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Lice Life Cycle - Lice Pictures

Lice Pictures


Updated October 20, 2010

Having a hard time figuring out what you are looking for when you think your kids have lice? This picture of the 3 stages of the head lice life cycle can help.
Head Lice Life Cycle Stages

Head Lice Life Cycle Stages

Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This picture shows the three stages of the head lice life cycle, including the head lice egg or nit, nymph, and adult louse, as compared to the size of a penny for scale.

Lice Life Cycle

A mature or adult head louse can lay up to 10 eggs or nits each day.

These nits, or lice eggs, hatch in about 7 to 12 days. Baby lice or nymphs are about the size of a pinhead when they hatch, and quickly mature into adult lice in about a 9 to 12 days.

In just a few days, adult lice are ready mate, starting this lice life cycle all over again during their 3 to 4 week lifespan.

Of course, a proper lice treatment regimen can interrupt the lice life cycle and help you get rid of the lice on your child's hair.


American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report. Head Lice. PEDIATRICS Vol. 126 No. 2 August 2010, pp. 392-403.

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