What Lice Look Like

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Head lice

  • are only about the size of a sesame seed (3-4 mm) when they are fully grown. Their 6 legs end in hook-shaped claws which they use to tightly grasp the hair.
  • are transparent. This makes them difficult to detect in hair. Once they have fed, head lice turn brown-red. Their eggs are yellow, brown, or tan coloured and look like tiny seeds attached to individual hairs found close to the scalp. In some cases you can find hatched eggs, also known as nits, which will be clear.
  • The eggs hatch after 7 days. These ‘baby head lice’ are called nymphs. After 10 days, nymphs become mature adults ready to lay eggs.
  • Adult head lice live about 30 days. In that time, female head lice can lay 200 to 300 eggs.