Site about the fight against domestic insects

How Lice Look: We get acquainted with the peculiarities of the appearance and biology of parasites


Знакомимся с особенностями внешнего вида и биологии различных видов вшей, посмотрим, как они выглядят и как размножаются.

Lice are obligate external parasites of mammals. These insects have adapted to living in animal wool and feeding exclusively on their blood, they can not live outside the owner's coat and specialize only on one species or only a few closely related species of animals.

For example, a human louse can only live on a person and some monkeys. Elephant lice can only hit elephants, and hares - only hares. Lice of one species of mammals can not affect other species.

Вши питаются исключительно кровью

So, cat lice is not able to parasitize on a person, and a human louse does not live on domestic animals (many without knowing it, often seriously suspect if their children have caught a cat or dog). So far, scientists have not found lice in representatives of the marsupial squad.

It is interesting

On birds, its own peculiar group of insects parasitizes, called fluffy. They are more diverse than the lice themselves, and it is believed that they cause in general less inconvenience to the owners than parasites of mammals. Lice that parasitize animals are called withers in science, and in addition to blood, some of their species can feed on skin cells and secretions of host glands.

The human louse for a short evolutionary period of human habitation on the planet managed to split into two forms, which theoretically are able to turn into different species. One of these forms lives on the head and is called the head louse, the other lives in clothes and is called a dress (or else - a linen louse).

На фото показана головная вошь при значительном увеличении

Бельевая вошь на ткани

They can produce viable offspring, but because they practically do not meet together in real conditions, they do not mate and are more and more divided.

In addition to these forms, the pubic louse parasitizes on the person, which differs significantly from the head and lice in size, lifestyle and appearance.

What do lice look like?



Lice are rather small insects. In the photo under the microscope they can see all the attributes inherent in their biological form - six legs, segments of the body, the cephalothorax and abdomen, the antennae:

Головная вошь под микроскопом

Лобковая вошь под микроскопом

Below are some more photos of human lice. It is characteristic that at all stages of development they do not have wings, like their relatives are withers:

Вши не имеют крыльев

Головная вошь на волосах

А вот так выглядит собачий власоед

Without a microscope, lice look like tiny light gray insects. The flesh lice are slightly lighter and appear almost white. Pubic lice are the darkest, and their body is shortened, due to which they resemble small crabs.

Among the hair of parasites is difficult to identify. To look at how lice look, you can, for example, on a light fabric, on the palm of your hand or on your finger.

In the photo - a louse on the finger:

Платяные вши на пальце

And on the next photo you can see how the lice look in their hair - their normal habitat:

Головная вошь среди волос

Еще одна фотография головной вши

In size, the head louse reaches a maximum of 4 mm, usually - about 2-3 mm, the same is the same. The pubic louse is the smallest, has a body length of 1-2 mm. In the picture, lice pubes are well distinguished by rather massive sturdy paws and a rounded body:

На картинке хорошо заметны отличия между головной и лобковой вошью

On a note

It will be quite difficult for a non-specialist to distinguish lice without a microscope from withers. However, you can always be sure: if a parasite is caught on a person - it's a human or pubic louse.

What is the difference between different types of lice?

Different types of lice can be distinguished from each other even without a microscope.

If the insect is light, almost white, then it's a louse. The photo shows how the louse looks of this form on clothes:

Скопление платяных вшей на рукаве

If the insects are dark and their abdomen is greatly shortened (looks broad) - these are pubic lice. Photos of them on a white background and in the hair are presented below:

Фото лобковой вши на теле человека

It is interesting

Pubic and head lice were very common in antiquity among humans. The famous Roman emperor Sulla suffered from pubic lice. In describing the monstrous diseases with which he was sick from his depraved lifestyle, all his contemporaries invariably described thousands of parasites that literally poured from him, and the slaves who were left day and night from his body were filmed.

If the insect is dark and has a long abdomen, it belongs to the typical head lice. In the photo below, lice in the hair are clearly distinguishable:

На фото видно, что вошь практически сливается по цвету с волосами

Even easier to distinguish lice from the place on the body where they were found or caught. Lice in the hair on the head - only head, pubic, groin and anus areas, in the armpits and in exceptional cases - on the brows - pubic. Parasites on clothing and hair on the chest are usually clothes.

With other parasites, lice are difficult to confuse, because they look completely different. Bedbugs are much larger than lice and do not occur on the human body during the day, and fleas are almost black and jump well.

