Lice Facts for Kids: Lice Pest Information for Students
Types of lice and head lice: what types of lice are
- 1 Types of lice and head lice: what types of lice are
- 2 Lice Facts for Kids
- 3 Chewing Lice
- 4 Sucking Lice
- 5 6 Different Types of Lice (Plus Tips to Avoid Them)
- 6 Common Symptoms
- 7 Common Causes of Lice Infestation
- 8 How to Prevent Lice Infestation?
- 9 Types of Lice
- 9.1 Sucking Lice
- 9.2 Biting Lice
- 9.3 Mammal Chewing Lice Scientific name: Trichodectidae These belong to the family of chewing lice and they are commonly parasitic on placental mammals. They have about 2900 species that consist of small and wingless insects. These insects have a flattened body, chewing mouthparts and short front legs with the help of which they transport food resources to their mouth. The color of mammal chewing lice ranges from white to black and they are typically 1mm to 5mm in length. They spend the most part of their life on the host’s hair of feathers; however, a particular genus of their species spends their lifecycle inside the throat pouches of pelicans. Mammal chewing lice belong to the Phthiraptera family and the key distinguishing feature of members of this family is the presence of only a single antennal flagellomere in all males and only some females. Since they are parasitic on mammals, they feed on skin debris, skin secretions, fur, and dried blood. Even though these lice are not bloodsuckers, they can end up causing a significant amount of discomfort. A few common symptoms of infestation caused by mammal chewing lice include loss of appetite, severe itching and decreased amounts of egg production in the fowl. Head Lice Scientific name: Pediculus humanus capitis As the name suggests, these lice cause a serious head lice infestation. They are wingless insects that exclusively feed on human blood and spend their entire life cycle on the human scalp. They are parasitic to humans and humans are the only known hosts of head lice. Adult head lice grow to an average of 2-3 mm in length and they work by infesting the head and the neck. What they do is that they leave or attach their eggs on the lower end of their hair shaft. Since they cannot hop or fly, they simply crawl around the human head. The infestation caused by these head lice is referred to as ‘pediculosis’. It is extremely contagious and can easily spread when two people come into close physical contact with each other. They don’t just live on the human hair but they can actually also be found on the eyelashes and eyebrows of people. A few common symptoms of head lice infestation include itching that is caused by an allergic reaction to the lice bites, difficulty in sleeping, extreme discomfort and irritability, sores on the head as a result of incessant scratching and bacterial infections found on the skin. Head lice are diagnosed by finding a live adult louse or nymph on the hair or scalp of an individual. Since they avoid light and move very fast, it can be quite a challenge to find and catch them. If you are unable to come across live, crawling lice, another way to diagnose is b finding their nits. The nits are often firmly attached on the base of the hair shafts and are also often seen near the back of the neck and the hair behind the ears. Treatment is a must for all those people who are diagnosed with an active head lice infestation. They should get their heads checked thoroughly and those who share beds are recommended the prophylactic treatment. There are also some medicines available that that kill the lice and also removes their eggs and nits from both the scalp and hair. Body Lice
- 9.4 Crab Lice Scientific name: Pthirus pubis Also known as crabs or pubic lice, crab lice are small insect parasites that infest hair and skin near your genitals. They attach their eggs to those spaces and leave them there to grow. While they aren’t as dangerous as they sound, they actually infect millions of people every year. They exclusively feed on human blood and are most commonly found in a person’s pubic hair. Adult crab lice are almost 2 mm long, but they are a tad smaller than the body and head lice. They have a really round body that sets them apart from other types of lice. Another key distinguishing feature of crab lice is that they have super large claws and their rearmost two pairs of legs are way thicker as compared to their front legs. Pubic lice, as the name might imply, has nothing to do with cleanliness or hygiene. They are actually spread through sex in which they move from one person’s pubic hair to the others’. You can also get pubic lice when you come in close physical contact with an infected person’s bed, clothes, or towel. In order to prevent