(redirected from delousing)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


common name for members of either of two distinct orders of wingless, parasitic, disease-carrying insectsinsect,
invertebrate animal of the class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda. Like other arthropods, an insect has a hard outer covering, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed legs. Adult insects typically have wings and are the only flying invertebrates.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Lice of both groups are small and flattened with short legs adapted for clinging to the host.

The sucking lice, of the order Anoplura, are external parasites of humans and other mammals, feeding on blood by means of their piercing-and-sucking mouthparts. The group includes the body lice and head lice, considered varieties of the same species, Pediculus humanus, and the crab, or pubic, louse, Phthirus pubis, named for its crablike appearance. A female sucking louse lays about 300 eggs, or nits, in her lifetime, cementing them to body hairs and underclothing. The larva resembles the adult; the life cycle takes about 16 days. Sucking lice infestations are common in crowded living conditions and where clothing is not changed or washed frequently. Body lice may transmit rickettsial diseases (see rickettsiarickettsia
, any of a group of very small microorganisms, many disease-causing, that live in vertebrates and are transmitted by bloodsucking parasitic arthropods such as fleas, lice (see louse), and ticks.
..... Click the link for more information.
) and bacterial infections such as relapsing fever; infection results from scratching the crushed louse or its feces into the skin.

The chewing, or biting, lice, of the order Mallophaga, have chewing mouthparts and feed on hair, skin, or feather fragments of the host. They attack birds, rodents, and domesticated animals. Although they do not actually puncture the skin, and thus are scavengers and not true parasites, they often multiply so rapidly that they irritate, weaken, and may even kill the host. The chicken louse, Menopon pallidum, if left uncontrolled, can be a major problem in poultry production. Chewing lice may produce 6 to 12 generations annually. The eggs hatch into rapidly developing young in which metamorphosismetamorphosis
[Gr.,=transformation], in zoology, term used to describe a form of development from egg to adult in which there is a series of distinct stages. Many insects, amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans, and fishes undergo metamorphosis, which may involve a change in habitat,
..... Click the link for more information.
 is incomplete, as in many parasites.

The book louse is a tiny, wingless, cosmopolitan insect that damages books by feeding on glue, paste, and paper. It resembles lice but is not related, belonging to the order Psocoptera. The aphidaphid
or plant louse,
tiny, usually green, soft-bodied, pear-shaped insect injurious to vegetation. It is also called greenfly and blight. Aphids are mostly under 1-4 in. (6 mm) long.
..... Click the link for more information.
 is sometimes called plant louse.

Lice are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
..... Click the link for more information.
, class Insecta, orders Anoplura and Mallophaga.


See bulletins of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.


(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for the apterous ectoparasites composing the orders Anoplura and Mallophaga.


1. any wingless bloodsucking insect of the order Anoplura: includes Pediculus capitis (head louse), Pediculus corporis (body louse), and the crab louse, all of which infest man
2. biting or bird louse any wingless insect of the order Mallophaga, such as the chicken louse: external parasites of birds and mammals with biting mouthparts
3. any of various similar but unrelated insects, such as the plant louse and book louse
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to delousing, which is the best way to prevent louse-borne diseases, antimicrobial drug therapy against bacterial agents may be important for eradicating reservoirs and preventing complications such as endocarditis in cases of B.
The event would seemingly refer to the armpit shaving during delousing, which would normally involve the removal of infested clothing, after which Boris still "itched" and Miller "scratched;' leading them to become "intimate:'
Farben, accepting their argument that they believed Zyklon B would be used as a delousing agent.
Additional secondary missions for these companies included supporting the theater Chemical officer with dry-cleaning, waterproofing, dyeing (often with camouflage patterns), fireproofing, mildew proofing, mothproofing (wool was used extensively in military clothing during World War II), insect repellent treatment, delousing, and sterilizing.
In Europe it was commonly used as a powdered delousing agent.
10) Betsey burned her scalp when she improperly applied a delousing salve to kill the imaginary vermin that she thought were crawling in her hair during a drug overdose.
46) The reason for this was that the admission routine was reasonably lengthy, entailing copious paperwork followed by a bath and delousing (if necessary), withdrawal of clothing and personal items, a detailed medical examination, issue of prison denims, induction briefing and allocation to cell.
234) He admitted to have inspected the proper workings of the delousing chambers at two camps, but he had never been to Auschwitz.
Two inmates brought an action against a sheriff, challenging a jail's policy of instructing new inmates to use delousing shampoo.
The lament followed an appearance on a popular radio programme, during which the singer called for a 'national delousing day' to rid Irish children of the dreaded infestation.
The millionaire songstress hit the headlines on Wednesday when she spearheaded a campaign to introduce a national day of delousing every three months to combat the problem of head lice in Irish children.
Delousing agents used on farmed fish mean that they also contain toxins.