How Fast Do Head Lice Breed?

How Fast Do Head Lice Breed?

Lice have a short life cycle and reproduce quickly. An adult female louse will lay three to eight eggs per day. They will remain on the human head for approximately two weeks, after which they will die. Head lice are spread through direct contact between human hair. You do not need to treat the whole family for lice, but you should clean your hair and pillowcase often.

Head lice are most easily detected when they are found as nits on your hair, or as live lice on your scalp. The eggs hatch after a period of a week or two, and are white. They will remain attached to the hair shaft for about six to seven days. Once the egg shell is removed, the lice become an adult head louse.

Female head lice lay three to eight eggs per day for about 16 days, and then die after 32-35 days. These eggs are small and look similar to those of nits, but they are quite different from the adults. They look similar to each other, so you can’t always tell which is which unless you’re looking through a microscope. Besides, identifying these stages won’t tell you how long ago you caught lice.

Adult head lice can survive on a human scalp for 30 days, and they need blood at least three times per day to keep growing. The eggs are firmly attached to the hair fibers, and they are within 1.5 cm of the scalp. The eggs must be warm to hatch. Since head lice cannot fly or jump, they can only survive on the head of their host. This is why they are most often spread from head to head contact. You can also spread lice by sleeping on the same carpet or using a pillow that has recently been used.