The removal of head lice eggs is an essential part of treatment for a lice infestation. Lice lay the eggs at the bottom of hair follicles along the scalp. A glue-like substance adheres the eggs to the hair, making them more difficult to remove. If you fail to remove the eggs, the infestation can continue indefinitely.
Understanding the life cycle of a louse can help you determine the best method to use to get rid of the infestation. Lice lay 3 to 5 eggs a day for 7 to 10 days. After a 7 to 11 day incubation period, the eggs hatch, releasing nits.
In the development stage, viable eggs have a darker color. Once the nits hatch, the egg will turn white. As the hair grows, the empty shell moves away from the scalp. When you see viable eggs, you may need to use a shampoo designed for head lice treatment to kill the developing lice before they can hatch.
Removing head lice eggs is part of a four-step process used to kill lice. When you can see nits, lice or viable eggs, use a head lice treatment shampoo. Most contain either pyrethrin or permethrin, which are insecticides capable of killing lice. To protect the skin from exposure, wear rubber gloves and only apply the treatment to head hair. Rinse hair in a sink to prevent runoff on the skin.
People who don't want to use insecticide-based shampoos can use shampoos with olive or coconut oil. The Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program for the State of California recommends applying shampoo once every three days for 12 days. This treatment will not kill the eggs, so you'll still need to use additional resources to clear up the problem. A home remedy for head lice uses mayonnaise in place of shampoo.
Along with shampoos, clean the hair with a nit comb. To help keep the comb from tugging, apply a leave-in conditioner after the shampoo. With a metal lice comb, clean each section of hair to remove nits and lice. Wipe off the comb with a tissue and place the tissue in a plastic bag. Work your way through the hair. If you are working on long hair, use clips to hold the cleaned sections away from the infected sections. When you finish, seal the plastic bag and discard it.
In order to completely remove eggs and lice, conduct a daily head check. While you need to follow the directions on the shampoo, you can use the lice comb as often as needed. Finally, make sure you clean your home daily to remove any lice. This can include washing bedding and clothing and vacuuming.