Lice Incubation Period. What is the Gestation Period of Head Lice?

how long does it take for lice eggs to hatch

The questions “what is the incubation period for lice?”, “what is the gestation period for lice?” or “how long is the incubation period for lice?” are popular, that is why we made this post about “lice incubation period“. It was carefully done by us to better help you up with your lice treatment. Keep reading!

Clearing a head lice infestation is something that sounds easy in theory. And while getting rid of lice with ClearLice is definitely easier than with other methods, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to understand why lice are so persistent and why getting rid of lice completely can be a true test of our patience. Read on to learn about the incubation period of lice.

The Lice Life Cycle

In order to fully understand this, we need to analyze the breeding and incubation period of a head louse. If you are not familiar with the life cycle of a head louse, you will be surprised to know that head lice are parasitic bugs that rely entirely on their host for nourishment and protection. Once they have found a suitable host, they will bite the surface of the human scalp to create a microscopic wound from where they will draw blood to feed on.

Lice Eggs

The life of a louse begins as an egg, these eggs are surrounded by a clear casing doused in a sticky substance that used to adhere to the surface of our hair strands. While the term nit can sometimes be used to refer only to the casing left after an egg hatches, the terms “egg” and “nit” are generally interchangeable.


After 7-10 days, the egg will hatch and will become a nymph; a nymph is considered an immature louse that will gradually undergo a series of morphological and physical changes before reaching its adult stage. Nymph can measure anywhere between 1 and 1.5 mm in size and are generally a light brown or white color. Once the nymph starts developing, it will become an adult head lice after a couple of weeks, providing the hatching conditions are ideal. It is worth nothing that at this point, the nymphs are capable of crawling to the surface of the scalp to draw blood and feed themselves.

Adult Louse

Once the lice reaches its adult stage, it will measure on average 2mm and all of the anatomical structures found on their bodies can be easily spotted using a microscope or even a magnifying glass. It is at this stage that they will feed on the host’s blood several times throughout the day. At this point, female lice will also start hatching eggs. A female louse can lay up to six eggs a day and they can live up to 30 days on their host.

Spreading Lice

As you have probably realized by now, the growth of a lice population is almost exponential, as a fully-grown, female louse can lay up to 180 eggs during its lifecycle. If left untreated, or not detected early, a single louse can really cause a major problem for an unsuspecting host.  A louse will not hesitate to move to a new host if it believes its chances of reproducing and finding food are better on the new host. This is why it is so easy to get lice from another person. And even though head lice are not capable of flight or even jumping, they are capable of quickly crawling to another host after being exposed to them even for just fractions of a second. Another way in which lice can be transmitted is by wearing head gear or clothes that were used by a person dealing with a head lice infestation without sanitizing them first.

As parasites, lice depend entirely on their host in order to provide the perfect conditions for feeding and reproducing. Lice can live for up to 48 hours off of the head and lice eggs can live for up to 10 days off of the head. It is important to know they are always on the lookout for a new host and you or your children can quickly become their next unsuspecting victims if you are not protected.

And while there are lice prevention methods and head lice remedies available that may or may not work at all, we are proud to stand behind our unique ClearLice natural prevention products which uses a natural mix of ingredients and essential oils to provide protection for you and your family. In fact, our Family Size Lice Prevention Kit is enough to protect 4 family members for 30 days without exposing your family to the harmful effects of prescription medication or unproven head lice prevention methods.

As you can see, a head lice problem that is left untreated can quickly become a major health issue. This is why we recommend using a preventive treatment that can help you and your family stay lice-free and protected from lice.

how long does it take for lice eggs to hatch

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