But the main difference between all these parasites, as well as mites against lice, is that they avoid the hairy parts of the body. Lice in the hair and prefer to parasitize - their paws are ideally suited for attaching to hair bundles.

On the photo - lice on the hair:

Вошь крепко держится за волосы своими лапками

And in the next photo below you can see how the lice look on the folds of clothing:

Платяная вошь среди складок одежды

Reproduction and life cycle of lice



Lice are insects with an incomplete cycle of transformation. This means that their larvae, emerging from eggs, are very similar to adult insects, differing only in size and inability to reproduce.

On the images of lice, we can distinguish larger imago - sexually mature parasites - and larvae:

На картинке показан полный цикл размножения головной вши

А на этой картинке показан жизненный цикл лобковой вши (Pthiris Pubis)

На фотографии - нимфы и взрослые особи вшей

On a note

Insects with incomplete cycle of transformation include also cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers, bugs. And insects with a complete transformation include, for example, butterflies, beetles, mosquitoes, flies, wormlike larvae which look quite different than adults.

Larvae of lice are called nymphs, and adult individuals are imago.

Louse eggs are called nits. They are immobile and transmitted from person to person, as it is thought by especially cautious citizens, in most cases can not.

A feature of nits is that at the exit from the oviduct of the female the egg is covered with a thick layer of sticky secretion and immediately comes into contact with the hair to which it adheres. The secret quickly hardens, and the nits are so firmly attached to the hair that it is very difficult to tear off it - it is easier to pull the hair itself.

Lice and nits co-exist side by side, but usually nits are more noticeable, as adult insects often sit on the skin at the base of the hair, and the nits are located directly on the hair.

In the photos below, you can see in more detail what nits and lice look like:

Гнида, прикрепленная к волосу

На фото показана вошь при увеличении: хорошо заметно наполненное кровью брюшко

Lice reproduce very quickly. Each female lays daily about 10 eggs, of which a larva leaves in a few days.

Then the larva grows and moults three times, which takes about 14-16 days. After the last molt, the nymph becomes an adult louse and almost immediately mates with a representative of the opposite sex. The cycle time from egg to egg is about 18-22 days, in ideal conditions - 16 days.

With a decrease in temperature, lice and nits develop much more slowly, and the duration of the cycle of their reproduction can stretch for up to a month or more. The optimum temperature for the reproduction of lice is 32-33 ° C.

The photographs below show lice and nits on the hair:

Вошь нелегко заметить на волосах, поскольку она чаще всего находится у основания волоса

Несколько гнид на волосах

On a note

With a sufficient length of hair on the head, even in winter, on the street, the temperature near the skin on the head does not practically drop below 25 ° C, and therefore lice on the person quietly reproduce all year round.

How to reproduce lice is well demonstrated in the video below. It is good to consider what adult lice, nits and larvae look like at different stages of development:

Nits of different types of lice differ slightly from each other. In pubic hair, they look a little smaller, the clothes are bigger and usually are in the seams of clothing. Nits of laundry lice can be completely destroyed, for example, by boiling clothes.

Below is a photo of pubic lice and nits on the hair:

Лобковая вошь крупным планом

Гнида лобковой вши на волосе

And the next photo shows nits of a lice-like form:

Множество гнид платяной вши на одежде

Lifestyle and optimal conditions for the existence of lice

Knowing everything about lice, it is easy enough to develop and apply measures to destroy them.

Lice are constantly present on the body of a person or his clothes. It is enough to change clothes regularly and wash clothes at high temperatures, and even if they become infected, the louse will die. Lice and nits of a uniform can reproduce normally only if the person does not change clothes for months and does not wash. This is typical for vagabonds and homeless people.

Наличие большого количества платяных вшей и гнид наблюдается обычно у тех, кто редко моется и редко меняет одежду

Pubic and head lice are highly dependent on the length of the hair. On the hairless part of the body they can not live at all. The best way to get rid of them is to shave your hair where parasites were found. Even at the beginning of the last century, to fight lice in the first shave their heads, and therefore it was believed that a shaved man with a naked man suffered lice.

It is interesting

In recent years, scientists have observed a sharp reduction in the infectiousness of pubic lice throughout the world. They associate this with the fashion on the shaving of the pubic both men and women. On a hairless pubic lice, lice can not live, and even after a sexual intercourse with an infected person they are not fixed on a new victim.

