What are crabs?
Crabs, or pubic lice, are tiny parasitic insects that infest humans. They are usually found in the pubic hair or on the genital area, but they can also infest the armpit and body hair, facial hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. These are very common and can be found worldwide.
Why are pubic lice called crabs?
Pubic lice are called crabs because they resemble crabs when viewed under a microscope. They have small, crab-claw-like appendages, which they use to grasp human hair shafts.
How do pubic lice spread?
- Usually, these bugs spread through close physical contact. Pubic lice is considered to be mainly a sexually transmitted condition.
- They cannot jump or fly, so transmission relies on close contact.
- It is possible, although less common, for pubic lice to be spread through shared clothing, bedding, or towels.
- Sleeping in the same bed with a person who is infested may cause you to contract pubic lice.
- Pubic lice can only live on humans, so you cannot get them from pets or other animals.
How long will it be between infestation and the appearance of symptoms?
It depends how many adult lice are present at the initial infestation.
- If there are many adult lice that immediately begin biting, symptoms may be immediately noticeable.
- If there are only a few adult lice, it may take up to four weeks for symptoms to appear. This is because the adult lice must lay eggs and these eggs must hatch before the bites are noticeable.
What are the symptoms of a crabs infestation?
- Usually, a person with pubic lice first notices that they feel very itchy in the genital area.
- You may also notice small red or bluish spots where the lice are biting you.
- Some people notice small black lice droppings in their underwear or clothes.
- To confirm the diagnosis, live lice or nits must be found in the pubic hair.
What do lice look like?
Lice have three life stages: nit, nymph, and adult.
- Nits are the eggs that the adult female lice lay. These are attached to the hair shaft with a very strong cement like substance. They are oval-shaped, and are either white or yellow. It takes about seven days for a nit to hatch.
- Nymphs are the juvenile lice. They look a lot like mature lice, only smaller. They mature in about a week. Nymphs feed on human blood, which is what causes the itching.
- Adult Lice are sometimes hard to see because they can move pretty quickly. They are approximately 2-3 mm long and are tan or grayish-white. They have six legs. These also must feed on human blood, and if they fall off and no longer have access to human blood, they will die in a day or two.
How do I get rid of pubic lice?
Pubic lice are tenacious little creatures. It can be difficult to get rid of them. There are several treatment methods available.
The most common way to get rid of pubic lice is to use pesticide shampoos. These may cause very serious side effects and may not work due to the fact that over time, lice have become resistant to these pesticides. Natural solutions are available to you with no oside effects.