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Nits in humans: photos, features of development and methods of struggle

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Photo of nits on the hair under the microscope

Nits are lice eggs, packed in a special sheath of sticky and air-freezing substance. Each nit contains one egg and is located on a separate human hair.

Due to the secretions secreted by the lice, it sticks firmly to the hair, and after a few minutes it is so securely attached that it cannot be removed even with the nails. The photo below shows this close-up of a nit fixed on the hair:

The photo shows that the nit is firmly glued to the hair.

On a note

Nits in the hair are noticeable more lice for the reason that because of its light color often come across the eyes than the parasites themselves. With abundant infection of the head with lice, the number of nits is so great that the hair is infected, even when washed, it looks like it is sprinkled with croup.

At the same time, adult lice and mobile larvae spend most of their time on the scalp and do not catch the eye.Therefore, in everyday life they often say not even about infection with lice, but about infection with nits, which is incorrect.

Just the nits eggs in the scientific community are not called due to the fact that a substantial part of the nits is precisely its shell, which is not involved in the development of the larva and does not provide it with food. Most correctly identify nits as a stage of development of the parasite.


Appearance of nits

With the naked eye, a nit looks just like a white dot in a person's hair. Below in the photo nits are presented in large quantities, and at the first impression they resemble simple dandruff:

With a large number of nits in the hair, they are a bit like dandruff

When examined under a microscope, nits look like small elongated capsules attached to hairs. In this case, pubic lice nits look somewhat different: they are shorter and more rounded.

Below is a photo of nits under the microscope:

It looks like a nit under an electron microscope

Another photo of nits under the electron microscope

The size of the nits is quite small. In head and body lice, they have a length of about 0.7-0.8 mm and a diameter of 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 rounded spindle-shaped capsule. In the lower half, it has a small formation formed by the same substance that makes up the shell and looks like a wide belt that tightly wraps the hair.In the upper part there is a flat cap, which the larva pushes out when hatching.

It is interesting

According to the shape of the lid of the nits and the way it looks after the release of the larva from the egg, the entomologist can tell what kind of lice a particular nit belongs to.

In the photo below - a nit at the time of louse hatching:

In the photo the louse larva hatches from the nits.

With the naked eye it is very difficult to examine the lid of the nits, and it is impossible to say that there is a developing larva inside the capsule, or it has already hatched. And developing, and empty nits look almost the same.

With a sufficiently long infection with lice and no treatment, a person’s hair accumulates a large number of empty nits shells. 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 as long as the hair itself keeps, and disappear from the head only with hair loss.

It is interesting

Reliable attachment of nits to the hair is the key to their survival. Therefore, the secret that makes up the egg shell is very durable and resistant to different environmental conditions.Vinegar, cranberry juice, some natural and synthetic acids can reduce its strength (some methods of removing nits from hair are discussed below).

Nits always have a light, almost white color. It helps to see them well on dark hair.

In body lice nits are placed in the folds of clothing, between the seams, in the pockets, and also firmly stick to the fabric. Finding them here is much more difficult than on the hair.

Below the photo shows the lice eggs on clothes:

Nits linen louses on clothes


Nits development

Each female louse almost immediately after the last molt and the acquisition of maturity mates with the male and after a hearty meal begins to lay eggs.

The female lays an average of 5 to 10 eggs per day. When this insect clings to the hair and begins to creep up. In the oviduct at this time, the egg descends to the anus and passes by the glands that secrete a sticky secret, enveloping them.

Immediately after leaving the oviduct, the egg comes into contact with the hair, and the secret envelops the hair itself. Part of the secret flows from the top of the nits, where the cap is formed. Within a few minutes, the sticky substance hardens, and the nits are firmly stuck to the hair.

Below are some photos of nits on the hair at high magnification:

Clipped hair with nits

Nits on the hair (closeup photo)

In lice everything happens usually somewhat simpler: the egg just falls on the surface of the fabric and sticks to it.

Nits develop from 5 to 8 days, depending on temperature. The optimum temperature for incubating eggs is 33 ° C. At temperatures below 22 ° C and above 40 ° C, their development stops. At temperatures up to 0 ° C, eggs remain viable for several months, and when the temperature rises to 45 ° C, they die.

