It is possible to have head lice for years without knowing it, especially if the person does not experience itching. Generally by the time someone identifies head lice, he/she has had head lice for four to eight weeks.
Itching is caused by an allergic reaction to the saliva that lice secrete when feeding. The saliva keeps the blood from clotting, making the feeding process easier. About half of those who get head lice are not allergic to the saliva and therefore don’t itch. Even if someone is allergic, it takes approximately two weeks to build up enough lice saliva to cause itching
Besides itching, symptoms of head lice may include a low-grade fever, swollen glands, a rash at the nape of the neck, bags under the eyes, and feeling tired. Head lice are nocturnal, meaning that they are more active at night than during the day.
It is so upsetting to get that dreaded call from the school nurse..."Your child has head lice. Please come pick her up!" It was hard to know what to do first, until I talked to Phyllis. Her step by step guidance made the whole process of caring for 5 heads of hair, plus the whole house and car very manageable. Way less stressful than I could ever have anticipated! Phyllis has a very calm and kind manner, which was great for both myself and the children. It probably helps that she is a mother too. She came very quickly and was very professional.