HEAD Lice Size

Lice eggs (called nits because they are glued to the hair strand) are so small they look just like tiny specks. You’ll find them attached to individual hair shafts about a quarter inch off the scalp. You can see them with the naked eye, but unless you’ve seen them before, you may mistake them for dandruff.

Adult lice are no bigger than a sesame seed and are grayish-white or tan. Nymphs are smaller and become adult lice about 1–2 weeks after they hatch. This life cycle repeats itself about every 3 weeks. Most lice feed on blood several times a day, and they can survive up to 2 days off the scalp.

After hatching, a louse nymph will take 9-12 days to grow into a mature adult. During this time its size can range anywhere from a tiny speck to a sesame seed. If you pick up a dime and look at FDR’s ear (see our lice pictures), a nymph would probably fit inside his ear. Think you might be infested?