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Lice Fact Sheet


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Lice Fact Sheet

  1. 1. DPH/OSH RecommendationsManaging the Presence of Lice & Other InsectsLice Fact SheetPossible Health Risks to StaffLice (Pediculus hanmanus capitis) are parasitic insects about the size of a sesame seed. Theycannot jump or fly and need human blood to survive. There are three types of lice the generalpublic may come into contact with: head lice, body lice and book lice.• Head lice must feed on human blood to survive. While on the head, they can survive 30 days. Exposure to head lice is usually through contact with an already infested person, sharing infested clothing, using infested combs and brushes, or lying in an infested bed.• Body lice live on the human body and feed on blood. Anyone that bathes regularly is at very low risk for body lice infestations. As with head lice, body lice cannot survive long without the warmth and blood of a human body.• Book lice are commonly found in organic material such as the pages of books. The presence of book lice on an individual is incidental. Book lice are not blood feeding. Book lice pose no health risk to personnel because they feed on organic materials found in books.Because of the short life span of head and body lice when off of the human body, Libraryemployees have a very low risk of infestation.Woorksite Protocols(1) If insects are observed on materials or surfaces notify the custodial staff immediately.(2) Custodians will use disposable long cuff nitrile gloves when handling and cleaning infested materials. If other staff are required to handle books or other materials contaminated with insects, disposable long cuff nitrile gloves will be provided by the Manager.(3) Custodial staff should vacuum observed insects off of infested materials. In addition to books, this will include tables, upholstered chairs, and carpeting.(4) As an added precaution, any table or non-carpeted flooring should be wiped down or mopped using an alcohol or chlorine based disinfectant or germicide.(5) Any affected clothing should be immediately washed and dried on high heat.