The School Nurse Lice Battle Plan

Part 4: Head Lice Terminology

Scalp is the anatomical area bordered by the face at the front, and by the neck at the sides and back.

Head Louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) is an obligate ectoparasite of humans that causes head lice infestation (pediculosis capitis).

Louse is singular (one bug)

Lice is plural (2 or more louse)

Nit - Louse egg

Nymph - A “baby” or Juvenile louse (what hatches from the nit (egg) and the stage before the louse becomes an adult bug). More on nymphs.

Molt - The louse will go through three molts before becoming a sexually-mature adult stage. More on molting.

Pediculosis Capitis - infection of the head hair and scalp by the head louse

Infestation - is the state of being invaded or overrun by pests or parasites. More on Infestation

Parasite - an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.

Pediculicide - a chemical used to kill lice.

CDC - Centers for Disease Control

Head Louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) - Lice found on the human head (These article will focus on the head louse and will only mention the other two in passing).

Body Louse (Pediculus humanus humanus, sometimes called Pediculus humanus corporis) - Lice found on the body and different from lice found on the head.

Crab Louse or Pubic Louse (Pthirus pubis) - Lice found in the pelvic region (pubic area) and under the arms.



RID contains pyrethrum and NIX contains permethrin. But what does that mean? Is one better than the other at killing lice and what about all those eggs?


You’ve found lice on a head in your home. WHAT THE HECK!? Okay, don’t sweat. You’ve got this. Read this LICE BATTLE PLAN and get them bugs gone!!


Learn more about lice. You have an 2-3% chance of lice coming into your home this year. The more you know about these pests the better prepared you’ll be.

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