Life Cycle of a Head Louse

Understanding head lice is the first step toward dealing with them effectively. Knowing their biological structure and their life cycle aids in a head lice infestation removal immensely, and can even help prevent a relapse. The scientific name for a head louse is Pediculushumanuscapitis, and it is an insect whose host is only human beings, so you don’t have to worry about transferring it to your pets. A head louse feeds on human blood several times a day and resides close to the scalp to maintain its body temperature. The life cycle of a head louse is divided into three stages:egg, nymph, and adult.


Head lice eggs are known as nits. They are extremely small in size, so it is hard to detect them with the naked eye, and they can be easily confused with dandruff. The female head louse lays these eggs cemented at the base of hair shaft, and they take about six to nine days to hatch.

Nymph Stage

The nits hatch to release a nymph, and the egg shell becomes more visible and remains attached to the hair shaft. The nymph looks like an adult head louse, but is smaller in size. In about seven days after hatching, the nymphs become adult head lice.

Adult Stage

An adult head louse is tan to grayish in color, and may appear darker in dark hair. Females are usually bigger than male head lice, and can lay up to eight nits per day. The adult head louse can live up to approximately 30 days on a person’s head. As they feed on blood several times a day, head lice cannot survive outside their habitat and die within a few hours in the absence of a healthy human scalp. Though head lice are generallynot a major health risk, they must be treated promptly and thoroughly as they will not go away on their own.Persistent scratching as the result of their bites can cause inflammation of the scalp as well as bacterial infection. An pesticide free treatment from a professional lice removal center guarantees safe, fast, effective removal. Contact us to book an appointment here.