Sucking Lice

 

Pest ID Guide: Sucking Lice

(Siphunculata)

Sucking lice have piercing mouthparts, which they use to suck the blood of their hosts – mostly mammals, including man. They hang on to hair with a single large claw at the end of their strong legs. Lice that feed exclusively on blood do not get a well-balanced diet, and make up for this by having bacteria in their gut that provide the additional nutrients.Nearly every mammal species can be infested by a sucking louse – even seals, whales and walruses have them! These ‘marine lice’ all belong to the family Echinophthiriidae, and they can exist for long periods under water by taking a layer of air down with them between their specially modified body hairs, or by breathing air trapped in the host’s body hair.

Size Color Legs Shape Antenanae
1/4″ Dark Gray 6 Oval True

Habitat

Habits:

They live on mammals and birds but are not found on humans.

Region:

Control / Prevention

Keep animals clean and treat with specialty flea and tick shampoo and grooming products.

Threats:

Lice can cause itching and small welts on the skin. Their bites can result in hair and feather loss, blood loss and even skin infection if not managed.

Photos