of this, it may appear that the nits in the hair are much more numerous than the lice themselves. Dry nits at the same time keep on the hair for as long as the hair itself, and disappear from the head only with hair loss.
It is interesting
A reliable attachment of nits to the hair is the key to their survival. Therefore, the secret of which the egg shell consists is very durable and resistant to different environmental conditions. Reduce its strength can vinegar, cranberry juice, some natural and synthetic acids (some methods of removing nits from the hair are discussed below).
Nits always have a light, almost white color. This helps to examine them well on dark hair.
In ward lice, nits are placed in folds of clothing, between seams, in pockets, and also firmly adhere to the tissue. It is much more difficult to find them here than on hair.
Below are photos of lice eggs on clothes:
Development of nits
Each female louse almost immediately after the last moult and the acquisition of maturity mates with the male and after a plentiful meal begins to lay eggs.
In a day the female lays an average of 5 to 10 eggs. In this case, the insect clings to the hair and starts to creep up. In the oviduct at this time, the egg descends to the anus and passes by the glands secreting a sticky secret, enveloping it.
Immediately after leaving the oviduct, the egg comes into contact with the hair, and the secret envelops the hair itself. Part of the secret drains from the top of the nits, where the lid is formed. Within a few minutes the sticky substance hardens, and the nit is firmly attached to the hair.
Below are a few photos of nits on the hair at high magnification:
In clothes lice, everything happens usually a little easier: the egg just falls on the surface of the tissue and sticks to it.
Nits develop from 5 to 8 days, depending on the temperature. The optimum temperature for incubation of eggs is 33 ° С. At temperatures below 22 ° C and above 40 ° C, their development stops. At temperatures up to 0 ° C, eggs remain viable for several months, with the temperature rising to 45 ° C, they die.
In the photo below you can see how the nits look like in the person on the eyelashes:
In the case of lice, the development of eggs can be delayed up to six months, if the clothes on which they were laid aside are often removed by the person and they cool down for a long time (all this time the clothing remains potentially dangerous, as a source of possible infection with linen lice). With the constant wearing of contaminated clothing, nits on it develop at the same time as head lice.
The larva can not immediately get out of the egg, because it is very tightly seated in it. She just pushes the lid and starts to breathe. Some of the air enters her lungs, some she swallows and passes through the digestive tract, releasing through the anus. As a result, the pressure in the lower part of the capsule increases, which pushes the larva out of the egg. The whole process usually lasts only a few minutes, after which the insect leaves the shell.
The photo below shows how the nits look like immediately after the larvae exit:
Where to look for nits?
Nits are not located along the entire length of the hair. As a rule, the female glues an egg at a distance of 2-3 centimeters from the root.
Females rarely lay eggs on hairs, on which there is already nit. This can occur only with a very large number of lice on the head.
We raise the level of literacy
At me the four-year-old daughter began suddenly to scratch constantly a head, I even thought, what is it an allergy, but could not understand, on what. And scabies did not abate. My baby was constantly scratching her head, almost all evening until she fell asleep.
In the kindergarten, I went up to the nurse, but she laughed and said that every day every day she looks regularly, in groups of heat, so the children of the head sweat. But she said she would see my daughter. And after 30 minutes I got a call, they told me to pick up my daughter with the words "She has a full head of nits!" It sounded rather ominous. Moreover, until this moment I have met nits only among people, and not among insects.
But it turned out that nits are eggs of lice.
In thick, curly and light hair, nits are more difficult to find than in dark and straight hair. As a rule, to search for nits, it is desirable to use special combs from lice. They allow combing and several nits after combing several strands of hair.
Nits can be found on virtually all parts of the human body. The head louse leaves them on the head, pubic - on the pubic area and in the groin. Significantly less pubic louse reproduces in the armpits, and only in exceptional cases - on the eyebrows, eyelashes and beard.
Just from a distance to notice a man's nits on the hair is difficult. In the eyes they rush only with a strong infection and a large number of them on the head, and usually this picture is supplemented by the impression of a general slovenly hair and hair.
The photo shows how nits look on the hair with a lot of lice:
Nits of lice are to be found in the seams on clothing. However, getting them out of there is hopeless. And find them here is very difficult. It is much easier to find adult insects biting the body on the sides and back - these are certainly not pubic and not head lice .
Are nits transmitted from person to person?
Nits on the hair can not move and that's why people are not transferred. Only in exceptional cases with close contacts they can get with the dropped hair on the head of a healthy person.
Sometimes nits are passed on to the healthy person on combs, invisible objects and hair bands (they fall on these objects with hair falling out).
Even knowing well what nits look like, it's very difficult to notice them on the comb, so it's better not to use someone else's hair care products for reliable protection from them.
Is it difficult to fight nits?
Nits are much more resistant to the effects of various external factors than larvae or adult lice. Most pediculicidal drugs do not allow them to be killed, and only a limited number of drugs with ovicidal activity (usually based on organophosphate insecticides) can kill eggs.
- It is known that vinegar and cranberry juice promote softening, and in high concentrations - even the destruction of the nitric shell. However, they are capable of causing burns to the scalp, and therefore today for such purposes are usually no longer used.
- Reliably enough, the nits are destroyed by treating the hair with small portions of vinegar in strong dilutions and combing them further with lice from lice. However, due to the small size of complete removal, nits will not occur.
- The most effective is the extermination of lice themselves, as sources of nits. After they are removed with special shampoos or creams, only the surviving nits remain on the head. After 5-7 days of all the nits hatch larvae, which are killed by re-treatment with the same means.
- Sometimes it is much easier, more efficient and quicker to get rid of nits by simply shaving off infected hair.
- Nits of lice are easily destroyed. Infected things for this should be boiled in boiling water for more than 5-10 minutes and dried. In the seams of clothing after that, there will be eggs, but they will be killed and no danger will be present. After a few washings, they will all be washed.
The main thing that you need to remember when you find nits on your hair or clothes - they are only the result of the reproduction of lice. Therefore, the struggle must be aimed at destroying primarily lice, and with them, nits will also disappear.
Getting rid of lice and nits at home for 1 procedure: