Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Lice From Birds
Name: Theo
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
I got some kind of lice from a birds nest in my window. i just bought some treatment and have applied it. The odd part is that the lice were everywhere. facial hair, chest,back head you name it. i am Afro-American so i don't have much hair to start with but the lice didn't seem to mind. What kind of bugs were/are they? I have washed everything i can, i was also wondering if cold (i have a large deep frezer) will kill them and there eggs?



Replies:
Please NOTE: I replied to Theo to see a doctor soon. I'm also sending this out just in case you may have information about this subject.


I second the advice, which I assume has been followed, to see a doctor. The critters are, simply, bird lice, there are many kinds and nests are almost always full of them. Usually they are not a problem for people but as you have unfortunately found they can move to people given the opportunity. What were you planning to put in the freezer? You should not handle the nest at all, except perhaps to move it out of your window. Freezing might kill the lice, or maybe not, I'm not sure, but certainly will not harm the eggs. Hot water washing SHOULD get rid of them from your clothes etc., with bleach if that is possible for the items being washed. Good luck

John Elliott



Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory