Body Lice

Unlike head lice, body lice has been found to be less common. Also known as Pediculus humanus corporis, they live on the body rather than head specifically.

What is body lice?

They are parasitic insects that live on the body, clothing or bedding of infested humans. The louse spends most of its time on the infested person’s clothing, only making contact with the person’s skin when in need of a meal. They are often seen in the seams of clothing or undergarments and they generally affect people who have poor hygiene levels. Unlike head lice, they cannot be found easily on the body as they burrow into the skin.

Lice pictures:


Picutre of nits (eggs) on clothing:

Source: Center for Disease Control


  • Raised, red bumps on the shoulders, trunk, and the buttocks that cause severe itching
  • Nits (eggs of louse) found on clothing, often in the seams of the underwear
  • Headache, fever, and feelings of sickness that come with the swelling and infected bites


While this specific type of lice is rare in the United States, and more often seen in people from underdeveloped countries, it can still occur. Typically, humans can get the infestation from unhygienic conditions like not taking baths/showers daily, not wearing washed clothing and having direct contact with someone who already has it.

Home Remedies for Lice

As with head lice and other parasitic conditions, it is crucial that you treat the problem immediately. Body lice can easily spread (especially from scratching) and sometimes develop into a secondary skin infection. Try these remedies but as always, if your condition does not improve or completely go away, contact a physician.

  • Vinegar and Oil.Mix 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of vegetable or olive oil. Once well blended, use plastic gloves to smear on the affected areas of your skin. Let the mixture sit on skin for at least 30 minutes, then rinse off in the shower. If you're still itching, try the remedy once more before contacting your physician.
  • Cold Soak. Jump in the shower and run cold water over your body to ease the itching.
  • Coconut Milk.Try bathing in coconut milk. Some say this works because lice do not like the smell of coconuts.
  • Calamine Lotion. This can help with the itching. We've always been fans of Calydryl.
  • Listerine.Some of the ingredients are believe to kill lice, like eucalyptol, alcohol, thymol, menthol, and methyl salicylate. You may also try rubbing it on the affected areas.
Additional things to do to remove them from your belongings:
  • Rubbing Alcohol.Soak all your personal hygiene tools in rubbing alochol for at least 1 hour. This will help to remove the nits (eggs).
  • Hot Wash Cycle.Thoroughly wash infected clothing in hot water (or discard altogether) because lice and their eggs often live on your clothing. When washing, set to the machine to at least 130 degrees and use the hot cycle when drying. Very important to eliminating body lice!
  • Plastic Bags.Use plastic bags to store items that cannot be washed. Generally, these lice cannot live without a host for more than 7 days, so hopefully keeping these contaminated items separated will help to kill them.

Center for Disease Control

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