In the photo below you can see what the nits look like on a man's eyelashes:

And this is what nits look like on the eyelashes of a person.

Nits on the eyelashes

Another photo with nits on the eyelashes

In lice development eggs can be delayed up to six months, if a person often takes off the clothes on which they were set aside and they cool down for a long time. (all this time, clothing remains potentially dangerous, as a source of possible infection with laundry lice). With the constant wearing of infected clothing nits on it develop in the same time as that of the head lice.

The larva itself cannot immediately get out of the egg, since it sits very tightly in it. She just pushes the cap out and starts breathing. Part of the air enters her lungs, some she swallows and passes through the digestive tract, releasing through the anus. As a result, in the lower part of the capsule, the pressure rises, which also pushes the larva out of the egg.The whole process usually lasts only a few minutes, after which the insect leaves the envelope.

In the photo below you can see what the nits look like immediately after the release of the larva:

Empty nits remaining on the hair after the lice larva leaves it


Where to look for nits?

Nits are not located along the entire length of the hair. As a rule, the female sticks an egg at a distance of 2-3 centimeters from the root.

Usually, female lice stick an egg about 2-3 cm away from the hair root.

Females rarely lay eggs on the hairs, which already have a nit. This can occur only with a very large number of lice on the head.

Increase Literacy

My four-year-old daughter suddenly began to scratch her head, I even thought it was an allergy, but I could not understand what it was. And scabies did not subside. My baby constantly scratched her head, almost the whole evening until she fell asleep.

In the kindergarten, I went to the nurse, but she laughed and said that all the children regularly watch every day, in groups of heat, so the kids have heads and sweat. But still she said she would look at my daughter. And after about 30 minutes they called me, told rather to take her daughter with the words "She has a full head of nits!" It sounded quite ominous. Moreover, up to this point I met nits only among people, and not among insects.

But it turned out that nits are louse eggs.

Alina, Kemerovo

It is more difficult to find nits in thick, curly and light hair than in dark and straight ones. As a rule, to search for nits, it is advisable to use special combs for lice. They allow after combing a few strands of hair comb out and some nits.

For combing lice and nits use special combs

Comb for lice combing

Nits can be found on almost all parts of the human body. Head louse leaves them on the head, pubic - on the pubis and groin. Much less often the pubic louse breeds in the armpits, and only in exceptional cases - on the eyebrows, eyelashes and beard.

Just from a distance, it is difficult to notice nits in a person’s hair. They are thrown into the eyes only with a strong infection and a large number of them on the head, and usually this picture is complemented by the impression of the general negligence of the hairstyle and hair.

In the photo you can see how the nits look on the hair with a large number of lice:

This is how hair looks when heavily infected with head lice.

Nits of lice should be sought in the seams on the clothes. However, getting them out is hopeless. Yes, and find them here is very difficult. It is much easier to find adult insects that bite the body on the sides and back — these are definitely not pubic and head lice.


Are nits passed from person to person?

Nits on the hair do not know how to move and therefore are not transmitted between people. Only in exceptional cases at close contacts can they fall with lost hair on the head of a healthy person.

Sometimes nits are passed a healthy person on hairbrushes, stealth hairpieces and hair bands (they fall on these items with loose hair).

Lice and nits can be passed along with hair care products.

Lice on the ridge

Even knowing well what the nits look like, it is very difficult to see them on a comb, so for reliable protection against them it is better not to use other people's hair care products at all.


Is it hard to fight nits?

Nits are significantly more resistant to various external factors than larvae or adult lice. Most pediculicides do not allow killing them, and only a limited number of ovicidal agents (usually based on organophosphate insecticides) can destroy eggs.

Only some drugs can kill both adult lice and nits.

