Lice Information

What are Lice?

Lice are parasitic insects that survive by feeding on blood. Nits are head lice eggs. They are hard to see and are often confused for dandruff or hair spray droplets. Nits are laid by the adult female and are cemented at the base of the hair shaft. The egg hatches to release a nymph. Nymphs mature after three molts. Adult lice vary in size depending on the species (1.1-3.6mm for human lice). Lice cannot jump or fly.

Where are lice found?

Human lice can be found on people’s heads and bodies. Lice found on each area of the body are different from each other. The three types of lice that live on humans are:

  • Pediculus humanus capitis (head louse)
  • Pediculus humanus corporis (body louse, clothes louse)
  • Pthirus pubis (“crab” louse, pubic louse)

Only the body louse is known to spread disease (epidemic typhusBartonella quintana infection, and epidemic relapsing fever).

The Vector/Mosquito Control Program does NOT treat for lice.