My Child has had Head Lice for how Long? Weeks?!

You just found out your child has lice! What do you do? Treat at home? Did I get all of it? How do I get rid of this? How long have we had lice? These are many the first questions that run through a parents head upon discovering an infestation, and the answers may surprise you.

When an adult louse transfers she will immediately start laying nits. This is the first week of an infestation. During the second week, seven to ten days later, those nits will start hatching and you will have baby nymphs. In the third week of an infestation those baby nymphs will molt three times. During the third molt the gender will be determined based on how many males and females are needed for a thriving colony. Once the gender is determined those baby nymphs are now adults. Your first generation of lice is successful and will start a new generation of lice by mating one time so the female can lay nits for the rest of her lifespan of about 30-33 days.

A typical first case scenario is three to four weeks old before the infestation is discovered. You will see nits (eggs), casings (outer shell left behind once hatched), baby nymphs, teens in various sizes due to the different molts.

A head lice infestation is usually discovered around 3 to 4 weeks after initial exposure
A head lice infestation is usually discovered around 3 to 4 weeks after initial exposure.

Getting lice is just as easy as getting the common cold. Have a good, age appropriate conversation about head lice, head to head contact and how it happens with your children. Keep girls’ hair contained in braids, buns or ponytails in social settings and use a good repellant spray.

If you have any questions or need more information about head lice you can contact The Head Lice Specialist at (678) 240-0042 or by visiting For information about treatment or preventative products visit .