Sometimes lice can infect completely unexpected places. For example, underarms and eyelashes. Knowing how lice and nits look like, they can be easily identified here, but the removal of parasites from these places requires certain efforts:

Лобковые вши способны паразитировать и на ресницах человека

On a note

It is known that sometimes a pubic louse transmitted from the mother to a child can infect the baby's eyebrows. This should be taken into account in the prevention of pediculosis in a large family.

Below are some more photos with lice and nits on eyelashes:

Хорошо видны гниды лобковых вшей на ресницах

На этой фото также хорошо видна лобковая вошь среди ресниц и многочисленные гниды

Еще одно фото лобковых вшей и гнид на ресницах человека

Lice eat several times a day: at normal temperatures, even a three-day hunger strike is fatal for them. At low temperatures, they can fast for up to a week.

Louse lice constantly move from clothing to the body of a person. If the clothes are even removed for a week, most of the lice and their larvae die.

Так выглядит вошь во время укуса

Платяные вши и гниды

Lice die at temperatures below 0 ° C and above 45 ° C. With a gradual and not a severe drop in temperature, they can fall into a state of suspended animation and starve for several weeks.

The spread of lice between people

Lice are transmitted in most cases with direct physical contact of the infected person with the uninfected. Most often lice are infected today with preschool children, who play and fight together.

Sometimes lice are transmitted by common use of headgear and hair care products. But this transfer plays a much smaller role in the spread of lice.

Вши иногда могут переноситься на головных уборах или предметах ухода за волосами

In general, lice can be infected in any public places where close contact of clothes and people is possible. For example, in public transport or at various mass events.

It is interesting

Lice can stay in the water for a long time, and therefore sometimes infection occurs in swimming pools and natural water bodies. But such cases are extremely rare and they are especially not to be feared.

In this case lice are afraid of sharp smells. To protect against them, it is enough to spray hair with eau de cologne or spirits with the smell of eucalyptus or mint before going out to the public, and insects are less likely to move to hair when contacting children and adults.

On a note

Do not assume that head lice can only occur in homeless and sloppy people. The danger of these insects lies in the fact that they are easily transmitted to children and adults, regardless of the level of culture, and they can be infected at home or even in an elite kindergarten. And before they multiply in quantities, which will cause unpleasant feelings, they can have time to spread throughout the collective or family.

But really a satellite of unsanitary conditions is a louse.

But if the infection has suddenly occurred, lice should be removed without delay. On the correct fight against these parasites, read in other articles on our website in the section "How to get rid of lice."

To the entry "How Lice Look: Getting Acquainted with the Species of the Appearance and Biology of Parasites" 88 comments have been left.
  1. Alina :

    It's horrible.

    Reply
  2. Pedro :

    Hmm, I'm scratching myself ...

    Reply
  3. Denis :

    Well, damn, they and the nits like a horror look.

    Reply
  4. Christina :

    Just awful

    Reply
  5. Maria :

    I caught a lice from my friend, spent the night with her for three days. And we sit, we communicate, then she noticed that my daughter is crawling about her hair near her ear, grabbed - there was a louse. I'm in panic! Let's examine each other, it was a nightmare. At the girlfriend and her daughter all head is strewn, all in nits, well and at itself have noticed, but it is a little. Immediately ran after the means. And so a few days that only I did not do: shampoos, kerosene, some liquid, taken in a pharmacy, combed out. Oh, it's a nightmare, I will not wish anyone!

    Reply
    • Malyfisent :

      I was at school and at the mathematics class I noticed that something was creeping. I went to the toilet and there was a louse, it seems that the female. I was horrified, but when I got home, I was treated with kerosene. It seems to me that this is the most good tool. It was a little bit hot, but we washed it off and everything was fine with me. There were similar situations when I brought lice from a camp (sanatorium), and each time we bought a remedy for lice. Do not try to use it, it will not help you. I will list the best folk remedies: kerosene, hydrogen peroxide and uterus of bees. That's all, lice will not. I will reveal the secret: if you have applied a remedy on your head, you should be bitten by these parasites when they die from this action.

      Reply
  6. Lera :

    Yes, God forbid that someone.

    Reply
  7. Vic :

    For some reason, the entire body itches after seeing and reading. God forbid such happiness. It's just horror.

    Reply
  8. Anya :

    They are terrible in the pictures (I do not know what in life).

    Reply
  9. Myrima :

    When I came from the street and my mother said to me: "Well, let's look at the head." And I gave, and then my mother found larvae and lice.

