Lice vs Crabs: Difference and Comparison

Lice and Crabs are two types of insects that happen to take place in the human body. They belong to the Phthiraptera species. There are about 5,000 variants of Phthiraptera.

Generally, they feed themselves by consuming human blood, and there is some specific area they live in.

Lice and Crabs can not fly or walk in general, but the only way to come in contact with such insects is by physical touch from the other person who might carry such insects.

Key Takeaways

  1. Lice are small, wingless insects infesting human hair, while crabs (pubic lice) specifically target the pubic region.
  2. Lice infections occur through direct contact or sharing personal items, but crabs spread primarily through sexual contact.
  3. Treatment for lice includes over-the-counter shampoos and prescription medications, whereas crabs require prescription creams and lotions.

Lice vs Crabs

Lice are a parasitic insect that infests the scalp and hair, and they are small, wingless insects that are gray or brown in color. Crabs infest the pubic areas and are larger and have distinctive crab-like claws.

Lice vs Crabs

The louse is a small insect that lives in our head portion, and the area where it stays itches a lot as they suck blood from that area for its living.

The average measurement of lice is about 2.1 mm to 3.3 mm in length.

On the other hand, if a person notices some discomfort and itchiness in their genital areas and sees some small insects, then they are addressed to be Crabs.

The size of a Crab is very tiny, and hence it measures around 1.1 mm to 1.8 mm in length.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLiceCrabs
Survival Time After the Separation of HostAn adult head lice survive for about 24 hours after it gets separated from its host. Within a period of 24 to 48 hours from the host, the crabs tend to die.
InfestationAbout 37% of infestation is seen for the head lice. The infestation of crabs is comparatively lesser with a rate of 2%.
Number of Eggs per DayOn average, a female louse lays about six eggs per day. In crabs, only three eggs are laid daily.
ColorThe lice are light grey. Crabs happen to be light brown.
AppearanceThe average appearance of head lice is fat and a bit elongated. Crabs are shorter and comparatively thinner than head lice.

What is Lice?

In simple words, lice or head lice refers to those small insects that are present in the human body, and therefore lice take place in the head portion.

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Lice are irritating since it causes some itchiness in the head. Head lice live on the blood that they suck from the head.

And the itchiness and discomfort are caused because of their movement or when they suck blood. Generally, head lice infest by 37%. They are light grey, and hence it is slightly difficult to identify them in the hair.

The normal measurement of head lice is about 2.1 mm to 3.3 mm. Also, it has been determined that a female louse is bigger than the average male lice.

When an adult head lice get separated from its host, it can not survive more than 24 hours. This is because of the cycle, but adult lice live for about 28-30 days.

The symptoms by which one can find that they have lice are if the person feels severe itchiness all the time, discomfort, blood, etc.

Such insects can only come via head-to-head contact with the opposite person, usage of other towels and combs, etc.

Therefore, you should not share some personal things with anyone. Maintaining hygiene, and medicated shampoos, soaps, etc. can only cure this problem.


What is Crabs?

Crabs are tiny insects that are light brown. Crabs are blood-sucking insects. The commonplace where we can detect crabs is the genital areas such as armpits, pubic region, chest hair, legs, etc.

Crabs are so tiny that we can not easily identify them, but if we feel itchiness or discomfort in such areas and can find small insects, then it is called crabs.

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The general life cycle of crabs is estimated to be 28-30 days, but if it gets separated from its host, it dies within 24 – 48 hours.

Generally, such insects are spread during sexual acts. And it can only move via hair or skin. It measures about 1.1 mm to 1.8 mm, therefore, it can be identified in a single go.

Also, it was noticed that crabs lay about three eggs a day and specifically on the hair shaft of the genital areas.

One can feel very irritated and itching almost all the time. Therefore, one should immediately take against it if detected before making the situation more worse or spreading to others.

It can even create rashes or infections. Hence, immediately consult a dermatologist who can prescribe some medications to get rid of crabs.

opilio crabs 1

Main Differences Between Lice and Crabs

  1. An adult louse can only survive for 24 hours after the separation from its host; on the other hand, after the separation of the host and the adult crabs, it can die within 24 to 48 hours.
  2. It is noticed that only 37% of head lice infest, and on the other hand, only 2% out of 100% infests in crabs.
  3. Per day, about six eggs are laid by the head lice, and on the other hand, crabs lay comparatively lesser eggs than head lice, and that is three eggs per day.
  4. Usually, head lice are noticed to be in a light color; on the other hand, the light brown insects in genital areas are represented as Crabs.
  5. The shape of head lice is flat and elongated; on the other hand, crabs have a smaller appearance.
Difference Between Lice and Crabs

Last Updated : 26 June, 2023

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