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Pubic Lice

Where do you find pubic lice?

Pubic lice are most commonly found in the pubic and peri-anal areas, and sometimes can infest eyebrows, eyelashes, mustaches and beards. Pubic lice are 1.5-2mm long and are as wide as they are long. Their middle and hind legs are very stout and give them the appearance of a crab and thus are also called "crab lice." The third pair of legs is equipped with a claw that helps lice hang on to coarse pubic hair. These lice can sometimes infest dogs. Pubic lice remain attached to the same place for a long time during blood feeding, resulting in accumulation of their feces and matting of the pubic hair. Skin discoloration occurs in the place of their continued attachment. Pubic lice survive for a shorter time away from their hosts compared to head and body lice. Pubic lice are not disease carriers.

What do pubic lice feed on?
Pubic lice feed on human blood and remains attached at the sites of their feeding for a long period of time and can be considered as almost stationary.

What is the pubic lice life cycle?
Pubic lice lay less than 30 eggs per female. The eggs hatch after seven to eight days, when the nymphs emerge and molt over a 13-17 day period. After the third molt, they reach maturity. The total life span of pubic lice is over one month.

How do you become infested with pubic lice?
Sexual contact is the primary mode of transmission of pubic lice. Infestation can also occur by sleeping close to an infested person. Infestation does NOT occur as a result of using the same toilet as an infested individual. Condoms do not protect from pubic lice.

How do you control pubic lice infestation?
The easiest method to control lice infestation is to remove all hair from the pubic region. Physicians may also offer alternative treatment options. Most products used for louse control can be used to control pubic lice infestation (follow manufacturer's instructions). However, it is recommended to consult a physician before choosing a treatment product.