How to Kill Lice with Bug Zapper

Lice can be very hard to control and eradicate. Many times it takes expensive shampoos and washes to eventually get rid of head lice. With our extremely powerful 2400 Volt Bug Zapper, you can kill lice instantly with one zap. Our specially designed and patented bug zapper will kill lice upon contact, simply by running it up and down your bed or infected area. Most bug zappers you see in your local stores, are not nearly strong enough to handle killing lice and other insects. With our bug zapper, you will hear distinct popping and crackling, knowing the instant the tiny pets are being eradicated. 

What is Lice?

Lice is the common name for members of over 3,000 species of wingless insects of the order Phthiraptera; three of which are classified as human disease agents. They are obligate ectoparasites of every avian and mammalian order except for monotremes (the platypus and echidnas), bats, whales, dolphins, porpoises and pangolins.

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Lice Biology

Most lice are scavengers, feeding on skin and other debris found on the host's body, but some species feed on sebaceous secretions and blood. Most are found on only specific types of animals, and, in some cases, on only a particular part of the body; some animals are known to host up to fifteen different species, although one to three is typical for mammals, and two to six for birds. For example, in humans, different species of louse inhabit the scalp and pubic hair. Lice generally cannot survive for long if removed from their host.

A louse's color varies from pale beige to dark gray; however, if feeding on blood, it may become considerably darker. Female lice are usually more common than the males, and some species are even known to be parthenogenetic. A louse's egg is commonly called a nit. Many lice attach their eggs to their host's hair with specialized saliva; the saliva/hair bond is very difficult to sever without specialized products. Lice inhabiting birds, however, may simply leave their eggs in parts of the body inaccessible to preening, such as the interior of feather shafts. Living lice eggs tend to be pale white. Dead lice eggs are more yellow.

Lice are exopterygotes, being born as miniature versions of the adult, known as nymphs. The young moult three times before reaching the final adult form, usually within a month of hatching.

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Ecology

Lice are optimal model organisms to study the ecology of contagious pathogens since their quantities, sex-ratios etc. are easier to quantify than those of other pathogens. The ecology of avian lice has been studied more intensively than that of mammal lice.

A few major trends

The average number of lice per host tends to be higher in large-bodied bird species than in small ones.
Louse individuals exhibit an aggregated distribution across bird individuals, i.e. most lice live on a few birds, while most birds are relatively free of lice. This pattern is more pronounced in territorial than in colonial more social bird species.
Host taxa that dive under the water surface to feed on aquatic prey harbor fewer taxa of lice.
Bird taxa that are capable of exerting stronger antiparasitic defense such as stronger T cell immune response or larger uropygial glands harbor more taxa of Amblyceran lice than others.
Temporal bottlenecks in host population size may cause a long-lasting reduction of louse taxonomic richness. E.g., birds introduced into New Zealand host fewer species of lice there than in Europe.
Louse sex ratios are more balanced in more social hosts and more female-biased in less social hosts, presumably due to the stronger isolation among louse subpopulations (living on separate birds) in the latter case.

A few effects of lice infestation upon the host

Lice may reduce host life expectancy.
Lice may transmit microbial diseases or helminth parasites.
Ischnoceran lice may reduce the thermoregulation effect of the plumage; thus heavily infested birds lose more heat than other ones.
Lice infestation is a disadvantage in the context of sexual rivalry.

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Lice Classification

The order has traditionally been divided into two suborders, the sucking lice (Anoplura) and the chewing lice (Mallophaga); however, recent classifications suggest that the Mallophaga are paraphyletic and four suborders are now recognized:

Anoplura: sucking lice, occurring on mammals exclusively
Rhynchophthirina: parasites of elephants and warthogs
Ischnocera: mostly avian chewing lice, however, one family parasitizes mammals
Amblycera: a primitive suborder of chewing lice, widespread on birds, however, also live on South-American and Australian mammals

It has been suggested that the order is contained by the Troctomorpha suborder of Psocoptera.

Lice in humans

Humans host three different kinds of lice: head lice, body lice, and pubic lice. Lice infestations can be controlled with lice combs, and medicated shampoos or washes.

Human lice and DNA discoveries

Lice have been the subject of significant DNA research in the 2000s that led to discoveries on human evolution. The three species of sucking lice that parasitize human being belong to two genera: Pediculus and Phthirus. head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis), body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis), and pubic lice (Phthirus pubis). Human head and body lice (genus Pediculus) share a common ancestor with chimpanzee lice, while pubic lice (genus Phthirus) share a common ancestor with gorilla lice. Using phylogenetic and cophylogenetic analysis, Reed et al. hypothesized that the lice genera Pediculus and Phthirus are sister taxa and monophyletic. In other words, both genera descended from the same common ancestor. The age of divergence between Pediculus and its common ancestor is estimated to be 6-7 million years ago and matches the age predicted by chimpanzee-hominid divergence. Because parasites rely on their hosts, host-parasite cospeciation events are likely to occur.

For example, genetic evidence suggests that our human ancestors acquired pubic lice from gorillas approximately 3-4 million years ago. Unlike the genus Pediculus, the divergence in Phthirus does not match the age of host divergence that likely occurred 7 million years ago. Reed et al. propose a Phthirus species host-switch around 3-4 million years ago. While it is difficult to determine if a parasite-host switch occurred in evolutionary history, this explanation is the most parsimonious (contains the fewest number of evolutionary changes).

Additionally, the DNA differences between head lice and body lice provide corroborating evidence that humans using clothing 72,000 +/- 42,000 years ago. Human head louse and body louse occupy distinct ecological zones. Head lice live and feed on the scalp, while body lice live on clothing and feed on the body. Because clothing lice require clothing to survive, it is thought that this date roughly estimates the introduction of clothing in human evolutionary history.

The mitochondrial genome of the human species of body lice (Pediculus humanus humanus), the head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) and the pubic louse (Pthirus pubis) is fragmented into a number of minichromosomes. This fragmentation appears to have been present for at least 7 million years. The body louse evolved from the head louse ~107,000 years ago and since body lice require clothing to survive in the absence of thick body hair, this latter date has been suggested as the approximate time when humans began to wear clothing, perhaps as adaption to some groups of humans having moved to cooler climates than those of Africa.

Analysis of mitochondrial DNA in human body and hair lice reveals that greater genetic diversity existed in African than in non-African lice. Human lice can also shed light on human migratory patterns in pre-history. The dominating theory of anthropologists regarding human migration is known as the Out of Africa Hypothesis. Genetic diversity accumulates over time and mutations occur at a relatively constant rate. Because there is more genetic diversity in African lice, it can be assumed that lice (and their human) existed in Africa before anywhere else.

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