Lice Facts & Information
Protect your home or business from lice by learning techniques for identification and control.
Types of Lice
What do lice look like?
Adult lice are 2 to 4.2 mm long. These insects are whitish to gray in color. Lice have hooklike claws at the end of their legs, are wingless, and have a flattened look.
How do I get rid of lice?
What You Can Do
Getting rid of head lice can be done at home with the use of a nit comb. Body lice can be addressed by thorough body washing. All clothing and bed linens should be washed in hot cycles.
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Behavior, Diet & Habits
Kinds of Lice
Lice are parasites that prey on mammalian and avian orders. There are several species, with only some that rely on human hosts. There are three kinds of lice that infest people:
Head lice are the most common of human infestations and do not indicate a lack of cleanliness. These pests can be present in short or long hair, though they do require some hair. They are often found in the following areas:
Base of necks
These pests resemble head lice, though they make their homes in clothing rather than on the scalp. They are not as common, since people usually do not wear the same clothing continuously for days at a time or without washing it. In the United States, actual infestation with body parasites tends to occur only in homeless, transient persons who do not have access to regular bathing and changes of clean clothes.
Bird lice do not harm humans, but bird handlers may occasionally be bitten.
Reproduction and development vary depending on their species. Head lice eggs, known as nits, thus the term “nit-picking,” are attached to a host’s hair with specialized saliva. Females produce 50 to 100 round, white eggs which they secure to a person’s scalp. Body lice lay up to 200 eggs which they usually deposit in a person’s clothing.
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