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Human Lice

Published on: 2/17/2015 10:50 AM

Lice are small wingless, blood-sucking insects which infest the hair, skin, bodies of humans. Human lice are spread from person-to-person mainly by close contact or by sharing personal belongings like hair combs, brushes, caps and other clothing.

They will attack the clean and the unclean with equal choice. Being clean is not a barrier. Also, they like the rich and the poor and every race of people equally. Socio-economic class does not determine a higher incidence of lice infestation. People at any age can get head lice, but young school age children are the most commonly infested.

There are three types of human lice that live on humans. Each species is adapted to particular human body parts: head, skin, and the pubic area. Amongst them, only the body louse is known to transmit diseases. 


Contrary to popular believes, pets do not play any role in the transmission of human lice.

Many schools and daycare centers have adopted the "no nit" policy recommended by the National Pediculosis Association and Santa Clara County Vector Control District. This policy means children cannot attend school if nits are found in their hair. Any head lice treatments will not be able to remove nits from the head. There is no safe solvent for the glue that the female louse uses to attach her eggs to the hair even though there are products that make such claims. Removing all nits from hair is the only sure way to finalized the treatment and prevent infestation.

For more information on three types of human lice, please select the following topics:

   Head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis)
   Body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis)
   Pubic lice (Pthirus pubis)