  • It is known that vinegar and cranberry juice contribute to softening, and in high concentrations - even the destruction of the shell of nits. However, at the same time they are capable of causing scalp burns, and therefore today for such purposes are usually no longer used.
  • Sufficiently reliably nits are destroyed by treating the hair in small portions of vinegar in strong dilutions and further combing them with lice combs. However, due to the small size of the complete removal of nits will not occur.
  • The most effective extermination of lice themselves, as sources of nits. After their removal, only surviving nits remain special shampoos or creams on the head. After 5-7 days from all nits, the larvae hatch, which they kill by repeated treatment with the same means.
  • Sometimes it is much easier, more efficient and faster to get rid of nits, simply shaving off the infected hair.
  • Nits of lice destroyed easily enough. Infected things for this should be boiled in boiling water for more than 5-10 minutes and dry. After that, the eggs will remain in the seams of the clothes, but they will be lost and will not pose any danger. After several washes, they will all be washed.

The main thing that you need to remember when you find nits on the hair or clothing - they are only the result of reproduction lice. Therefore, the struggle should be aimed at the destruction of lice in the first place, and with them the nits will disappear.


Rare shots: the birth of lice from nits


Interesting video: how to get rid of lice

It is also useful to read: Can lice appear on nerves?


To write "Nits in humans: photos, features of development and methods of struggle" 118 comments
  1. Anya:

    Fu, this is such a horror ((

  2. Alexey:

    Looks like "strangers."

  3. Nastya:

    Oh fufufuu.

  4. Eve:

    I have lice.

  5. Olesya:

    I did not think that lice are like that.

  6. Anonymous:

    Daughter lice from somewhere brought, 2 times Paranit processed with an interval of 7 days, and pah pah, no more.

    • Anonymous:

      In the kindergarten, the doctor told me that my daughter found empty capsules, lice eggs. But it does not itch, I checked - no lice.Could it be that dry nits are transferred to her from someone?

      • Lydia:

        My son has a lot of live nits, and they are helped by mercy water. You just need to smear your head with cobalt water, then put the bag on your head for an hour, and then wash it off and smear it with avalanche from skin irritation. And then wash off, and after 12 hours they will die. Chemerichnaya water does not work immediately.

      • Maria:

        Yes, I have the same with my daughter, only there are no capsules, what should I do? I tried Nyuda - nothing helped.

        • Kristina:

          Pair Plus helps

        • Maria:

          Very good help drops for dogs from fleas. We took granny's lice. 4 TAILS title. And if children are to be taken, then they should be taken for puppies (1 was processed, after 5-8 days, repeat). Helps without failure.

        • Michalna:

          Dichlorvos sprinkle - and under the package, about 30 minutes. And then choose them from the head. If there is a desire, then push and pull out, collecting them on a piece of paper, which then burn.

      • Anonymous:

        Sometimes children do not immediately feel that they have lice, and do not even itch, but this does not mean that there are definitely no lice.I recommend that you go to a dermatologist or try to poison the lice yourself and comb through the comb. If there is no lice, it will not be superfluous anyway. We also did not find anything at first, but then there were so many of them. So it is better not to risk it.

      • Anonymous:

        Did you read the article at all?

  7. Olga:

    Never had them, did not even know what it is! And now, from where not to take it, I constantly bring it out, and it is useless. Where come from - no one can understand. All heads checked, no one was found.

  8. Karina:

    One girl is studying with me, she had lice and nits. She screamed at me and said that I told everyone that she had nits and lice. And I did not know. Then the next day comes up to me and says: let me write off English. I told her - back off. She hugged me and lice came to me ...

  9. Irina:

    And I have not had and never will!

  10. Daniel:

    Fu, lice is such a dirty trick, they are so painfully combed out along with their mushrooms (cubs).

  11. Anonymous:

    The train picked up lice, fu, such an abomination. We do not know how to deduce: they washed it with antibit and paranite. Advise more effective means.

    • Zina:

      Chemerichnaya water helps adults. Well, kids can buy something at the pharmacy. I bought the daughter NUDA for my daughter.

    • a guest:

      Try FULLMARKS (full marks) - it goes along with the comb ... Everything is written in the instructions.

    • Anonymous:

      The most effective tool is a razor.

    • Lena:

      Take and smear your head with kerosene, roll your head with a towel and walk around in a towel for half an hour, and then wash your hair with regular shampoo. All the nits and lice will die, kerosene will not cause harm to the head and hair. But still you need to comb your head with a comb, otherwise you will start again.

    • Sofia:

      Kerosene. Helps a lot! It takes half an hour.

