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Is It Bed Bugs Or Lice?

Is It Bed Bugs Or Lice?
Updated on 
March 27, 2017

Bed Bugs Vs Lice

From time to time we receive a call from a client who has something they think is lice but they aren’t quite sure. So what is the difference between head lice vs bed bugs and how do you tell the difference between bed bugs or lice in hair?

Difference Between Lice and Bed Bugs

While both head lice and bed bugs are parasites, they could not be more different from one another in many aspects of their life. We sometimes receive calls from clients who are seeing bugs that are mistaken for head lice, or saying they see lice in bed. When these clients call, we try to ask questions to discern what they are looking at, and if they are seeing bugs in hair other than lice. Over the years we’ve seen a variety of pictures of lice and bed bugs and various other insects, and in every situation, with bed bugs they are unmistakable. Let me explain.

lice tips adult head louse bed bug

Human head lice live on the human head. They need the warmth that the human head provides along with the food source they need to survive. Head lice are active at all times of the day, but can be more active at night. An infestation starts with either a single bug ready to lay eggs (nits), or 2 bugs that will eventually make more and more eggs. These eggs are laid on the individual strands of human hair, most often within ¼ inch of the scalp, and hatch within a week to 10 days. After they hatch they go through a few stages before they fully mature. In the first stages of life after they hatch, lice are called nymphs and spend their days getting nourishment from blood they get from the human scalp. During this phase, which lasts about a week, they are unable to reproduce. Once they reach the mature adult stage, they will begin to reproduce. Lice ultimately die within 30 days of hatching. 

lice tips lice life cycle nit nymph louse bug

These bugs are wingless and can appear translucent to brownish in color and do not stray from human heads as they cannot survive off of the human head for more than 24 hours. They also do not jump or fly and cannot live in furniture, clothing, or linens. Signs that you or a family member may have a head lice infestation include bugs on the head, itching, sensation of something crawling on the head, and live bugs or lice eggs being present in the hair. 

By checking your family routinely, (we recommend at least once a week), you will be able to catch an infestation early which will make a huge difference in the treatment process. If you’re wondering do head lice turn into bed bugs, rest assured, once a louse, always a louse. 

Bed bugs are dark brown or reddish colored bugs that live in furniture and are about the size of an apple seed. These creatures venture out mostly at night and feed off of blood from humans. The major difference between bed bugs and lice is that, unlike lice, bed bugs can live for a very long time without a human host and do so off of the human body. They are also incredibly difficult to get rid of. In most cases only an extensive, and expensive, visit from an experienced licensed exterminator will help you get rid of these resilient pests. Often, more than one visit is needed as bed bugs live in the cracks and crevices of furniture. Signs of a bed bug infestation include bites on the legs, back, or torso, black or brown debris or staining, mostly in the cracks of mattresses, linens and other furnithre, and sighting of one or more of these bugs. To prevent an infestation of bed bugs, it is recommended you be alert to the signs of the presence of bed bugs, especially when traveling. PestWorld.org - Bed Bug Travel Tips As with a lice infestation, early detection and appropriate treatment by a professional will ensure that they are completely eradicated the first time.

lice tips bed bug mattress furniture hotel louse nit

Call An Expert

At LiceDoctors, we cannot help you with a bed bug infestation, but we can tell you if you have lice or bugs mistaken for lice. We  are experts at getting rid of human head lice the first time. The incidence of regular lice and super lice is increasing and they are becoming more and more difficult to get rid of. Unlike bed bugs, getting rid of head lice does not require the use of harsh chemicals or a visit from an exterminator. Successful eradication of head lice simply entails removing all nits and bugs from the hair. When you call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537 an experienced and patient lice professional with the appropriate tools will come to your home to do lice removal and nit picking on everyone in the family. The treatment is all natural, effective in 99.6% of cases, and comes backed with a 30 day lice free guarantee. If you are having trouble battling the super lice, give us a call at 800-224-2537, or learn more about our lice removal treatment service now! You will be pleased that you did.

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