    Reply
  10. Anonymous :

    In order not to have lice, it is necessary to wash yourself and to stay away from homeless people ((

    Reply
  11. Marceline :

    God, how do people get rid of them? I can not imagine…

    Reply
    • Vitalina :

      We used Para Plus, a very good remedy, but expensive, around 400-500 rubles.

      Reply
  12. Dana :

    I was also nippy. I got infected from neighbors - I spent the night with them. I barely got rid of them!

    Reply
  13. Olya :

    That's horrible. Already how much money did not try - nothing helps! What a nightmare. Hardly as they brought out. Choose the nits you need, and so will appear and appear lice ...

    Reply
  14. Hope :

    At me they were three times, and me 11. At 1 time in kindergarten, 2 times 6 years later, just before the graduation from the beginning, 3 times came from a friend, my head began to itch. Mom looked - again they.

    Reply
  15. Katerina :

    It's terrible ... Recently, I noticed that it's harder and harder to get them out.

    Reply
  16. Anonymous :

    It's terrible, I'm scratching everything, and the paint did not help (

    Reply
  17. Andes :

    Yes, do not freak you out, but rather read the articles and do not look at the pictures. Then you will understand how quickly to get rid of.

    Reply
  18. Anonymous :

    It is better not to catch such a miracle!

    Reply
  19. Lashwind :

    Infected in the pool - itched, but withdrew.

    Reply
  20. Lera :

    I caught lice on the bus. Her mother-in-law gave shampoo, and then combed it and chose all nits. Thank her very much.

    Reply
  21. Victoria :

    Oh, it's very terrible, they had me, now I do prophylaxis every week!

    Reply
  22. Anna :

    At me they three times were ... The pair plus deduces from the first.

    Reply
  23. Nastyushka :

    And you know how to comb them out for a long time

    Reply
  24. Oksana :

    And I was in the hospital with the baby and caught it there. My son, like, no. Now I shampooed a special shampoo, I hope, they will die. A nightmare. I was upset to tears.

    Reply
  25. Nastya :

    I can not see it

    Reply
  26. Yulya :

    I had lice, from one girl got infected. We bought a solution of Full Marx, goes with a scallop for combing the lice, costs 300 rubles., Mental solution. Fu, these lice are so horrible, that's smeared with this solution, sat for 15 minutes, they all combed out and then 10 times you wash off your head with shampoo without balm. This solution figs smoesh.

    Reply
  27. Knowing :

    Comrades, buy in the veterinary pharmacy the tincture of chegery, spread the head carefully with this tincture of cotton wool (not abundantly, you can burn your head) and put the package on for 15-20 minutes. Then with a normal shampoo, foaming it well. Wash off, along with foam, you will see the dots of lice dead. It is advisable to repeat the procedure in a few days, in order to kill the hatched lice again.

    Reply
  28. Anonymous :

    Horror these lice, God forbid them. For prevention, what should I do?

    Reply
  29. Vlad :

    And I sprinkled them with a kerosene, and in three days everyone was pissed off!

    Reply
  30. Nastya :

    NDA. But I have a question. Where did these nits come from ?!

    Reply
    • Anonymous :

      Lice cough and there are nits. They hatch and get lice.

      Reply
  31. Anyutochka :

    Oh, what they are lovely, such classic bugs =)

    Reply
  32. Anya :

    As looked, I have scabies all over my body started!

    Reply
  33. Ilya :

    You just cut your hair. That's exactly what I did.

    Reply
  34. Nastya :

    Horror, we have one girl in the class, she has lice, and I'm sitting in front of her. What should I do for prophylaxis? I'm reluctant to get infected.

    Reply
  35. Lucy :

    I had lice in the pioneer camp, the leaders cut their hair almost naked, which were waist-deep and curly. After something, they washed their hair. After this, 25 years have passed, and the hair grows straight, no more curls. Lice are evil!

    Reply
  36. Anonymous :

    Byaka, it seemed to me that I had lice, and I wanted to see what they looked like. As a result, I do not have lice.

    Reply
  37. Masha :

    Hello everybody. I have them, how can I get rid of them?

    Reply
    • Anastasia :

      Maria, do not be afraid, they need to be taken out with a special shampoo.

      Reply
  38. Sergey :

    Damn, how awful it is

    Reply
  39. Citizen shovel :

    Full kopets, sat in a taxi and picked up the passengers.

    Reply
  40. Kolya :

    Do not cut yourself, from this infection you need to ask in the pharmacy something against lice.

