Parasites - Lice - Pubic "Crab" Lice

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 pubic 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 12, 2019