ID

ENTO-138NP

Authors as Published

Theresa A. Dellinger and Eric Day, Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech

Cover, Human lice

This publication is available in a PDF file format only

Human head and body lice are wingless, flattened insects with mouthparts for sucking blood. The head is somewhat narrower than the rest of the elongated body. Adults are small, about the size of a sesame seed (2.5–3.5 mm; 0.1 inch). Head and body lice are gray to tan in color. If they have fed recently, the blood meal will be visible through the body and make them appear darker. Bloodsucking lice have a large claw at the end of each leg that fits snugly around a hair shaft, allowing them to cling securely to their host or the fibers of their clothing. Lice cannot fly or jump; they can only crawl.


Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

May 19, 2015

Available As

Other resources in:

Other resources from: