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  • Pediculosis can spread rapidly
    – Factors such as age, race (blacks rarely are infested with head lice), sex, crowding at home, family size, method of closeting clothes, and socioeconomic status influence the course and distribution of disease.
    – The length of hair does not appear to be a significant factor.

  • Three types of lice infest humans
    – Body Louse
    – Head Louse
    – Crab Louse

  • Head Lice and Body Lice are almost indistinguishable, although head lice are smaller than body lice.
  • Head lice and pubic lice are highly dependent upon human body warmth and will die if separated from their human host for 24 hours.
  • Body lice are more hardy since they live on clothing and can survive if separated from human contact for up to a week without feeding.
  • Eggs are called nits

  • Eggs hatch in 7-11 Days, young lice must feed within 24 hours.
  • Adults live up to 40 days, surviving only 1-2 days without a blood meal.
  • The body louse is the vector of 3 human diseases-
    – Epidemic/louse borne typhus
    – Trench fever
    – Louse borne relapsing fever

  • Head Lice infestations not caused by filthy conditions.
  • Insecticidal shampoos are necessary to control head and crab lice.
  • Adequate sanitation, frequent changes and laundering of clothing is enough to prevent body lice, since they remain on clothing and are killed by the cleaning process.
  • Use of lice sprays to treat objects such as toys, furniture or carpet is not recommended because lice cannot live off the host longer than a couple of days. The same holds true for classrooms.
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