The number of eggs laid by a female head louse depends on the stage of its development. Usually, the adult louse lays five or six eggs a day for 30 days. These eggs develop in nit shells near the scalp, where they hatch into nymphs. The nymphs then molt a number of times over the next nine to fifteen days. Once hatched, the eggs look pale and translucent, while the dead eggs have shriveled sides.
The life cycle of a louse is quite simple. These creatures need close contact to their host to survive. They can survive for up to 30 days on a host’s head, though they only live about two days once the host has left. They need blood several times a day in order to keep their body temperature and nutrients at optimal levels. Since they are not able to jump, head lice are spread only by head-to-head contact. People of all ages and socioeconomic classes are susceptible to head lice.
Parents should regularly check their children’s heads for head lice and nits. Using good lighting and magnification, they should focus on the back of the head, the nape of the neck, and behind the ears. Those with the slightest suspicion of head lice should visit their pediatrician as soon as possible. LiceDoctors can save you time and money by treating an infestation of head lice before it develops into a serious problem.