Head Louse

Pediculus capitis

Appearance

Image of Head Louse [Pediculus capitis] | Ehrlich Pest Control
  • Adults - 1/8" long. Soft-bodied insects, off-white in colour.  Each leg bears a single claw with which the louse can grip hair or clothing.

Lifecycle

  • The eggs of the head lice are called nits and are found firmly attached to the hair shaft. They are oval and usually yellow to white. Nits take about 1 week to hatch into nymphs (immature adults).
  • Nymphs mature into adults about 7 days after hatching.
  • Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a person's head.
  • To live, nymphs and adult lice need to feed on blood.

Habits

  • Lice move between hosts when the hosts are in direct contact.
  • If a louse falls off a person, it dies within 2 days.