pubic lice, one must avoid sharing clothing and bedding with someone who is already infected. Lice, be it head lice, body lice, or pubic, lice are extremely irritating and also takes a toll on one’s hygiene and cleanliness. It is of utmost importance to keep yourself free and clean from lice at all times. www.homestratosphere.com Head lice and nits Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, FAQs Article Updated on April 6, 2020 By Patrick Kariithi What are head lice? What are nits? Nits (lice eggs) are quite small and uniform in shape. They may vary in color after hatching but nits are generally whitish and oval-shaped. Female lice lay their nits at an angle on the hair shafts close to the scalp where the temperature is perfect for keeping them warm until they hatch baby lice (nymphs). Mother Nature (what a woman!) protects the nits for hatching by having the louse “glue” them at an angle to the hair shaft. They can’t be removed easily by brushing or shaking them off like dandruff. DEC plugs can also be found stuck on the hair but these are irregularly shaped bright white fat cells and not to be confused with nits. (Clearly illustrated on NPA’s Critter Card.) Unless the infestation is heavy, it’s more common to see nits in a child’s hair than it is to see crawling lice. Even when no crawling lice are seen in the hair, it is important to remember that nits can only be present on the hair shaft when lice have been there to deposit them. The female louse lays approximately 3 to 10 eggs per day, and the eggs then hatch in 7 to 10 days. This is a big gap in time and yet another reason to remove nits as early as possible. There are three types of lice: Head lice. These lice are found on your scalp. They’re easiest to see at the nape of your neck and over your ears. Body lice. These lice live in clothing and on bedding and move onto your skin to feed. Body lice most often affect people who aren’t able to bathe or launder clothing regularly, such as homeless or transient individuals. Pubic lice. Commonly called crabs, these lice occur on the skin and hair of your pubic area and, less frequently, on coarse body hair, such as chest hair, eyebrows or eyelashes. Symptoms Intense itching. Tickling feeling from movement of hair. Lice on your scalp, body, clothing, or pubic or other body hair. Adult lice may be about the size of a sesame seed or slightly larger. Lice eggs (nits) on hair shafts. Nits resemble tiny pussy willow buds. Nits can be mistaken for dandruff, but unlike dandruff, they can’t be easily brushed out of hair. Small red bumps on the scalp, neck and shoulders. What causes head lice? Head lice are contagious. You can become infected with head lice when the insects crawl onto your head. Ways you might get head lice include: touching your head to the head of someone with head lice sharing the personal items (e.g., comb) of someone with head lice using a fabric item after a person with head lice While transmission of lice via inanimate objects may be possible, it’s been found to be highly unlikely. Some of these inanimate objects may include brushes, combs, barrettes, headbands, headphones, and hats. It may also be possible for lice to live for a time on upholstered furniture, bedding, towels, or clothing. Again, it should be stressed that the biggest concern for transmission is close head-to-head contact occurring mainly in children during play. Transmission via objects is a rare exception, according to several sources. There are some differing opinions on the transmission of head lice via inanimate objects, but the science doesn’t seem to support transmission in this manner. Who is at risk for head lice?
- 10 What are the symptoms of head lice?
- 11 What are the Causes of Head Lice?
- 12 How head lice are spread
- 13 Where do lice come from?
- 14 Before you start treatment
- 15 How are head lice diagnosed?
- 16 How are head lice treated?
- 17 Long-term outlook
- 18 Frequently Asked Questions About Head lice and nits
- 18.1 What product should I use to treat my child?
- 18.2 Are lice shampoos potentially hazardous?
- 18.3 What chemicals are used in head lice treatments?
- 18.4 What about alternative and natural products?
- 18.5 How do you treat a home or school for lice?
- 18.6 Do I have to treat everyone in the house?
- 18.7 Do I need to spray my furniture and bedding?
- 18.8 Do I have to bag stuffed animals and other items?
- 18.9 How are head lice spread?
- 18.10 Do head lice jump?
- 18.11 Can you catch head lice from cars, pillows or furniture?
- 18.12 Can you catch head lice in a pool, pond or lake?
- 18.13 Can you catch head lice from headphones or helmets?
- 18.14 How can I tell if the nits are dead or alive?
