What is body lice?
Body lice are small, parasitic insects found mainly on the clothing of infested people, and occasionally on their bodies or bedding. They spend most of their life on an infested person's clothing, crawling onto the skin to feed on the host's blood one or more times a day.
Female lice glue their eggs on the seams of clothing worn near the skin, where body heat allows them to hatch in about a week. Hatchlings develop to the adult stage in about nine days if they remain close to the host and have access to blood.
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About the Author
Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
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