Body lice (also known as the Pediculus humanus humanus) affect humans and they are very uncomfortable, causing extreme itchiness. Body lice can also transmit more severe diseases, such as the louse borne relapsing fever or the epidemic typhus. The body lice spread very quickly and it is important to know how they are transmitted, so that they can be treated or avoided.

How Do You Get Body Lice?

Body lice may be transmitted through the direct contact with an infected person. However, the body lice have the capacity of attaching their eggs to clothes and bedding, so they may also be transmitted though the direct contact with these items.

The body lice reproduce quickly; a female louse is able to lay eggs within the first 10 hours after she is born. A female may live up to 4 weeks and she will produce 3 to 4 eggs (also known as nits) per day.

Body lice may be eliminated by boiling or getting rid of all the clothes that may have been infested with them. The water temperature should above 212°F (100°C) and the clothes should be boiled for at least 5 minutes.