Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content
public lice

Adult pubic lice are 1.1–1.8 mm in length. Pubic lice typically are found attached to hair in the pubic area but sometimes are found on coarse hair elsewhere on the body (for example, eyebrows, eyelashes, beard, mustache, chest, armpits, etc.).

Pubic lice infestations (pthiriasis) are usually spread through sexual 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 pubic lice infestations.

Image: Pictures of pubic "crab" lice. The vernacular name comes from their crab like claws and body shape. Credit: PHIL, DPDx.

  • Page last reviewed: September 24, 2013
  • Page last updated: September 24, 2013
  • Content source:
    • Global Health - Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria
    • Notice: Linking to a non-federal site does not constitute an endorsement by HHS, CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the site.
Top