What is Lice


Getting Rid of Lice Index
  • What is Lice - 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 Louse
  • Prevention, Control, Treatment, Remedies and Medication for Dogs, Cats, Poultry and Humans
  • Pictures, Treatments, Facts and Info about their lifecycle and how they infect us!

The common name of 'lice' is given to over three thousand species of louse from the order, Phthiraptera. The precise number is unclear, but within the Phthiraptera order, there are 2 suborders - Mallophaga (chewing) and Anoplura (sucking) lice. It is estimated that there are approximately five hundred species of sucking and three thousand species of chewing lice in the world. Lice are wingless ecto-parasites (parasites that live and feed on another organism) insects that feed on the debris, sebaceous secretions, skin and blood of another host. They can be found on all types of birds and mammals (including humans).

Lice Description
Lice are tiny insects with six legs (3 pairs). They are unable to jump or fly and are generally moved from human to human via direct contact (putting heads together or sexual intercourse) or by the sharing of objects such as brushes, combs, bed lining, clothing and head gear (hats/caps). Their colour varies and is dependent on the age and sex of the louse, if feeding has taken place (on blood) and if they are pregnant. However, lice are generally a translucent/light grey to a dark grey/red/brown in colour. The size of theses parasites can also range depending on the age, sex, species but the body louse for example is usually the size of a small pin-head (one to two mm) up to a sesame seed (three mm).

Lifecycle of Lice
The lifecycle of a louse has 3 stages: egg (or nit), nymph and adult. The female louse can lay over a 100 eggs/nits (usually white in colour) which are attached to the base of the hair-strand of their host for up to 10 days, using a strong and sticky saliva (the eggs are placed near to the scalp for optimum body heat). The eggs will then hatch and become nymphs, which resemble smaller versions of adults ('exopterygotes'). Nymphs must moult 3 times before they become adults. This process normally takes an additional 10 days to complete. The casing that the nymph hatches from remains in the hair and will turn yellow with time (often mistaken for dandruff). Adult lice will feed on an host by piercing their skin and sucking on blood. The females are usually bigger than the males and if left untreated, are capable of laying eight eggs a day over a thirty day period.

What is Lice

body louse
Lice Diseases
Like the flea or tick, if the louse does not feed on a host they will not survive very long. Whilst lice are able to inhabit a host they can cause severe irritation and discomfort, in addition to the possible transmission of diseases. The body louse acts as a vector for three types of bacteria which lead to the diseases in humans, such as: Rickettsia prowazekii (the agent of epidemic typhus), Borrelia recurrentis (the agent of relapsing fever) and Bartonella Quintana (the agent of trench fever). Trench fever infected around one million soldiers in World War I which is why it is possibly known as 'trench fever'. Lice are able to infect puncture wounds of a feeding spot with infectious saliva whilst sucking blood, so it is important to rid lice as soon as possible.



Controlling Lice
The types of lice that cause humans problems are mainly the head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis), body louse (Pediculus humanus corporis) and pubic louse (Phthirus pubis) - all of which can be referred to as 'Pediculosis'. A lot of school children will have experienced head lice or 'nits' and its with younger children that nits are most prevalent (ages 3-12). The body louse can be caught through many means but the pubic louse is more common in adults (passed on when having sexual intercourse). Its important to seek treatment for any type of lice as soon as you can and to do your best to avoid passing them on to others. For further info on types of lice, symptoms, treatments and prevention methods, please navigate back to our index for multiple articles.

Many people search to find out about parasites and how to get rid of them. Fortunately there are so many products available on line, you should be able to find what you want without too much of a problem. We hope that you have found this article a useful guide and that any questions you may have had have been answered. You will find that this website is a great resource, whether you are looking to learn more, purchase products or just seek some quiet information. Men, women and children can all be affected by the louse and we hope you have located the treatment you may need, be it a comb, lotion, cream, medication or shampoo. Treatments and remedies should be sought after quickly and if you have crabs you should seek medical advice so they cannot be spread to other people.

What is Lice

What color is Lice

  • Combs, Liquids, Lotions, Insecticides and Medication for control
  • Facts and Information about a body louse, head louse, hair louse and pubic louse
  • How do you get nits? Remedies for nits!
  • Need crabs treatment? Find out what to do via our Index page
  • Symptoms of nits? Search our information on detection combs
  • Lifecycle of a head louse and possible prevention techniques and methods

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What is Lice - Getting Rid of Lice