- 18.15 Where do head lice come from?
- 18.16 Do head lice carry or transmit disease?
- 18.17 How can you verify successful treatment?
- 18.18 What is the life cycle of the head louse?
- 18.19 Do pets get head lice?
- 18.20 Should fluorescent light be used for lice screening?
- 18.21 What is the proper procedure for doing head checks?
- 18.22 Are African Americans susceptible to lice infestations?
- 18.23 What makes the LiceMeister comb better than others?
Did you know? Lice eggs are called nits.
Lice Facts for Kids
- Even though they are extremely small, both lice and their eggs can be seen with the naked eye.
- A single female produces between 80 and 100 eggs in her lifetime.
- A single host can be infested by thousands of lice at one time!
There is a handful of human lice species found worldwide and throughout the United States. The most common types of lice include head lice, body lice and crab lice. Only the body louse can transmit diseases to people.
Find more information on lice for both kids and parents alike at the official NPMA website.
There are over 2,500 different kinds of chewing lice. They get their name because their mouths are designed specifically for chewing. They have claw like features on at the end of their legs that enable them to stay on a host.
- Size: 1/4″
- Shape: Small, oval
- Color: Dark grey
- Legs: 6
- Wings: No
- Antenna: Yes
- Common Name: Chewing lice
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Mallophaga
- Family: Varies
- Species: Varies
Chewing lice feed on feathers, hair, blood, scales and skin.
They live on mammals and birds but are not found on humans.
Chewing lice can cause itching and small welts on the skin. Their bites can result in hair and feather loss, blood loss and even skin infection if not managed.
Depending on how well animals are groomed, some may become weak due to blood loss and become vulnerable to disease while some animals may be infested with lice and show no ill effects.
Keep animals clean and treat with specialty flea and tick shampoo and grooming products.
There are over 500 different species of sucking lice. The most commonly found species of sucking lice are «head lice» and «crab lice». They get their name because their mouths are designed specifically to suck blood.
- Size: 1/12″
- Shape: Seed like
- Color: Whitish
- Legs: 6
- Wings: Yes
- Antenna: Yes
- Common Name: Sucking lice
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Phthiraptera
- Family: Pediculidae
- Species: Peduculus humanus
Sucking lice are parasites. They feed on blood and only appear on mammals. In fact, most species of Sucking lice prefer to feed off rodents. «Head lice» and «crab lice» are more commonly found on humans.
The only way «head lice» can get food and water is by sucking blood from the scalp but they can be found on other parts of the body. They can spread from one person to the next through contact with bedding, clothing or by sharing combs. «Head lice» are common problems in crowded places, such as elementary schools, since children tend to share clothing more and frequently come into close contact with each other.
«Crab lice» are usually found in other areas containing hair, such as beards, eyebrows, armpits and the pubic region. «Crab lice» are not as common in places such as schools, since they can only be spread through direct physical contact.
Hundreds of years ago, due to lack of hygiene and over crowding in dirty conditions, lice were considered deadly because they carried deadly diseases such as typhus . Today, Sucking lice are not really considered a health threat, but their bites may result in itching and redness around the area of the bite.
If you suspect exposure to lice, wash all clothes, bedding, combs, towels, etc. You can also use special combs, shampoos and conditioners designed specifically to treat lice. Also, try saturating hair with baby oil at night to kill both lice and their eggs. If you do this, wrap a towel around your head to keep from soiling your bedding and be sure to wash your hair thoroughly in the morning.
6 Different Types of Lice (Plus Tips to Avoid Them)
The louse is the singular form of lice and has over 5000 species of wingless insects. They are completely parasitic which means that they live as external agents on warm-blooded hosts. These hosts can include almost every single species of mammals and birds.
The most common habitats for lice include feathers and hair of the host where they feed on the host’s skin, debris, blood, and other similar secretions. An interesting feature of lice is that they spend their entire life cycle on a single host and also release their eggs there only. The first cement their eggs on the host’s hair or feathers after which these eggs or nits hatch into nymphs. Before growing fully the nits molt at least three times. This whole process takes about 4 weeks in total.
