Nits, the small white or clear eggs of lice, accompany a lice infestation. Symptoms of lice infestation, also called pediculosis, typically occur on the scalp and include itching and small red sores. To get rid of lice, the nits need to be removed, stopping the life cycle on the host body. Wet combing was a recommended treatment; however, evidence found by the Canadian Pediatric Society notes that combing out lice nits is not an effective treatment. Remove the nits, instead, by picking them out and treating the hair and scalp with a specially treated shampoo.
Confirm that lice are present by examining the scalp under bright lighting. Using a comb, separate hair into sections, and look along the strands all the way to the scalp. If you see small white or clear oval-shaped eggs then begin lice treatment. Also begin treatment if you see lice, which are black and small -- about the size of sesame seeds. An adult louse will be approximately 2 to 4 mm.
Coat the hair with conditioner to make it easier to see the nits. Pick out any nits or lice using your fingers. Place the nits in a sealed, airtight plastic bag and dispose of the bag. Place the bag, immediately, in your outdoor trashcan.
Follow the directions, precisely, on the lice shampoo or lotion treatment. Do not leave the product on the scalp longer than instructed, as this can cause chemical irritation.
Repeat the treatment in seven to 10 days to ensure that the lice and nits are gone. Lice can live on the body up to 30 days, but can only live in other places for three days. Repeating the treatment is necessary as nits take six to nine days to hatch, and repeating the treatment will kill any remaining nits that have hatched into lice.
Wash items that have come in contact with the infested area -- bed sheets, clothing, combs, brushes, hair ribbons, hats -- in hot water to kill the lice and nits. Items that cannot be washed -- pillows, earphones -- should be thoroughly vacuumed or placed in an airtight bag for at least two weeks.
Examine each family member's hair to determine if the lice have spread. To prevent spreading of lice, never share items that come in contact with the head, such as combs and hats.
Always be careful when using chemical products. See your doctor if the treatments are not getting rid of the lice and nits.