Lice Life History and Zoonoses

Life History

Lice can use birds or mammals as a host.  They lay their eggs (nits) on the host’s hair or feather shafts at a specific distance from the host’s body to ensure the perfect incubation temperature. Pouch lice can cling to the mouths of waterfowl, mainly pelicans, and can withstand many harsh circumstances.



Zoonosis risk: low.

Lice may pass on bloodborne illnesses by biting an infected host then biting a new, uninfected host.