    Reply
  41. Anonymous :

    My child, when he was still going to the garden, lice wound up on his eyelashes, not in my head. My poor child, what he had to endure. Like, I'll clean it, I'll pull it all out, in a few days it's all over again. Hardly got rid of.

    Reply
    • Anya :

      Do not believe me, my child also picked up in the garden lice, and now 2 months I can not get rid of them. What only I did not try: Paraplus, and kerosene, and Fulmarks - nothing takes them, creatures.

      Reply
  42. Anastasia :

    Yes, it's horrible, right up to the devils. I also had lice and some gray ones. Does anyone know what this is? I was so scared when my mother said that I have lice. It seems to me that this is in our school.

    Reply
  43. Sophia :

    I'm 12 and have lice at the moment 1 time. This is very disgusting and I'm scared, my head hurts badly.

    Reply
  44. Agatha and Yana :

    We decided to see with my sister how the lice look, and they saw such horror, just some kind of debilizm. In general, horror and disgusting.

    Reply
  45. Rita :

    I also had lice. I got rid of them with hair dye, just there is a lot of hydrogen peroxide, and peroxide kills lice and nits, then we combed them.

    Reply
    • Anonymous :

      This is complete nonsense, you just painted it. Hair dye does not take out these parasites ... It's easier to get a haircut. And the best method is to pour the head with kerosene and light a match. You will be sure that they will not appear again. At home, it is forbidden.

      Reply
  46. Valya :

    I had three times lice, and all three times in 12 years. This full horror was infected in the camp in the summer. And I give advice: stay away from human fleas. They reproduce on the walls, in skirting boards in the corners of the room. They also multiply rapidly. If you were given by friends, friends, relatives, lashes, etc. Put in some basin or something similar and boil it in boiling water. And yet, they also look like small brown insects. And remember, the animals could not bring them!

    Reply
    • Anonymous :

      Animals can not bring lice, but fleas are easy. A human flea can easily sit on both an animal and a human.

      Reply
  47. Tanya :

    God, what an abomination these lice ...

    Reply
  48. Dunno :

    I've found my wool, I can not determine what it is.

    Reply
  49. Anastasia :

    They look so ugly.

    Reply
  50. Anonymous :

    They say that they had lice, they will be rich - so there is a possibility that we will all be millionaires!

    Reply
  51. Leva :

    The cranks. Such a trifle, and so much trouble.

    Reply
  52. Light :

    Found some two: brown, with a long body, small ones. Can they be lice?

    Reply
  53. Makhachkala :

    It seems to me that I have lice, help, I'm afraid to tell my mother that she checks my head, I do not know why. And I want to get rid of them unnoticed. If I have lice, then I think it's my crooked classmate, she had lice a year, so she went to school, and no one knew about it. Then my friends told me that they saw lice in her. And all the girls so rumors spread to some. Then I asked our class teacher to tell her to come and check her head. No one was found. And then her turn, silence in the classroom, the nurse looks at her head, and suddenly she calls our teacher quietly to speak, come here and whispers something to her. In short, we have all cut ourselves, why. Then they told her that she would not come to school for a month and clean her head. Then she did not come for a month. All, in short, believed that she was cured. Then she told everyone that she was already cured. And then, like a bang - one girl again noticed something on her head. In general, this creature in my opinion deceived us. I was very worried if I have lice (do not let Allah). I hated this thing so much. After the school year was over, we went with friends after ice cream after school, and I'm waiting in line for this, I'm twisting my hair. I look, something on my hair, I had a panic, it's good that no one saw. I quickly took and threw it somewhere. I almost cried. Then, when my friends and I went home after that, I walked away from them (not to "infect"), because I thought that I had lice. Thank God, I did not notice until 3 months later. But today I'm sitting like this, I'm looking - something has fallen from my head. I think it was murashik, but I still did not understand what it was. Quickly took and killed it. God, if only it was not a lice. I'll ask my mother to look at my head, and if my mother finds something on my head, I'll arrange this "sweet life" for this girl-friend. This idiot!

    Sincerely yours, Machina.

    Reply
  54. Buttercup :

    God forbid to catch such a dirty trick ...

    Reply
  55. Dasha :

    It's a nightmare, I never want these creatures.

    Reply
  56. Moore Moore :

    And why are you all so panicking? Of course, this is very unpleasant, but no more. Much worse - hepatitis, syphilis, AIDS, etc. And these little friends were taken out, and then they forgot about them!

    Reply
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