Feeling the chill in Long Port, Sea Isle City, Green Creek, Wildwood, Linwood, Lanoka Harbor, or Lavallette? That means it’s the season for lice removal in New Jersey. Do you know about the lice threat this winter?
You can’t freeze out lice! These persistent, highly spreadable insects are found all over the United States. Yes, lice are all-season pests. However, you might be wondering if freezing temperatures during winter kill lice in their tracks. Get your questions on head lice in the winter answered here!
What Are Lice?
A lice infestation is everyone’s problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that up to 12 million lice infestations occur in the United States every year. Lice are parasites that attach to human hair to feed on warm, nutritious blood from the scalp.
Most lice infestations happen in classrooms. While kids are the primary spreaders of lice, the truth is that parents, teachers, and other adults are always at risk. Lice are prolific spreaders. Adult female lice can lay up to six eggs daily. These eggs are called nits. After nits are laid near the hair shaft, they are essentially glued in place by secretions created by the female louse. This is why most tactics for lice removal are ineffective. In order to stop a lice infestation, it’s necessary to kill both active lice and the nits hiding close to the scalp. It’s what’s known as the Lice Lifters of America way!
Lice usually grow to be about the size of a sesame seed. They are notoriously hard to spot. First, lice will burrow into the hair shaft to hide at the first sign of light. Next, they can actually range in color from white to brown. This makes it easy for lice to hide in hair. Most people don’t realize they have lice until they experience severe itching. However, a new itch doesn’t necessarily mean a new infestation. It’s not uncommon for a person to live with lice for four to six weeks before experiencing symptoms.
Lice aren’t just “annoying.” Yes, they do create persistent itching that can make a person irritable and irritated. However, the problem goes much deeper because lice can pose true health risks. Lice bites are associated with anemia stemming from persistent loss of blood. In addition, the sores created by lice are prone to bacterial infections that can result in severe illness.
It’s clear that nobody wants lice. However, you may still be wondering if you can stop worrying about lice in the winter. Take a look at what happens to lice when temperatures freeze.
Can Lice Survive the Cold Winter?
Long-term exposure to a frozen atmosphere may eventually kill lice and nits. It could take several days in freezing conditions for lice to freeze to death. However, humidity levels and specific temperatures can cause results to vary greatly. As a result, “freezing” is not considered an effective method for treating lice. Of course, “freezing” lice that have made a home on your scalp is impossible to do without causing serious harm to your body.
The truth is that you can’t count on lice to simply “freeze off” during winter. They will be as active and lively on your scalp during a snowy day in February as they would be during a sunny day in July. The only difference is that some lice left on surfaces that are exposed to extreme cold temperatures may not survive.
Wintertime actually increases risks for lice infections in many ways. Time spent huddled indoors can boost the likelihood of lice spreading from person to person. What’s more, lice breakouts typically start to increase as soon as kids gather back at school for the fall. The increase in outbreaks tends to continue through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the post-holiday return to school in January.
There’s also the jacket factor. During winter, it’s common for jackets, coats, hats, scarves, earmuffs, and other types of warm-weather gear to be piled together in homes, schools, offices, and other places. Transmission can also happen on buses, planes, and trains when lice have opportunities to walk from one plush surface to another.
The most important thing to remember is that your scalp will always provide a warm, cozy shelter for lice during any season of the year. Your body temperature protects lice against freezing temperatures outside. That’s why it’s important to seek lice treatment as soon as you notice a member of your family scratching their scalp! Here at Lice Lifters of Ocean County, we’re constantly reminding our clients that lice don’t go dormant in the winter here in New Jersey!
The Life Cycle of Lice
The life cycle of lice doesn’t change with the seasons. Lice are parasitic insects that hatch, live, and die on your scalp by feeding on your blood supply. All lice begin as eggs. Also known as nits, lice eggs are laid by the female at the base of your hair shaft. These ultra-small eggs are often confused for dandruff, dry skin, or droplets of hair product when they’re seen by the naked eye.
Next up in the lice life cycle are nymphs. Once lice eggs hatch, they turn into yellow nymphs that remain attached to the hair shaft. A nymph grows to be the size of a pinhead before molting into a full adult louse roughly seven days after hatching.
Finally, lice enter the adult stage. This is where you’ll see a sesame-seed-sized insect with six clawed legs crawling around your scalp, ears, or forehead. Adult lice are generally capable of living on your scalp for up to 30 days. While making a home on your scalp, lice will need to feed on blood several times a day.
The Effects of Cold Temperatures on Lice
Do cold temperatures slow down lice? Unfortunately, cold weather alone does nothing to kill lice. In fact, cold-weather habits can actually cause us to spread lice more easily because lice use huddles, hugs, and plush items as “bridges” to get from person to person to begin nesting, feeding, and spreading.
The only way to get rid of lice in the winter is professional lice removal. Over-the-counter and holistic lice remedies don’t work because they won’t kill both lice and nits. While some remedies may help to remove lice that are easily “shaken out” from the surface of your scalp, they do nothing to remove the nits that are tightly glued to the hair shaft. At Lice Lifters of Ocean County, our lice experts can properly diagnose your head lice before developing a personalized plan for killing lice and nits. We offer a 30-day guarantee. Located in Tom’s River, Lice Lifters of Ocean County is New Jersey’s trusted lice clinic for clients of all ages. Let us help you avoid the time, money, and misery of using lice remedies that don’t work! We use all-natural, safe killing agents that are 99.9% effective at killing lice and nits. Don’t let lice use your scalp as their cozy wintertime hideout! Reach out today for your appointment.
Can lice survive if the hair is washed daily with shampoo?
Yes, lice survive every time you wash your hair with ordinary shampoo. Washing hair alone simply does not kill lice. Lice can’t be drowned in water because they will go into a suspended state when wet. They are experts at “holding on” for survival when submerged in water. Only Lice Lifters professional treatments can kill lice and nits! Lice Lifters also sells a lineup of shampoo, conditioner, and metal combs capable of separating knits from the hair shaft.
Can you freeze fabric to get rid of lice?
Freezing is not considered to be a safe, effective way to get rid of lice on the body. However, there are some circumstances where freezing fabrics to kill lice may work. A freezer will need to be set at 5 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to kill lice. It may take between 10 and 48 hours for lice to die in these conditions. Washing lice in hot water above 140 degrees Fahrenheit is typically recommended over freezing if the infected items can be safely laundered.
Don’t Count on the Weather to Take Care of Your Lice Problem in New Jersey
The cold winter temperatures here in New Jersey aren’t capable of killing lice. Only professional lice treatments from Lice Lifters of Ocean County can get rid of your lice problem. Offering the best lice treatments in America, Life Lifters of Ocean County gets rid of 99.9% of lice with a 30-day guarantee.
Your appointment starts with a head check that verifies the extent of your lice infestation. Next, we’ll use our exclusive comb-out technique featuring our patented Lice Lifters nit comb to separate as many nits as possible from your scalp. Finally, we’ll use our safe lice-killing agent to get rid of any remaining lice. Lice Lifters treatments are safe, gentle, and effective for every member of your family! Give lice the cold shoulder this winter! Book your Lice Lifters appointment in Tom’s River today!