Head Lice Lifecycle

Head lice are a huge nuisance.  They are easy to catch and difficult to get rid of.  Part of the problem with head lice is their extreme rate of reproduction.

On the head, an adult lice will live for about thirty days.  It can lay six to seven eggs, or nits, PER DAY for about three weeks.  These nits attach themselves to the hair near the base of the head. They are more prominent around the ears and the nape of the neck.  Nits are tiny and they are difficult to see.

Once the nits are born, it takes about ten days to mature into a full grown louse.  When mature, that  louse will lay eggs.  If the cycle continues, the number of lice on the head will grow very rapidly.

The three life stages of lice are nits, nymphs, and adult louse. In the nymph stage they are small and almost transparent. Adult louse are about the size of a sesame seed and brown to black in color.  Adult louse can maneuver around the head quickly and tend to hide from light making them difficult to find.

Lice do not jump or fly.  They are only spread through direct contact.  This includes head to head contact or contact with something that has recently been used on an infected head.  Sharing  items like brushes and combs or hats is a big no-no.  Head lice can also be spread from furnishings but they are only able to live off of the head for a few days.  Children are particularly prone to head lice because of close contact at daycares, schools, and sleepovers.

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