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Old Today, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Haiku
3,192 posts, read 2,246,275 times
Reputation: 4854

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So this is kind of embarrassing - I had a bad rash (around belt line, under arms) that I went to the dermatologist for. She took a look and found a louse walking across my stomach! She said I have body lice!

My wife and I are about 70, we live alone, live quiet lives, have a very clean house and we don't have any contact with kids or homeless people. We don't buy clothes or anything else for that matter from used clothing stores. We are active during the day gardening a lot, doing activities, but don't go out much at night. We haven't traveled recently or had visitors. No change in routine.

My wife does not have any signs of bug bites and we sleep in the same bed, but I have many bites, or at least red bumps. So we are totally floored - if the doc hadn't found a louse I never would believe that I have lice. The whole thing just does not add up. How did I get it? Why doesn't it spread to DW?

They say to get rid of it, have to wash all clothes, sheets, towels, etc in very hot water. Sounds easy enough. But we are wondering about pillows and mattress - throw out?

Anyone have any suggestions or comments on this? Can you get lice from a dog? I was playing with someone's dog at the beach the other day.
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Old Today, 02:22 PM
 
3,631 posts, read 3,418,319 times
Reputation: 9379
I have never seen, in over 25 yrs of working in healthcare in the US, or even heard of, anyone having body lice! Supposedly it only happens in homeless who have no access to showering and laundry.

So, if what she really saw was a body louse, this should be easy to take care of. Shower daily, wash all your clothing and bedding and towels frequently in hot water and dry on high heat until totally dry. If it were me, I'd do clean clothing and clean bedding every day. If you have a big comforter that would be damaged by washing, you can just put it in the dryer for an hour. It is not necessary to get a new mattress; however, for your own peace of mind, you might want to get a bug-proof mattress enclosure and a bug-proof pillow enclosure. The pillows could go into the dryer on high for an hour - that should kill anything on the pillows.

If you find a bug, save it in a plastic jar in case this problem persists. That way, it could be examined under a microscope to confirm that it is indeed body lice.

If this is indeed body lice, you got it from another person with body lice. The only way I can think that you would get it and not your wife is if you had different levels of frequency of washing clothing. You're right - it just doesn't make sense.

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/body/index.html
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Old Today, 02:36 PM
 
Location: South Florida
651 posts, read 1,045,593 times
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Perhaps you picked them up while shopping for clothes, sitting in a move theater or restaurant. It only takes one egg-laying female to get an outbreak going.

I'd run the pillows through the dryer and vacuum the bed, chairs, sofa and carpet. Do it all again a few days later.

Your wife may be using a lotion, fragrance or soap that makes it difficult for the lice to detect her. Maybe try some of that on yourself?
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Old Today, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Haiku
3,192 posts, read 2,246,275 times
Reputation: 4854
Quote:
Originally Posted by parentologist View Post
If you find a bug, save it in a plastic jar in case this problem persists. That way, it could be examined under a microscope to confirm that it is indeed body lice.
That's what the dermatologist did - she found a bug (on me) and put it on a slide and looked at it under a microscope. Got confirmation from another dermatologist also.

Just to emphasize - we have not gone out to movies, or to eat dinner, or much of anything since way before this happened. And I shower every day.

I shook hands with a day-laborer sort of a person who did some work for us. I wonder if that was it?
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Old Today, 05:19 PM
 
5,141 posts, read 6,354,309 times
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Lice can not live more than a few days without a living host. So if you want to be safe with your mattress, just don't sleep on it for a week. Any lice than are on there will die. You can wash and dry pillows.
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Old Today, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Wine Country
4,960 posts, read 6,048,287 times
Reputation: 8784
Tea tree oil is great for getting rid of lice. Give your dog a bath with it and get a nit comb. Depending on its coat it may be better to have him shaved. Bummer in the winter.
I raised four girls and we went through the lice dance more than a few times. Its rampant at schools. The tea tree oil worked the best.
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Old Today, 08:38 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,971 posts, read 19,360,991 times
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You can't get lice from a dog. The lice that live on people can't live on other animals, so dogs (and cats) can't spread it.
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Old Today, 09:37 PM
 
3,631 posts, read 3,418,319 times
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Sources say that lice can live for a week off a body, and it takes 9-12 days for eggs to hatch. So to be absolutely sure, one would have to stay away for at least 3 weeks. Apparently, all that is needed is washing and drying clothing and bedding frequently.
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