Body Lice and Other Infestations: How to Get Rid of Them in Survival Situations

Body Lice and Other Infestations: How to Get Rid of Them in Survival Situations

Body Lice And Other Infestations


When it comes to survival situations, there are many challenges that we may face. One challenge that often gets overlooked but can have a significant impact on our health and well-being is dealing with infestations. In this blog post, we will be discussing one specific type of infestation – body lice. We will explore what body lice are, how they spread, and most importantly, how to get rid of them. Additionally, we will touch on other common infestations that you may encounter in survival situations.

What are Body Lice?

Body lice are parasitic insects that live on the human body and feed on blood. They are slightly larger than head lice and can be seen with the naked eye. Body lice lay their eggs, known as nits, in the seams of clothing, where they can survive for up to 30 days. Unlike head lice, which stay primarily on the scalp, body lice can be found on clothing, bedding, and even in the seams of furniture.

How do Body Lice Spread?

Body lice are primarily spread through direct contact with infested individuals or through contact with infested bedding or clothing. They can also be transmitted through close quarters, such as in crowded environments or during natural disasters where people are forced to live in close proximity to each other.

Signs and Symptoms

Some common signs and symptoms of body lice infestation include:

  • Intense itching, especially in the areas where lice are most commonly found (such as the seams of clothing or folds of skin).
  • Red bite marks or rashes, caused by the lice feeding on blood.
  • Presence of nits or lice on clothing or bedding.
  • Visible movement of lice on the skin.

How to Get Rid of Body Lice

If you find yourself dealing with a body lice infestation, here are some steps you can take to get rid of them:

Step 1: Isolate Infested Clothing

It is essential to isolate any infested clothing or bedding immediately. Place them in sealed plastic bags to prevent further spread of the lice. Remember, body lice can survive without a host for up to 7-10 days, so make sure to keep the bags sealed for at least that long.

Step 2: Wash and Heat-Dry

Wash all infested clothing and bedding in hot water, preferably above 130°F (54°C). High temperatures will kill both the lice and the nits. Afterwards, tumble dry on high heat for at least 30 minutes or iron with a high heat setting to ensure any remaining lice or nits are killed.

Step 3: Treat Personal Items

If you have personal items that cannot be washed and dried, such as shoes or non-washable bags, you can place them in a sealed bag and store them for at least 30 days. Body lice cannot survive without a human host for more than a month, so this will ensure they are eliminated.

Step 4: Personal Hygiene

Maintaining good personal hygiene is essential in preventing and treating body lice infestations. Regularly showering, washing your clothes, and changing your bedding can help prevent re-infestation.

Other Common Infestations

While body lice are a significant concern in survival situations, there are other common infestations that you should be aware of. These include:

Bed bugs

Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped insects that feed on the blood of humans. They are commonly found in bedding, mattresses, and furniture. Infestations often occur in crowded living conditions or places with high turnover, such as hotels or dormitories. To prevent and treat bed bug infestations, regular cleaning, vacuuming, and steam cleaning of infested areas are essential.


Fleas are small, wingless insects that are notorious for causing itchy bites on both humans and animals. They usually infest pets and can spread throughout the home. To treat flea infestations, focus on eliminating fleas from pets using appropriate topical treatments or flea collars. Additionally, regular vacuuming and washing of bedding and pet bedding can help control fleas in the environment.


Mosquitoes are flying insects that are known to transmit various diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever. In survival situations, where access to medical treatment may be limited, it is crucial to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Wearing long sleeves, using mosquito repellents, and sleeping under mosquito nets can help prevent mosquito infestations and the spread of diseases.

My 2 Cents

Dealing with infestations in survival situations can be challenging, but with proper knowledge and preparation, it is possible to overcome them. Remember, prevention is key. Regularly clean your surroundings, maintain good personal hygiene, and be vigilant for any signs of infestations. Insects like body lice, bed bugs, fleas, and mosquitoes are not just annoying; they can also pose serious health risks. By taking the necessary steps to prevent and treat infestations, you can ensure a safer and more comfortable survival experience.

Stay informed, stay prepared, and stay bug-free!