Human Lice

What do human lice look like?

a louse on a persons skin in streator illinois

Lice are wingless parasitic insects. There are thousands of species found living all across the world. The three most common types of human lice are body lice, head lice, and pubic lice. Body lice and head lice are two different species but are very similar in appearance. Adults grow to about 1/8 of an inch in length. They have a long, flattened body and are whitish-yellow. Adult pubic or “crab” lice grow to be about 1.5mm in length, have a broad, oval body that is flattened, and are crab-like in appearance.

Where are human lice found?

Head lice are found almost exclusively living on the head, mainly being found at the back of the scalp and the area above the ears. They attach their sticky eggs (nits) to the hair on their host’s head. Head lice are transmitted through personal items like combs, hairbrushes, or hats that are infested. They can also be transmitted by head to head contact.

Body lice are typically found living in clothing. They attach their eggs to clothing fibers, and adults will stay attached to their host's clothing as they feed on their body. They are rarely ever found crawling on their host’s body. These lice are usually spread by sharing infested clothing.

Pubic lice are found living in people’s eyebrows, beards, armpits, and pubic region. They attach their eggs to the flat hair found in those areas. Pubic lice are most often spread through sexual contact.

What do human lice eat?

These parasitic pests feed on the blood of their human hosts.

DIY human lice prevention and control tips

The best way to prevent the spread of human lice is to make sure that you and your children do not share clothing, hats, combs, brushes, and other personal items. If your children are in a school setting in Iowa or Illinois, make sure to wash coats, hats, and other items that they bring back and forth on a regular basis. It is also a good idea to regularly wash bedding, clothing, towels, and like items. The best way to control human lice is to seek treatment as soon as an infestation is discovered.

Professional human lice control

Human lice are not capable of living without a host for a long period of time. Because of this, a human lice infestation is not something that can be taken care of by a pest control professional. The only effective, safe control for human lice is to seek treatment from a trained medical professional. At the first sign of a human lice infestation, a physician should be contacted.

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