Common Terms Associated with Head Lice

by Tracey on March 8, 2010

While most treatments you use for head lice will be labeled in a way that clarifies the target, you may hear or see other terms that are associated with lice. If you want to make sure you understand the variety of terms associated with lice, make yourself familiar with a few of these words:

These are lice eggs and are found firmly attached to the hair shaft. Their shape is somewhat oval and are white or yellow. A nit will take about 5-7 days to hatch and in order to get rid of lice, the nits must be killed and/or removed. Recurring infestations often occur because the nits are not removed during treatment.

Free Pictures | acobox.comEggs

While you might think of eggs as something to eat for breakfast or bake into a cake, eggs are also associated with lice. Eggs are another term for nits or unhatched lice.


This is the medical term for lice infestation. If a person is diagnosed with pediculosis, it means they have lice.


This is the singular term for lice. If you remove a louse from the hair, you have removed only one of the bugs.

Dandruff/Dry Scalp

 Dandruff is a scalp condition that often results in white flakes in and falling from the hair. These flakes are sometimes confused with head lice and head lice may often be ignored if a person thinks they are suffering from dandruff.


This is the act of being infected with lice. If a person’s hair is filled with lice or nits, they are suffering from an infestation. Infestations can also affect furniture, toys, and bedding.


 This is a chemical in many lice removal treatments in the United States and some other countries. It has been outlawed in a number of places and is commonly accepted to be carcinogenic and toxic.

Natural Lice Treatments

These are treatments or home remedies that do not include Lindane and other potentially dangerous chemicals. These products not only get rid of lice, they can be used safely ahead of time to prevent lice.


This is an organism that lives on a host and feeds from that host. In order to survive, the parasite takes something from its host. Lice are parasites, as are fleas, mites, and hookworms.

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