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Body Lice

Body lice are small insects that live on the body and in the clothing or bedding of humans. They feed only on human blood. Homeless persons who cannot get clean changes of clothes or take a bath or shower regularly are at risk for getting body lice.

Body lice and head lice look almost the same. Head lice are smaller than body lice. Head lice are found only on the head while body lice are found on the clothing or on parts of the body other than the head. Body lice spend most of their time on the clothing of an infested person, visiting the body up to five times a day to feed. The eggs (called nits) of body lice are cemented to clothing fibers and seams or, occasionally, to body hairs. Head lice live in people’s hair and glue their eggs directly to hair near the scalp. Pubic lice have a different shape than head and body lice. Pubic lice are round and have a crab-like appearance. Pubic lice are usually found in pubic hair, but may occasionally be found on other coarse body hair such as armpit and facial hair.

Last modified on: 7/15/2009 2:32 PM