How do crab lice live?
• Crab lice, like other parasites, depend on their “host” for survival. • Their only source of nourishment is human blood. • They feed frequently and for lengthy periods of time, 35 to 45 minutes. • During this period, they swell up and change colour, a deep rust, which makes them easier to see. • Heat is also important to their survival (30o C). When the temperature of their environment rises or drops significantly, the crab lice will leave to seek a new host. How do you get crab lice? • Usually through close physical contact, particularly sexual contact. • Can also be transmitted through the interchange of clothing, bedding, towels or contaminated toilet seats. (But this method is less frequent as lice that drop off the host are usually dead or dying and are of little danger. This also applies to crab lice recovered from combing the infested hairy area. They are usually injured and incapable of sustaining life.) How do I know if I have crab lice? • Usually begins with persistent itch