    • Anonymous:

      Pedeksom try, and if it does not help - I advise kerosene.

    • Anonymous:


    • Anonymous:

      The best remedy is Nyuda. It helped me.

  12. Expert)):

    Try Dichlorvos, apply on the scalp, wrap the head with a package and walk for 20 minutes or even half an hour, then rinse well and comb the head, after a few days, I did the same.

    • Anonymous:

      Dichlorvos - poison, will be fatal.

    • Anonymous:

      I was also taken out with dichlorvos in childhood, and then combed out. Never been again!

  13. One:

    I tried to withdraw Paraplus, brought out in 2 hours.

  14. Lydia:

    Benzyl benzoate bake

  15. Maria:

    Faced this problem a second time! The first time a couple took out a plus, but still I had to remove the half-dead nits (eggs) by hand. No crests will remove anything, do not believe. The second time I decided not to spend money and buy tar soap (18 rubles): washed, soaped a second time, put on a plastic bag and on top with a towel, washed off after 20 minutes. I rinsed with a solution of vinegar with water, I had the essence, so for 1 liter I poured 2 tbsp. spoons, and began to sort out the hair with small strands and remove the eggs by hand. So did five days in a row in the evening! In the morning I also looked through the hair with small strands and wondered why I took everything off in the evening, and in the morning there were more eggs ... And only after reading the articles and watching the video about their life cycle and the effect of various drugs, I realized that I was doing everything right. In the end, after 5 days there was nothing left.

    For scalp healing, I bought tea tree essential oil and added 5 drops to shampoo in the evening. Exactly a week later, everything went away, without harm to the health of the daughter (6 years). No funds will not remove the eggs from the hair! Only each by hand, long but surely. But in reality it will even stay dead until the hair falls out and will not fall away for anything. I hope my advice will help you, since reading the reviews of other mummies, I took note of the recipe for treatment with tea tree oil. Do not worry, everything is treated, you need patience and a system. Good luck.

  16. Anastasia:

    Thank you, Maria. It really helped. And then no trace of lice. Everything healed. Sometimes the experience of another person is better than advertising.

  17. Anastasia:

    This method was told to me by my mother. Earlier lice were not uncommon. Mom's hair was very thick and long. Caught lice. It's a pity to cut, so their mom smeared them with Data. Spray Deta's head (mosquito repellent). Wrap your head with food film or bag. An hour later, wash it off. And lice and nits die. After dry the hair well, and iron the iron for the hair. Nits all burst. My daughter from the first time brought. Good luck.

  18. Anonymous:

    I was taken out with kerosene as a child, it was unbearable to endure, but there was no trace of lice.

  19. Anonymous:

    Today I found nits in my son, this is the first time I've come across this, so I was hysterical and this scared my son.I called my husband, he reassured us, said that it was not fatal, but contagious. Now I’m wondering if I could get infected from my son, I’m sleeping with my son in the same bed! ((Tell me, I could get infected, I started to itch all over!

  20. Dmitriy:

    Proven tool - FULMARKS spray. 10 minutes - and forgot about this infection.

  21. Guseva:

    Oh! Poplohelo even, as on eyelashes saw. This is probably the homeless, in life this is not seen. Anonymous, naturally infected, are now being treated comprehensively. Paranit shampoo or spray, also after processing, comb out all the comb. Shampoo, by the way, comes with a comb, and quite comfortable.

  22. Olesya:

    What a nasty, thank God, I do not have them.

  23. kroshka_M:

    Gusev, and spray without a comb? We kind of took a spray, where the comb was such an interesting, squiggle. Comfortable.
    Dmitry, of all the sparing oil-like fulmarks, paranit and the nudes of a full-comb combing comb is the shortest stub of some kind, it infuriated me, I feel sorry for the iron on the teeth or something.

  24. Guseva:

    KROSHKA_M, but in the spray a little different, more comfortable, I agree. It is at an angle, easier to scratch, not so hand gets tired. Recently, I almost got rid of the comb, 1500 p., I didn’t buy it well, the girls talked me out of work, an active comb, such as curing for lice.

