How Big are Body lice?

There are three types of body lice or the lice that live on the human body, namely pubic lice, head lice, and body lice. These different types of body louse are known to infest human beings of whatever race and wherever they are located in the world. They often spread to other people by means of bodily contact.

Size of the Body Louse

The size of a body louse is about two or three millimeters. This is about the size of an average sesame seed. Lice that are found on the body are only a bit larger than the ones found on the head and genitals. However, body lice are the biggest ones that are known to infest human beings.

In contrast, pubic louse have a bit of a rounded shape that people describe as something akin to the shape of a crab. Thus they get the nick name 'crab louse'. Given the average size of these lice, one can see them with the naked eye or with the help of a magnifying lens.


Body lice generally live on a person's clothing and will only come in contact with a human being when it feeds. They usually just live within the folds and seams of one's clothing. However, they do deposit their waste and lay their eggs both on the clothes and on human skin. The easiest way to get lice is simply to come in contact with someone who has them.

Having poor hygiene increases the likelihood of catching lice on your body. Another factor one must consider is living in crowded places. Given such conditions, lice can easily spread from one host to another. However, take note that a lice infestation will never last on anyone who bathes on a regular basis and uses laundered bedding and clothing. The key to the prevent infestation of body louse is basically proper hygiene.

Infestation Symptoms

The common symptoms of infestation include areas in the groin or waist getting thickened or even discolored. This usually occurs when lice have been around a host for quite some time. Another symptom is the appearance of red bumps on a patient's skin. The most common symptom out there is an intense amount of itching.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Doctors usually can diagnose an infestation by careful examination of a patient's clothing and skin. Doctors will usually look for signs or manifestations of body lice or lice eggs. Anyone who is found to have body lice should also be checked for pubic and head lice. If a member of your family is found to have body louse then the entire family should be checked as well.

Doctors can recommend or even prescribe necessary medication. It is recommended that patients should destroy any infected clothing. If not, then they may wash the said clothing in hot water followed by machine drying. One's beddings and towels also need the same amount of treatment to get rid of lice.

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