Main Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of head lice include1

  • Itchy scalp. Lice bites will cause the scalp, neck, and ears to itch. This may take two to six weeks to occur.
  • Scratching. Some people scratch so much that the scalp, and sometimes the back of the neck, become red and irritated.
  • Crawling sensation. This can feel like tingling, tickling, or pins and needles.
  • Seeing bugs. Head lice are around the size of a poppy seed and usually gray or tan, but can look darker on people with dark hair.
  • Finding lice eggs (nits). Nits resemble grains of sand and are laid near the roots. They are often confused for dandruff.


  1. American Academy of Dermatology –