Date of this Version



© 1986, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide includes information on biology and control of three species of lice that infest humans.

Pediculosis (lice infestation) in humans has been known since ancient times. Three types of lice that infest humans: 1) head lice, 2) body lice, and 3) crab or pubic lice.

Lice are small, flat, dirty white to grayish black, wingless insects. Their legs are short and stout, with a large claw on each leg for grasping and holding onto hair. Lice have piercing and sucking mouth parts. These insects are blood feeders and require close contact with human hosts.