|Getting Rid of Lice Index|
- Detection with the best methods and treatment with the best products
- Info about Combs, Lotions, Liquids, Insecticides and Medication
- Facts and Information about different types of Biting Lice
- Prevention, Control, Treatment, Remedies and Medication for Dogs, Cats, Poultry and Humans
- Infestation in your home? House or body-lice? Need Control?
- Pictures, Treatments, Facts and Info about their Life Cycle and how they infect us!
Biting Lice (also known as chewing lice) are small ectoparasites that live and feed on a whole host of birds and some mammals. They feed on the scab tissue, dry scales, skin and feathers of many different birds and if the skin is punctured, through scratching or infection, some Biting Lice also feed on the blood of their host (such as the Menacanthus stramineus). Biting Lice have special adapted mouthparts made for chewing, which causes great discomfort and irritability to the 'host'. To alleviate the discomfort, birds scratch themselves and unfortunately open the wounds to further infection.
Biting Lice are very small in size (2-3m) and are unable to fly (wingless) or jump/hop. They do have six legs though and these allow them to crawl and scurry through the feathers and on the skin of their hosts. 'Mallophaga' is the scientific classification (Order) for Biting Lice and covers many species of biting louse (approximately 3000) making it the larger of the two traditional lice (sucking lice being the other). Mallophaga can then be separated into a further three suborders: AmbLicera, Ischnocera and Rhyncophthirina.
The AmbLicera Biting Lice are classed as the most primitive, as they do not permanently attach themselves to their hosts, unlike most others. These Biting Lice feed by biting and chewing softer parts of the skin and once punctured, they will feed on the host's blood also. Compared with the other two suborders of Mallophaga they are the least host-specific. Some of the common AmbLicera Biting Lice that are parasitic on birds include Menecanthus stramineus (body louse of poultry), Holomenopon leucoxanthum (cause wet feathers of ducts), Menopon phaeostomum (found on peacocks), Trinoton anserinum (found on swans and ducks) and the Menopon gallinae (known as the shaft louse - found on poultry). Some common species that are parasitic on mammals include Gliricola porcelli, Gyropus ovalis and Trimenopon hispidium (found on guinea-pigs), Heterodoxus longitarsus and Heterodoxus macrpus (found on kangaroos and wallabies) and Heterodoxus spiniger (found on dogs in hot countries).