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How Do I Prevent Lice Nits From Hatching?


Lice can be an incredible nuisance to deal with thanks to their small size and ability to grab tightly onto individual strands of human hair. What’s more, lice have a very short life cycle, taking only about 12 days to fully mature from birth. Once they are adults, lice will lay eggs that will then hatch in as little as a week, producing even more lice for you to contend with. As such, it is important to prevent lice from hatching and continuing the cycle. Fortunately there are ways to prevent lice from hatching that you as a parent can perform at home.


Lice eggs, called nits, are laid and then attached to strands of hair by a sticky glue substance created by the mother. This substance is able to hold so tightly onto the hair that it will not fall off on its own or be knocked off from mundane tasks such as brushing or running a hand through your hair. As such, the only way to prevent nits from hatching is to physically remove each one, one at a time. In order to remove nits, use a metal nit comb or, if you do not have access to one, your fingertips.


Once a louse nymph has hatched from a nit, the nit will not simply fall off on its own. In fact, nits will stay attached to hair as it grows, so it is possible that a person who previously had lice and grows their hair out may have empty or unviable nits still present in their hair years after removing the lice. This is especially possible if using certain lice removal products or head lice removal services that treat lice by killing the bugs themselves, as the nits will not be affected and will remain until removed or the hair is cut off.

Though empty or unviable nits do not pose a threat, they can become problematic during a routine lice check, at which the person with nits may be mistaken to have lice yet again. This could in turn lead to unnecessary panic and actions, such as purchasing lice-removal products and sequestering the person away from others. In extreme cases, such as if the lice check comes after a large group activity, even more people may become inconvenienced as they are subjected to lice checks and further confusion and panic. Therefore, removing all nits, whether they are empty, unviable, or still active, is the best and only effective method at preventing confusion and ensuring that the person’s head is clean and clear from lice.

For more information on nit or head lice removal, consult a lice specialist at the Lice Lifters.

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