Head lice

Updated 26 January 2016

What are body lice?

Body lice are different to head and pubic lice and often infest people in close or dirty living circumstances.

Body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis) look very much like those found on the head, but are actually a different species.

They are slightly bigger than head and pubic lice. While they aren’t as easily transmitted as head lice are, they are more difficult to spot, hiding in the seams of clothing and folds of bedding when not actually feeding.

Body lice can live off the body for about 5-7 days at room temperature.

Body lice infestation is usually found in people who have poor hygiene and those living in close quarters or crowded institutions. These lice can carry diseases such as typhus, trench fever and relapsing fever. Washing bedding and clothing regularly helps to prevent body lice infestations.

Read more:

Symptoms of body lice

What are head lice?

What are pubic lice?