5 Places You Didn’t Know You Could Get Lice
It seems like lice is something everyone has to deal with at least once in their lives. They don’t spread diseases, but are quite irritating. Some people infected with lice have even lost sleep over the itching!
We’ve already gone over some ways to get rid of head lice. But, did you know you can have a lice infestation on places other than your hair?
Today, we’re going to tell you 5 different places you can get lice, and how to stop them from spreading. You’ll definitely be shocked by number 4!
1. Head Lice
The most common form of lice is head lice. This infestation lives on your head and neck, and is common in young people with longer hair. There’s no need to panic if you or your child gets lice. There’s lots of DIY ways to get rid of head lice easily. The important thing to remember is that there’s lots of ways you can prevent them from spreading such as:
- Not sharing hats, brushes, or combs
- Not sharing styling tools
- Washing any used, thrifted, or hand-me-down clothing
- Asking your hairdresser how often they clean their tools
Hairdressers are required to disinfect and clean all their styling tools, including towels and capes. They’re also trained to look for lice (especially in young girls) while they’re cutting your hair.
2. Body Lice
This type of lice is less common, but can be a little more dangerous than normal head lice. Some body lice can carry and spread bacterial diseases like typhus or trench fever.
You may also experience what’s called a secondary infection if you do have lice, as skin can become raw from irritations and scratching. This means that the lice themselves are not causing the infections, but raw skin from scratching can become prone to infections.
To notice this type of lice, look for different skin changes like thickening or discoloration around your waist, groin, and upper thigh. To stop body lice from spreading, always wash both new and used clothing before you wear them.
3. Pubic Lice
This lice is also known as gential crabs. It’s considered an STI, and can potentially spread to other places with body hair like armpits and facial hair. Adult pubic lice can live from 3 to 4 weeks, and females can lay about 30 eggs in their lifetime. To stop this lice from spreading, be sure to:
- Wash all new and used clothing
- Ask your sexual partners about their STI status
- Be honest with your sexual partners about any past STIs
- Get checked regularly for STIs and use protection
To get rid of pubic lice, contact a sexual health clinic in your area like Planned Parenthood to speak to a nurse on what they recommend.
4. Eyelash Lice
Eyelash lice have become increasingly popular within the last couple years due to lash extensions. If you get lash extensions, or are planning to have your makeup professionally done, you could be at risk for eyelash lice. Eyelash lice are caused by dirty lash cobs, towels, and applicators. Always research your estheticians, and ask how they clean and sanitize all their tools. Esthetician should be using fresh and clean towels and applicators with every client. Do not allow an esthetician to use an old lash comb, even if it’s clean.
If they try to use an old lash comb on you- run! It’s likely that there are other things that may not be clean if they’re using old tools. Symptoms of eyelash lice include:
- Tickling and itching eyelashes
- Tearing and red eyes
- Lashes that stick together or feel “thicker”
- Brown or black spots on the lash line
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends to also inspect your eyebrows or facial hair if you’ve been infected with eyelash lice. To treat eyelash or facial lice:
- Generously apply petroleum jelly to the lids twice a day
- Use 1 percent permethrin shampoo an hour after jelly is applied
- Let the shampoo sit for 10 minutes before washing thoroughly
5. Furniture Lice
It’s pretty uncommon to get lice in your furniture since they need a host to survive. But, lice spread similarly to bed bugs by latching onto different furniture and clothing before they find a new host. They only last without a host for about 48 hours, and should leave your house in a few days if all humans have been treated. Always look for lice in public places that are frequented by others such as:
- AirBnbs, Hotels, or other temporary rentals
- New and used furniture stores
- Gym equipments and lockers
- Movie theater seats
- Public transportation
If you suspect that you may have contacted lice from one of these places, be sure to:
- Wash all clothing, linens, or items you believe are infected with hot water and high heat
- Vacuum floor and furniture and safely dispose of the remains
- Don’t use fumigant sprays, try to go for a more natural solution to not irritate the skin
Lice need a host to survive, so there’s no need to burn down your clothes or furniture if it’s infected, just make sure it’s clean!
Let us know your DIY tips on lice in the comments below. If you have any questions on different products that are safe to use around humans with lice, call one of our Pest Brigade partners.