Minute, wingless insects (PEDICULUS HUMANUS CAPITIS) that survive on the human scalp and feed by sucking blood. Infestation with head lice is widespread, particularly among young school children and is not brought on by poor hygiene. An affected child can often pass on the head lice to other members of the family.
The insects do not jump or fly but are spread through head-to-head contact or hairbrushes, shared combs, and hats. The female lice stick their eggs (known as nits) to the hair shaft, close to the scalp. The nits can be seen as tiny, white specks; often however, the first sign of infestation is extreme itching due to an allergy to lice bites.