the head lice life cycle what to know

The Head Lice Life Cycle: What to Know

Having head lice is a condition that can cause itching, tingling, or tickling on your scalp. While this is common, the idea of having stubborn parasitic insects crawling on your scalp, living off of your blood, can lead you to be at your wit’s end. Worse, they are contagious.

The good news is that you can get rid of lice, and all you have to do is to visit one of our head lice clinics in Savannah, Jacksonville, or Orlando. Aside from that, one of the vital steps to addressing your lice problem is to know more about these insects. In this article, we summed up everything you need to know about their life cycle.

What Is the Head Lice Life Cycle?

The life cycle of head lice has 3 stages, nit, nymph, and mature adult:


The life cycle of a louse begins as an egg, or also known as a nit. It is a whitish-yellow color and is about 1 millimeter in length. To start the parasitic relationship, a mature female louse lays the nit firmly to an individual hair strand close to the scalp.


The nit hatches and becomes a young louse or a nymph after 7-10 days. It is tan or white and is usually between 1.1 and 1.3 millimeters in length.

Mature Adult

After about 9-12 days, nymphs mature into adult lice. They grow to be about 2 millimeters or less, and female lice are generally larger than males. Adult lice live for around 3-4 weeks.

What Is Their Life Span on Humans?

The nymphs need food immediately after the lice eggs hatch. They crawl using their claws from hair strands to the scalp, and they feed on their host’s blood several times a day.

An adult louse can live for as long as 30 days as long as there is a readily available food source. Moreover, they can reproduce and even lay up to six eggs every day.

Can Lice Live Without a Food Source?

Adult lice constantly need a food source or host. Otherwise, they won’t be able to survive more than 24 hours or more on nonhuman surfaces, such as carpets, clothing, headphones, hats, caps, hair accessories, helmets, hardwood floors, furniture, and more.

On the other hand, nits won’t be able to survive without a human host. The warmth of the scalp serves as their incubators before they hatch. Nits that are forced out from humans will most likely die before they even get to hatch. After they hatch, they need as much nourishment as possible from human blood to survive.

What Should I Do If I Identify Lice in My Home?

Lice can be bothersome and annoying, and getting rid of them for good can be challenging. Therefore, the moment you notice that there are lice in your home, you’ll want to immediately perform head checks on all of your family members and seek treatment. After all infected members are treated you can wash your sheets and pillowcases.

Reach Out to a Lice Expert

Removing head lice with OTC lice shampoos or a fine comb can be time-consuming and ineffective. To avoid a full-blown infestation, seek out the help of lice experts right away. With their knowledge, experience, and skills, you are sure to have a lice-free head and home in no time.

Head Lice Removal in Savannah, Jacksonville, and Orlando

Fresh Heads Lice Removal is a science-based treatment center that specializes in providing professional lice removal in Savannah, GA, and Jacksonville and Orlando, FL. We use an FDA-cleared medical device and offer the quickest single procedure that dehydrates and kills both lice and eggs. Contact us today to book an appointment!

Schools Without Lice.

Schools Without Lice

Our mission at Fresh Heads Lice Removal is to eradicate lice from schools across the United States. We’re partnering with the Lice Clinics of America to create a Schools Without Lice program. Through this program, we provide school nurses and teachers with free resources, screenings, and treatments. If we work together, we can have schools without lice!

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