What Do Head Lice Eat Hair?

If you have ever wondered what head lice feed on, you are not alone. Head lice are small insects that live on the scalp. They do not eat the hair on your head, but they do feed off the blood in your scalp. Head lice can be found in baseball caps and sports helmets. Lice can pierce the skin of your head several times a day to feed on blood.

A full-grown head lice is about 2 to 3 millimeters long, flat and wingless. They have six legs and can easily hold on to human hair. Lice can live for only one day without a blood meal. During this time, they lay eggs near the scalp, near the ears and nape of the neck. You can see these tiny lice with a magnifying glass.

Adult head lice are about two to three millimeters long and grayish white in color. If you have dark hair, lice may appear even darker. They are fast crawlers. They can live for about 30 days on a person’s head, but die within one to two days if they fall off. A female head lice can lay up to six eggs per day.

Lice are not disease-carrying insects. However, they can cause serious itching, which can lead to infections in the scalp. Fortunately, most head lice infections are curable with an effective medication. Most lice can be completely eliminated within two to three weeks, although this is dependent on the amount that are hiding in the hair.

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