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Human ectoparasites



Begbugs are "bugs of the family Cimicidae, genus Cimex. They are flattened, oval, reddish insects which inhabit houses, wallpaper, furniture, and beds. C. lectularius, of temperate regions, is the common bedbug that attacks humans and is frequently a serious pest in houses, hotels, barracks, and other living quarters. Experiments have shown that bedbugs can transmit a variety of diseases, but they are not normal vectors under natural conditions."[1][2]

In 2005, bedbugs were reported in North America.[3] Bedbugs have been reported that are resistant to deltamethrin.[4]


Fleas are "parasitic, blood-sucking, wingless insects comprising the order Siphonaptera."[5]


Lice are "A general name for small, wingless, parasitic insects, previously of the order Phthiraptera. Though exact taxonomy is still controversial, they can be grouped in the orders Anoplura (sucking lice), Mallophaga (biting lice), and Rhynchophthirina (elephant-lice)."[6]

Pediculosis are 'lice of the genus Pediculus, family Pediculidae. Pediculus humanus corporus is the human body louse and Pediculus humanus capitis is the human head louse."[7]


Chiggers (Trombiculidae)

Chiggers are "a family of mites in the superfamily Trombiculoidea, suborder Prostigmata, which attack humans and other vertebrates, causing dermatitis and severe allergic reactions. Chiggers, red bugs, and harvest mites commonly refer to the larval stage of Trombiculid mites, the only parasitic stage of the mite's life cycle."[8] Chiggers are active in a diurnal pattern and also during summer and autumn.[9]


Scabies are "a contagious cutaneous inflammation caused by the bite of the mite Sarcoptes Scabiei. It is characterized by pruritic papular eruptions and burrows and affects primarily the axillae, elbows, wrists, and genitalia, although it can spread to cover the entire body."[10][11]

Regarding treatment, "Topical permethrin appears to be the most effective treatment for scabies" according to a meta-analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration. [12]


Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis may cause skin disorders in humans.[13][14] These may be treated by permethrin or metronidazole.





  1. Anonymous (2015), Bedbugs (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Goddard J, deShazo R (2009). "Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) and clinical consequences of their bites.". JAMA 301 (13): 1358-66. DOI:10.1001/jama.2009.405. PMID 19336711. Research Blogging.
  3. Hwang SW, Svoboda TJ, De Jong IJ, Kabasele KJ, Gogosis E. Bed bug infestations in an urban environment. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2005 Apr [date cited]. Available from
  4. Yoon KS, Kwon DH, Strycharz JP, Hollingsworth CS, Lee SH, Clark JM (2008). "Biochemical and molecular analysis of deltamethrin resistance in the common bed bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae).". J Med Entomol 45 (6): 1092-101. PMID 19058634.
  5. Anonymous (2015), Fleas (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  6. Anonymous (2015), Lice (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  7. Anonymous (2015), Pediculosis (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  8. Anonymous (2015), Chiggers (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  9. Clopton RE, Gold RE (1993). "Distribution and seasonal and diurnal activity patterns of Eutrombicula alfreddugesi (Acari: Trombiculidae) in a forest edge ecosystem.". J Med Entomol 30 (1): 47-53. PMID 8433345[e]
  10. Anonymous (2015), Scabies (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  11. Chosidow O (2006). "Clinical practices. Scabies.". N Engl J Med 354 (16): 1718-27. DOI:10.1056/NEJMcp052784. PMID 16625010. Research Blogging.
  12. Strong M, Johnstone PW (2007). "Interventions for treating scabies.". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (3): CD000320. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD000320.pub2. PMID 17636630. Research Blogging. Review in: Evid Based Nurs. 2008 Apr;11(2):47
  13. Hay R (2010). "Demodex and skin infection: fact or fiction.". Curr Opin Infect Dis 23 (2): 103-5. DOI:10.1097/QCO.0b013e3283360a18. PMID 20042975. Research Blogging.
  14. Zhao YE, Wu LP, Peng Y, Cheng H (2010). "Retrospective analysis of the association between Demodex infestation and rosacea.". Arch Dermatol 146 (8): 896-902. DOI:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.196. PMID 20713824. Research Blogging.