When do pediculus humanus capitis (head lice) nits hatch and how long can they survive away from a human host?

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Nits hatch in about 8-9 days if they are kept near body temperature and mature in another 9-12 days. [4] Nits can survive for up to 10 days away from the human host. Cooler temperatures retard both hatching and maturation. The nymph molts three times before reaching its adult form. The adult head louse survives only 1-2 days away from its host.


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