The life cycle of a head lice is similar to a pregnancy; the egg is laid in a woman’s hair for approximately one week and hatches two to three days later. The adult lice can live for about 35 days before dying. Lice are spread through direct contact with the scalp. Fortunately, most cases of head lice are not caused by bad hygiene.
When the egg is laid, female head louses glue the egg to the hair shaft near the scalp. The amount of eggs produced by one female head louse will vary, but the average is between three and eight. Adult females lay approximately 100 eggs during their lifetime. A human can catch head lice through close contact with a person who has an infested head, and it can be transferred from one person to another through sharing clothing or personal items.
The average time it takes for lice eggs to hatch is 8 to nine days. During this time, the nymphs develop into adults and begin reproducing. The process of mating can take more than a half-hour. After mating, the male and female head lice must separate from each other.
If you have head lice, you will see nits, which are the baby lice. These tiny white or yellowish creatures will appear on the scalp. Unlike adult lice, nits do not have wings. Nits are usually a bit larger than a pinhead, and they can be confused with dandruff or dirt. However, if you find a nit, it may be the first sign of an active infestation.