MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nit comb. Woman runs an electronic nit comb through a boy's hair, which will electrocute any nits. Nits are the tiny eggs laid by head lice and glued to hairs close to the scalp. Infestations of head lice, Pediculus humanus capitis, can be diagnosed from the presence of nits. Head lice are small wingless insects that live on and suck blood from the scalp. They cause intense itching leading to scratching and skin inflammation. Hair washing with lotions or shampoos containing the drugs malathion or carbaryl also rapidly kills lice. Head lice, which most commonly occur in children, are spread by direct contact.
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