    • Anonymous:

      Damn, have you ever heard of this scallop? It is much better than any pharmacy, plastic. Much more effective, I tell you.

  25. Alyona:

    For all my 32 years I have never seen live lice and nits. Even when my daughter saw white dots in her hair, she did not immediately understand what it was. And in the morning came the insight - nits! Panic. Bought NUDA, helped. By the way, after him the hair is very silky, soft, well-groomed.

  26. Alyona:

    By the way, how can it be that there were non-living nits? The night before, I dried my daughter's hair with a hair dryer. Maybe under a high heat burned them 🙂

  27. kroshka_M:

    Can. Hot hair dryer, curling iron, iron their kill.

  28. Natasha:

    I didn't have any lice or nits, and I didn't know what they looked like. I decided to score in Google and how I looked, how they look - such an abomination.

  29. Dashulka:

    My classmate is constantly nits, she bothers me. What to do to not get infected?

  30. Lala:

    Aah, I have lice, and my hair is long and thick, I can not pull out for 2 weeks, just a nightmare.

    • Anonymous:

      I have lice and I'm afraid to tell my mom for 2 years. Advise, good people 🙁

    • Anonymous:

      Lyalya, do not worry! I was trimmed under KARE - and not what, alive and well, but eggs can be seen ((Fu-fu, disgusting, filthy, I thought that they would not leave me a single hair, but the vinegar definitely helped!)

  31. Olesya:

    I was in the camp and picked up there. Now the back of the head itches badly. Mom checked - she didn’t find, but I went to the mirror and found eggs from lice. What to do, mother scolds.

  32. Anonymous:

    Olesya, say.

  33. Anya:

    You can try medicine Paraplus - sneak to. Or go to the doctor, he will say what to do. I once went with my grandmother, he gave me some medicine, and it helped. No more worries and problems with lice. I did this procedure for 12 days and I did not have more lice.

  34. Natalia:

    Lice are not a problem, but you should not forget about nits. No infection takes them until you select all by hand. Combing helps, but still something remains. After the detection of nits, treat the head with lice for at least 2 weeks with breaks of 4-5 days and be sure to boil bed linen + iron even pillows and blankets. In the house it is better to process everything once a week with dichlorvos. She treated her daughter and herself (they slept next to her) with Permin, combed out, chose. Then, in order not to climb (she brought it from school), she used Lavinal a couple of times - there is lavender oil and ylang-ylang oil - scares. Be sure to inform the class teacher, caregiver, doctors about the presence of lice in the child, to take measures against other children, otherwise everything will go in a circle - you brought out, and a few days later you became infected. There is nothing shameful about it; worse, if you pick up again because you have been silent.

  35. Sofia:

    I have a whole year lice and nits, nothing poisoned

  36. Catherine:

    Sophia, if not poisoned, you need to get a haircut!

  37. Diana:

    And from painting their hair can be burned?

  38. Sveta:

    Now there is a general epidemic, horror.

  39. Saby:

    I don’t know, but I found some white dot on the head of my daughter, I decided to check if she’s not a nit (as a child her mother would burst her nails). She did everything, and she snapped! No more found anything. Maybe it still was not a nit? Itself immediately began to itch (Today I will buy shampoo for prophylaxis.

  40. Victoria:

    I already 3 times, probably, I catch. I tried everything, nothing helps. I think to cut your hair. Just no words. But honestly, I painted 3 times, there were no lice, and the nits remained. Now in the hospital I lie alone with pediculosis, they are not allowed anywhere. They say it helps a remedy for fleas for dogs. On long hair, pour along the middle of the hair, behind the ears and at the back of the head, and roll for 10 minutes. The smell will spread, and the nits and lice will disappear.

  41. Helena:

    A year ago, my daughter had lice, brought Hygia shampoo. Yesterday I noticed that she was scratching her head, I immediately had the memories of this nightmare ... I started to look - I did not find lice, only dry nits. Do you think they could stay from last year? (I looked again today, I did not find anything, but I myself am itching, I can not stop).

  42. N.S.:

    Dermatologist wrote: Pedikulen, Couple Plus (spray).

