Human Ectoparasites: Types, Treatment And Prevention

Table of contents:

Human Ectoparasites: Types, Treatment And Prevention
Human Ectoparasites: Types, Treatment And Prevention

Video: Human Ectoparasites: Types, Treatment And Prevention

Video: Human Ectoparasites: Types, Treatment And Prevention
Video: Parasites: Protozoa (classification, structure, life cycle) 2023, May

Parasites are organisms that exist thanks to their hosts, feeding on their cells and blood. Human ectoparasites parasitize on external organs or on the surface of the skin. This group is represented by lice, bugs, fleas, ticks. Feeding on human blood, they violate the integrity of the skin. The presence of ectoparasites is easily detected, because their presence causes such unpleasant symptoms as: pain during a bite, wounds, burning of the skin.


  • 1 Classification

    1.1 Lice

  • 2 Methods of disposal
  • 3 Temporary ectoparasitic insects

    • 3.1 Eliminating the tick
    • 3.2 Fleas
    • 3.3 Wool-eaters (Vlase-eaters)
  • 4 Prevention


There are permanent and temporary ectoparasites. Species directly depend on the form of their life in the external environment.

Most of the ectoparasites are arthropods. They are attached to the host's body due to the available special devices, which are special hooks and claws or thorns on the subcutaneous tissue. Many parasites represent the class of arachnids and insects, but there are other types, for example, the leech.


Lice are permanent blood-sucking ectoparasites of humans. These small insects are not able to withstand fasting, so every day they feed on the host's blood due to the mouth organ, which is able to pierce the human skin.

Based on their ecological niche, lice are subdivided into:

  • on body lice that live in clothes;
  • on head lice existing in the scalp. In particular, their habitat is hair with a round section (beard, hair on the head, mustache);
  • ploshchitsy (pubic lice) - parasitize in the pubic region, on the genitals, in the anal area, their appearance is possible in the armpits or on the hairy chest in men. They are unable to exist on the scalp due to their limbs, which are adapted to be held only on the hair of a triangular section.

The life activity of ectoparasitic insects of this suborder can be up to 45 days. In addition, the female of the parasite can lay more than 10 eggs every day.

Lice spread rapidly, causing a disease called head lice. Parasites are dangerous to humans because they carry infectious diseases, the most serious of which is typhoid.

Disposal methods

The main source of infection is contact with sick people. This disease is not spread by pets. Ectoparasites adapt perfectly to the environment, gradually getting used to one or another poison. Lice should be removed in several stages:

  • elimination of parasites;
  • thorough combing of hair to remove nits.

When resorting to traditional medicine, it should be borne in mind that it will not be possible to exclude ectoparasites on your own in one day.

The most effective folk remedies are hellebore water, table vinegar with a concentration of 9%, diluted with ordinary water in a 1: 2 ratio, an onion-garlic mask, tar soap

Temporary ectoparasitic insects

Temporary insects are those that sit on the human body for eating (the family of ixodid ticks, bugs, mosquitoes, horseflies). What danger to humans is the attack of these insects?

Ectoparasites carry serious infectious diseases: encephalitis, tick-borne borreliosis, malaria, dengue fever and others. Determining their presence is rather difficult, since the first signs are similar to the manifestations of acute respiratory infections. Insect bites can cause allergies, especially bees, wasps and midges. When scratching the affected area, saliva containing toxins can provoke skin diseases (eczema, dermatitis).

Ectoparasites are arachnids mites. Unlike mosquitoes and midges, which can be easily removed from the skin, ticks must be removed following certain rules.

Eliminating the tick

A dangerous arachnid creature must be eliminated by the following methods:

  1. If paraffin or vegetable oil is applied to the tick, the ectoparasite will pull out its proboscis due to lack of oxygen.
  2. A dangerous bloodsucker should be eliminated only in a medical institution.

The head of the tick poses the greatest threat, since it is in it that the virus is localized, which enters the body through saliva. For this reason, any mechanical action on the body of an ectoparasite can accelerate the process of infection. It is forbidden to squeeze or remove the tick in parts. Any part of the ectoparasites must be removed from the host's body (claws, suckers).


There are a huge number of species of these blood-sucking arthropods. They represent wingless insects, the body of which is flattened from the sides. The flea head is equipped with a piercing mouth organ. It has three pairs of legs, of which one pair (the last) is the longest and is intended for jumping. Fleas are dangerous because they are transmitted from person to animals and in the opposite order. Black crumbs, being the remnants of blood digested by fleas, indicate the presence of parasites.


Fleas are the most offensive in spring and summer, it is at this time of the year that animals experience great discomfort from them: itching with insect bites, the formation of painful wounds, infection with endoparasites (internal parasites that live in internal organs), many infectious diseases, including plague, dangerous to people. Fleas can survive for up to 2 years. They live and lay eggs in rodent burrows, garbage, in animal hair. The worm-like larvae are white in color.

Wool-eaters (Vlase-eaters)

The most common ectoparasite of domestic animals is the louse. The insect has a large head, a flattened yellow-gray body. Its maximum length is two millimeters. Ectoparasites reproduce very quickly. The vital activity of adults outside the wool does not last long, because their food products are wool and skin scales. Due to their thermophilicity, wool beetles do not live on human skin. Vlasoids carry a lot of infections that pose a threat to the life of the animal, including: infectious anemia and tapeworm infection.


A set of sanitary and hygienic measures must be observed, that is:

  • get vaccinated;
  • carry out routine disinfection of living quarters;
  • undergo a systematic, monthly, preventive treatment of animals with specialized sprays;
  • adhere to hygiene standards for keeping pets and living conditions;
  • examine the animal after each walk.

Popular by topic