Lice reproduce by feeding on the blood of human beings and then laying eggs. These eggs hatch within a week and the nymphs grow to be an adult size. They go through three stages of growth and molt. Adult lice are a bit smaller than a sesame seed and are grayish-white or tan in color. They feed on human blood at least four times a day and produce a sticky secretion that prevents clotting.
The life cycle of a head lice infestation is different from that of a female louse. Female lice are more common than males. The majority of the lice in each generation are egg-laying. Despite the fact that male lice are smaller than females, the males have a specialized pair of legs for holding the female during copulation.
Adult head lice are about the size of a sesame seed and are approximately one-eighth of an inch long. They are grayish-white in color and have six legs. They are usually more visible in dark hair and can live for up to 30 days. If they fall off, they die within a few days. A fully grown adult head louse can lay up to six eggs each day.
Interestingly, head lice do not cross over body lice territory. They do not breed in the wild, but can reproduce in laboratory conditions. It is important to remember that head lice have nothing to do with poor hygiene. However, body lice do appear when hygiene is poor. They are similar in their life cycles, but head lice are different from body lice in many ways.