Head Lice Life Cycle

The life cycle of the head louse is one of the reasons that an infestation is so hard to get rid of.  If you miss two  nits, and they happen to be a female and a male, the whole cycle will start again. Once the live head lice have been combed out, there is a window of 10 days where no new eggs can be laid and diligence is required to remove all nits before they hatch.  In 16 days a laid nit will be an adult and can start laying eggs, starting the cycle again.

1. Egg is laid on hair shaft. Egg is called a ‘nit’.
2. Louse emerges after 6-7 days.
3. First moult 2 days after hatching.
4. Second moult 5 days after hatching.
5. Third moult 10 days after hatching.
6. Emerging from their third moult as adult lice, the female and slightly similar male begin to      reproduce.
7. Female lays first egg 1 or 2 days after mating.
8. Female can lay approximately 3 to 8 eggs per day for the next 16 days.
9. Female bugs can lay 100 or more eggs in a 14-day cycle
9. Having lived 32 to 35 days, the louse dies.