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The incubation period (the time between contact and the appearance of symptoms) typically varies from several days up to several weeks, and this according to the quantity of lice transmitted. Early on, one can identify small brown-colored organisms that are immobile and firmly attached to the hairs via their extremely strong claws (like a crab). One may also notice the presence of pale or white-colored eggs on the surface of the skin – these are often mistaken for flaking or dry skin. Under ideal conditions, the eggs will hatch within 7 to 10 days. A larva or baby louse emerges and attaches itself to a hair (called a nit). The young louse matures into its adult form within 8 to 10 days. Once an adult the parasite can mate and reproduce within 10 hours and this until its death 6 weeks later. The female crab can lay approximately 4 eggs per day. Both the baby and adult louse feed on human blood and will die if deprived of blood for more than 24 hours.