Lice also have historic pieces of evidence attached to them and they have been mentioned in folktales since ancient times. They were actually omnipresent in human society till the dawn of the Middle Ages.
Table of Contents
Lice infestation can be detected with the help of several common signs and symptoms. These include:
- Small, tiny bumps on the neck, shoulders, and scalp
- Intense and severe kind of itching
- Lice eggs or nits all over the hair shafts
- A tickling kind of a feeling in the movement of hair
- Extreme discomfort and irritability
Common Causes of Lice Infestation
When talking about head lice, in particular, they can cause serious infestation when a person comes into contact with lice or their eggs called nits. Some of the most common ways through which they spread and cause infestation are:
- Coming into contact with contaminated furniture which can include lying down or sitting on cloth covered furniture that was also used by someone with head lice.
- Physical contact with others who may also have head lice either through head-to-head contact or body-to-body contact.
- Shared items between family members which can include things like a hairbrush, combs, blankets, pillows, clothing, headphones, etc.
- Sexual contact can also transmit lice, especially in adults.
How to Prevent Lice Infestation?
Since lice infestation is easily transmittable, it is extremely important to take some effective measures for their prevention. When it comes to head lice, in particular, it is very difficult to prevent their spread because most individuals are always in very close physical contact with each other.
A lot of research has been conducted on the prevention of lice which has shown that there are several over-the-counter products that one can use to stop their spread. These mostly include plant oils like tea tree, rosemary and coconut oil.
Other than using these oils and other products like anti-lice shampoos, the best way to get rid of, and repel lice is to take a few thorough steps.
- Avoid head-to-head contact because this is one of the key ways through which lice can spread from one person to another.
- Avoid sharing personal belongings especially hair accessories because they are a vital avenue through which lice can transmit.
- Stop sharing spaces with other people where there is a chance of your clothes or hair accessories coming into contact with theirs.
Types of Lice
There is a variety of lice species that are known to infect mammals, birds, and human beings. There are some of the most common and basic types.
Scientific name: Anoplura
Previously known as Siphunculata, sucking louse or sucking lice consists of over 500 species that fall under the suborder category of monophyletic. This is described as a group of organisms that are characterized by shared derived characteristics.
Sucking louse is a small, wingless flat type of lice that lives on blood and the tissue fluids of mammals. This is done by being an ectoparasite, or in other words, an external parasite. They have super piercings and sucking mouthparts which allow them to do that.
They glue their nits or eggs to the host’s hair and infest them, especially when there is an absence of hygienic practices. They have long, oval bodies and compared to biting lice, they have slightly smaller heads
Sucking louse uses their sharp, piercing mouthparts to suck the blood of their hosts. They do this by hanging on to a single strand of hair with the help of their large claw that is present at the end of their legs.
Scientific name: Mallophaga
These are particularly ectoparasites of birds and sometimes even mammals. They are a suborder of life and are also referred to by other common names including chewing lice and bird lice.
Biting lice consist of more than 3000 species, out of which 500 have been recorded in Britain and 700 in Europe. All of them are known for feeding on both wild and domestic animals and birds. They also cause a great deal of irritation to their hosts. Their scientific name has been derived from Greek terminology where mallos means ‘wool’ and phagein means ‘to eat’.
These lice are host specific which means that they prefer sticking to only a few, particular species of birds. This phenomenon has resulted in detailed reviews of evolutionary relationships and classification of birds by most zoologists. This is because there may be birds out there that share similar species of life. Such birds are believed to be more closely related than one would think.
The mouthparts of these lice are designed in a way that they are highly adapted to chewing purposes. They can easily munch on skin excretions, skin fragments, hair and bird feather. A few of the biting lice species also like feeding on host blood that comes from existing wounds.
They are wingless and have flattened bodies, chewing mouthparts and broad heads. Their claws are incredibly well-developed that help them cling to their host. They do this by sticking their eggs to the host’s hair or feathers after which the eggs hatch when the temperatures are high enough. One of their key distinguishing features is their heads that are broader than their prothoraces.