The head louse (Latin: Pediculus humanus capitis) is a parasite inhabiting
head hair, and feeding on human blood which it sucks from the scalp.
It has 6 legs and is about 3mm long. It thrives at temperatures of 28
to 29°C, so it likes to stay close to the scalp, and often cannot be seen
at a glance.
Head lice infestation has nothing to do with lack of hygiene, and anyone
can get them.
Lice cannot fly or jump, they are normally transferred during direct
contact from head to head, which is why they are frequently spread in
schools and summer camps, where children work or play with their
heads close together.
The female head louse can lay up to 10 eggs (called nits) a day, and they
glue them to the hair shaft close to the roots. The nits are less than
1mm in length, and almost opaque. The larvae come out after around
8 days and a new generation is born every three weeks.
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