Lice found in home

Subject: What’s that bug?
Location: Boston
March 8, 2014 10:02 pm
Hi, I live in Boston and have been living in my apartment for almost 5 years. I have never seen a bug like this before. I found 3 of them crawling on the outside of a plastic sweater bag, which was sealed. Then I found one crawling on the blanket near by. Then I also found a live and a dead one on my sock I was wearing just now. I was in NYC yesterday and took Amtrak. Today, I had a workshop in an office space in downtown Boston. Any idea what it is and/or where it might have come from? Do they travel together/multiply? If there are more, what can I do? Thanks!
Signature: TK, Bugged in Boston


Dear TK, Bugged in Boston,
The images you attached are of a Louse, but we cannot say for certain if it is a Human Louse or a species that prefers other prey, like birds or mammals.  Since you have found numerous individuals, we would wager that this infestation originated in your immediate vicinity, and that it is not the result of a recent trip.

Thanks for your response, Daniel. I have had 2 obviously bad nights of sleep since finding these, but still haven’t found any in my hair (fingers crossed). I found a couple more on the floor and on the bench in my kitchen yesterday morning, but none since. Is it safe to assume that these are the kind that prey on animals? I do have a mouse problem, so I am thinking that they are the carriers. If this is the case, any idea on what I can do to keep them out? Unfortunately, I am stuck with the mice until I move out, which is hopefully soon.

You can try taking a specimen to your local natural history museum to see if it can be identified.

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