Improving your experience of head lice
Advice on head lice working with NHS guidance
Help when coping with an infestation
Vital knowledge about the life-cycle
- A head louse (Pediculus capitis) usually hatches 7 to 10 days after the egg is laid (sometimes 5 to 11 days).
- A newly-hatched head louse becomes full-grown in a minimum of 6 days.
- Full-grown head lice move from head to head; younger lice tend to stay on the head where they hatch.
- Full-grown lice mate and the female starts laying eggs, at the earliest on day 7 after she herself hatched.
Breaking the life-cycle
Preventing head lice from spreading: it is critical to remove the lice before the sixth day from hatching
Preventing head lice from reproducing: a new generation of eggs can be laid from day seven after hatching
Many products rely on killing lice as they hatch because it is difficult to kill live eggs with chemicals, and hard to ensure the removal of all eggs by combing
With a double dose treatment, applied on day 1 and a week later (day 8) the three risks are that:
- Lice hatch from eggs directly after the first application and reach adulthood before the second application, so they can spread and lay eggs
- Lice may continue to hatch till day 11 even after a second application on day 7/8
- New full-grown lice, caught from other infested heads between applications will lay more eggs.
If you get your treatment product from a pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to go through the instructions with you.
If you buy off-the-shelf, read the information on the pack to find out how many applications per infested head are required.
Remember that whatever the product, you always have to check for lice on days 5,9 and 12/13 and remove them to avoid the three risks of continuing infestation.
Metal nit combs are not recommended for louse detection and removal.
You can cover all three risks with a Bug Buster Kit alone. Use the specially designed combs according to the step-by-step instructions for detection, cure and nit removal. This saves the expense of the treatment product and the time required to shampoo the treatment applications from the head. A single Bug Buster Kit is re-usable by a whole family for years. To buy one online visit our shop
Parents seeking prescription treatment for their children, may choose a Bug Buster Kit, which is a registered medical device, Device available on NHS prescription. If you prefer another prescribable treatment, request a Bug Buster Kit as well, to check the treatment has worked.
Inform yourself what a treatment entails before you choose one
Use products responsibly
- Keep all products for the control of head lice out of the reach of children.
- Remember to avoid naked flames, cigarettes and other sources of ignition throughout the treatment period whenever a product is applied to DRY hair.
- Take precautions against slipping if any spills.
Any questions, please ring our one-to-one Help line on 01908 561928
Advice on head lice with NHS guidance… co-ordinating Bug Busting Days across the country can help to prevent head lice circulating.
Ask your children’s school to introduce all families to the simple skill of Bug Busting®. To beat head lice they need the uniquely efficient, clinically proven Bug Buster® comb – packed with easy to follow instructions.
When families check the Bug Busting way together, and then check again that any treatment choice has worked, it cuts the cost and stigma of head lice.
© CHC 1998-2018. BUG BUSTER and BUG BUSTING are the registered trade marks of CHC. Bug Buster and Nit Buster combs are the registered designs of CHC. The health and education resources of the Bug Busting programme are produced on a not-for-profit basis, working with NHS Choices and NHS Health Scotland