Sunday, June 19, 2011

Life cycle of head lice

Life Cycle consists of three stages:
  • Nits (eggs)
    • oval, usually white in color, may be mistaken for dandruff, are firmly attached to a hair shaft, close to the scalp
    • take about 1 week to hatch into nymphs
  • Nymph (baby louse)
    • lives on scalp and feeds off human blood
    • matures in 1 week into an adult louse
    • if a nymph falls off a person it usually survives only one day
  • Adult Louse
    • size of a sesame seed, has 6 legs, and is tan to grayish-white
    • females lay nits - they are usually larger than males
    • can live up to 30 days on a person’s head
    • feeds on human blood
    • if a louse falls off a person, it may survive one to two days

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