Pediculosis - Head Lice

(head lice infestation)

Pediculosis is an infestation of head lice, which infect the head and neck and attach their eggs to the base of the hair shaft. Lice move by crawling and cannot hop or fly. The lice feed on human blood, which can cause severe local itching. Head lice infestation is spread most commonly by close person-to-person contact. Dogs, cats, and other pets do not play a role in the transmission of human lice.

Both over-the-counter and prescription medications are available for treatment of head lice infestations.

General information

Pediculosis - head lice fact sheet, P-42078

Last Revised: March 28, 2017