Invasion of the Bloodsuckers: Bedbugs and Beyond
Head Louse

Human head louse
Pediculus humanus capitis

 

 

 

Human head louse
Pediculus humanus capitis


People with dark hair will also have dark-colored lice. The color of the louse develops during feeding in the nymphal stage.
The latest treatment for head lice is a chemical from a bacterium found in the soil around an abandoned Caribbean rum distillery.
Head Louse

Lice are found only on placental mammals and are very host specific. There are around 550 species associated with nearly every major mammalian lineage. The human head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) occurs in all human populations. A small, wingless insect, it spreads by human-to-human contact. The head louse does not transmit any pathogenic diseases.

 

This louse species completes its entire life cycle on the human head. Eggs glued to human hair hatch and grow through three nymphal stages to become adults. Head louse claws are adapted to grasp fine hairs. Because of its sensitivity to temperature and moisture, and its nutritional needs, this louse cannot survive more than 48 hours away from its human habitat. Therefore, humans, as do other mammals, use regular grooming to reduce louse populations.

 

Head lice rely on their host’s blood throughout their growth and as adults. They feed frequently at each stage. Females use digested blood to produce around six eggs a day.