  43. Milana:

    Eco Dichlorvos, Lavender Scent

  44. Elvina:

    The whole family had lice because all slept together. She cut her daughter and husband under a single piece, and she treated herself. It seems to be over. The husband looks - he says, I have dandruff there, but on my head there are small bumps, is it from bites? And could it be that the old bumps still remain, or did the lice still remain?

  45. Anonymous:

    Kapets, I did not know that lice in the eyelashes.

  46. Anonymous:

    And I have a question: today I found lice and nits in a child, processed it, but the result is still not clear. Can he go to school?

    • Helena:

      The same with us. And the same question, let's go to the doctor and call the classroom. Good luck to everyone in the treatment of this filth.

  47. Tatyana:

    I tried everything. Better and cheaper MEDIFOKSA not seen. Dilute according to the instructions, wet the hair and scalp with a sponge, put on the bag, stand according to the instructions (I walked twice as long, for sure), wash off. And every 3 days so, then check in a week. Like an obsessive, everyone was afraid that mature nits would hatch. How crazy she combed her scallop a day more than once, her hair is thick and long.Then for a long time it seemed that the hair was moving, ran over the comb to comb)) I did not find anything and calmed down. And do not forget to treat your habitat, and clothes that are not washed, steamed with an iron.

  48. Olga:

    Yeah ... Comments going wild idiocy (some). First, lice are not fatal. Secondly, no one will be scolded by anyone (except for the ill-bred and half-witted). Thirdly, all shampoos for lice from pharmacies are effective, but you need to know the life cycle of lice (repeat processing or shave hair, remove nits for a long time and in front of the lamp, etc.). Lice appear not only in the homeless or leading a dirty, so to speak, way of life, but in rich cleaners too (louse don't care who you are), and this is not a shame. Apparently, these are post-Soviet echoes or something, I can not understand ...))

  49. Anonymous:

    Help, good people, yesterday I found out that I have lice ... It scares me that I have thick, long hair!

  50. Yuliya:

    Daughter from school 3 times brought. For the first time (December 31), I, my daughter and her sister found it. Later 2 more times. And now here, it seems, again from somewhere. Almost the whole class checked - no lice.Where do they come from - do not understand!

  51. Catherine:

    Full Marks - spray, pshikat and after 10 minutes combed out, super tool! It does not contain traditional pesticides, fast processing, odorless even. He instantly dehydrates lice and nits, they just dry up! In short, a cool tool, but expensive.

  52. Anonymous:

    Buy Pair Plus - it helps, I used it myself.

  53. Andrew:

    NUDA - my daughter was taken out in a day. It clogs the breathing holes in lice and nits and they die. German remedy. Not toxic, in appearance as oil.

  54. Liza:

    Nit Free - safe means for children and pregnant women.

  55. Kristina:

    Ugh, how awful!

  56. Anonymous:

    Already the 3rd time a problem with these insects! The first time they were in my kindergarten, well, okay. The second time half a year ago, picked up from the tribe. The third time now, and not just lice, but also complete with fleas and even goosebumps, some kind of attack! Everything is complicated by the fact that there is no time to poison them, because I live alone and study in honey in the first year, there is no one to help with the problem. Where did it all come from - I do not understand. And lice are very difficult to display.We must try more than one shampoo to herbalize it completely. And also it is desirable to change the linen bed. And when there is no washing machine at home, there is nothing to do, you have to live on with this terrible itch and infect other people ...

    The nastiest creation on our planet. Benefit no one, only harm.

    P.S. It even seems to me that there are people who deliberately remove lice, and then release them somewhere on a chair in public transport (this is just an example, there may be many options). And then they break the lava for selling drugs against these lice (although I sincerely hope that this is not so).

  57. Anonymous:

    And my daughter from kindergarten, too, just brought. Three days in a row all family members were smeared with different means. Chesali and brought out in three days. And they washed it with paraplus, and with tameric water and paranite. The main thing is to comb well)

  58. Dima:

    Lice and nits die at temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius, so a bath with a good steam room should help. Only you need to bathe completely naked and comb your hair well.

  59. Sergei:


  60. Anonymous:

    If I got lice (and I have thick hair),How to withdraw them without buying popular tools? And not much destroying the hair structure and the hair itself.

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