All Creatures Great and Small


Head and body lice (Pediculidae – (Pediculus humanus)

The three main types of lice that infest humans are the head louse, the body louse and the crab louse. Head lice normally infest the heads of children. Children share these bugs when playing with each other. Body lice will live and breed in clothing and normally infest people who rarely change or wash their clothes. Homeless people frequently get body lice. Crab lice (Pthiridae – Pthirus pubis) can infest anyone as they are normally spread by sexual intercourse.

You can safely control head lice with coconut oil or olive oil shampoos or a product called Greenbug for People. Salt water will also kill lice, so if you live near an ocean, a swim would help. You can also put a shower cap on the head and use a hair dryer. The heat from the hair dryer will kill the lice.

Body lice can be controlled by washing the person’s clothing and vacuuming any beds or other furniture they may have used. Pesticides aren’t necessary. Crab lice can also be controlled with coconut oil or olive oil rubbed into the area where they live. They not only live in the pubic region but can get in armpit hairs and the perianal region as well.

Head and body lice cannot live off the host for more than 48 hours. Crab lice are more dependent on us as they will die in 24 hours if not on their host. Head and body lice will only attack humans. Crab lice aren’t as fussy. They will also infest chimpanzees.


About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


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