America. They are known by many names: conenose
bugs, masked hunters, black corsairs and kissing bugs.
One species feeds on bed bugs. The insect-eating
species of the family are very important predators of
There are three species of human lice: head lice,
plant pests but normally only enter structures
body lice, and crab or pubic lice. They all suck human
accidentally; many are attracted by lights; if they are
blood and are not found on birds, dogs, cats, farm
handled they inflict painful bites.
animals or other hosts.
From Mexico to
Historically, the disease typhus, transmitted by
Argentina, a very serious
body lice, was common where people were confined
disease called Chagas
together and could not wash or delouse their clothing.
disease, is transmitted by
This disease became epidemic within confined
the stealthy and painless
populations such as cities under siege or armies limited
nocturnal bites of several
to trenches or on the move and unable to delouse their
species of Reduviids. Bugs
clothes. Typhus is a fatal disease and was so pervasive
feed and the blood they
it, more than wounds of war, determined who was
defecate is contaminated by
victorious and who was defeated in wartime.
disease organisms that are
Widespread louse epidemics ceased being a
later rubbed into bite
problem when DDT dust became available in World
areas. Relatives of these
War II. Although body lice became resistant to DDT
bugs that live in the United
when it was intensively and repeatedly used, other
States have a very painful bite; they are knocked off
synthetic pesticides were found to work as well.
before they can feed and defecate. These bugs do,
[Typhus epidemics are not caused by either head louse
however, take blood from wood rats or pack rats,
or crab louse infestations.]
With the elimination of the large infestations,
especially in the western United States. While they do
not bite humans, they should be eliminated from
modern societies are puzzled and alarmed when small,
homes, cabins and other structures; this requires the
persistent louse outbreaks occur. Common examples of
exclusion of the wood rats.
small infestations are head louse infestations among
elementary school aged children, body louse
infestations on people who are unable to care for
Never leave bird seed or stored
themselves, and pubic louse infestations resulting from
products that are attractive to rodents in
sexual intercourse with an infested partner.
intermittently occupied structures,
Informed pest control technicians can be very
unless they are kept in rodent-proof
helpful as consultants with louse infestations and can
provide a great service by discouraging pesticidal use
Close entrance holes and reinforce
other than for hair treatment. Leaving directions on
potential openings in structures.
lousicide choices with parents, school medical
Remove rat nests and detritus.
personnel, physicians, or the infested individual
Vacuum the area.
strengthens the clients confidence in the technician's
Wear dust masks when performing any
technical understanding and discourages the application
procedures involving dust from fecal
or spraying of pesticides.
droppings, guano, etc.
Alter or eliminate any rodent harborage
outside near the structure.
Use light bulbs that do not attract
Adult head lice are gray and about l/8 inch long.
insects in outside light fixtures, or
Hatching occurs about one week after attachment.
Since lice go through a gradual metamorphosis, the
tiny nymphs resemble adults. They grow to maturity
in about 10 days. Adult lice mate and the female can
Apply a light application of a pesticidal
lay about 100 eggs, but often falls short of that in her
dust laid down in nest areas to kill bugs
life of only several weeks.
that may hatch out later.
In the United States, lice live in the head hair of
Keep the dust from infiltrating into
children of elementary school age (only rarely on
Module Two, Chapter 4, Pg 11