Body lice are similar to head lice, but they have different characteristics. Adult head lice are around 2 millimeters long and white, with six clawed legs. They attach to hair near the scalp. Female head lice lay their eggs near the back of the head or ears. Body lice typically lay their eggs in clothing fibers, but they can also live on human body hair.
Body lice are less common than head lice and are more common among those who do not bathe regularly. They live on clothing, bedding, and other surfaces, and are more often found in seams. They travel to the skin several times per day to feed. Pubic lice, also called “crabs,” are found on the pubic area and are less common on eyelashes, eyebrows, and chest hair.
The most common way to contract head lice is through close head-to-head contact, but it can also spread through shared clothing and belongings. Head lice are not dangerous, but body lice are highly contagious, which means you may pass them from one person to another if they’re in the same environment as you. This is why it’s important to keep personal items and clothing clean.
The best way to get rid of body lice is to wash your clothes and bedding regularly. Wash them in hot water for at least 30 minutes, and then dry them thoroughly. You may also want to iron the clothing, as this will kill the lice eggs.