10 Difference between Lice and Fleas (With Table)

Lice and fleas are external parasites of mammals and birds. They are wingless and this makes them not able to fly as a means of movement. As they are parasites they depend on their hosts for survival.

So, what is the difference between lice and fleas? The former can only crawl while the latter can jump from one host to another. Besides that, the lice can only live for a day or two without a host while the fleas can live up to a hundred days without a host.

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Comparison Table (Lice Vs Fleas)

characteristics lice fleas
Meaning It is an external parasite that can only crawl and depends on a host for survival. It is an external parasite that can jump from one host to another and does not entirely depend on the host for survival.
Movement It moves by crawling form one place to another. It moves by jumping from one host to another.
Lifespan It can live for about one month. It can live for about two or three months.
Size Small wingless insect. Small wingless insect.
Color Light white to yellow in color. Dark or almost black in color.
Infestation Lice spread through close contact. They spread to pets from a contaminated environment.
Survival Requires a host to survive. They can survive without a host for some time.
What they feed on They feed on skin debris. They feed on blood.
Reproduction Females may lay numerous eggs in a lifetime. Females lay thousands of eggs in a lifetime.
Mobility Attach themselves to individual follicles and tend to stay in the same spot. They migrate around.
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What Is Lice?

Lice are small wingless insects that are external parasites. They entirely need a host for them to survive. Their color ranges from white to yellow. It moves by crawling from one place to another. It has six legs and looks darker in persons with dark hair than in persons with light hair.

They feed on skin debris and they may lay numerous eggs and this makes them to breed at a high speed. They infest human hair through close contact with infected people or things such as pillows or seats.

They live up to one month but when there is no host for them to attach themselves then they may not live up to one month. They can be controlled by removing both dead and live lice from the surface by combing the hair for a long.

What Is A Flea?

A flea is a wingless insect that is an external parasite. It requires a host for survival but fleas can live up to a hundred days without a host. They have six legs and they move by jumping from one host to another. They are dark or almost black in color.

They mostly feed on blood so they have to jump from one host to another in search of blood. They attach themselves to the pet’s fur and this makes them difficult to be spotted. They migrate around, they do not stay at the same spot.

They spread to pets from a contaminated environment whereby if the fleas are at a place then the pets move to that area, they may jump from the ground the pet’s fur and stick there. They live up to two or three months and their female lays thousands of eggs that go through the four stages o become adults.

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They can be controlled by using chemicals and using powerful vacuums on floors and mattresses and around the pet’s houses.

Main Differences between Lice and Fleas

  1. Lice move by crawling while the fleas move by jumping from one host to another.
  2. Lice can only survive for two days without a host while the fleas can survive up to a hundred days without a host.
  3. Lice feed on skin debris while the fleas feed on blood.
  4. Lice spread by close contact with the infected people or surfaces while the fleas spread through a contaminated environment.
  5. Lice are light white to yellow in color while the fleas are dark or almost black in color.
  6. Lice harbor in human hair while fleas can harbor in pet beds, grass, and even carpets.

Similarities between Lice and Fleas

  1. Both are small wingless insects that bite and chew skin.
  2. They both can cause hair loss, itching, and bacterial infections.
  3. They can transmit tapeworms.
  4. They are active at all times.
  5. Their itching causes red marks.

FAQs

Are fleas and lice the same thing?

No, they are not. Lice have a color that ranges from light white to yellow while the fleas are dark or almost black in color. The two insects move differently hence they are not the same thing.

Can fleas live in human hair?

There is a species of fleas that can live in human hair. The species is called Pulex Irritans. This is because the fleas feed on blood so they can harbor in human hair and get accessed to human blood.

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What causes head lice to begin?

It results from the direct transfer of lice from the hair of one person to the hair of another. They do not carry bacterial or viral infections. They do not come as a result of poor personal hygiene.

How do you get rid of lice fast?

Wash any lice-infested item in hot water or placing the item in an air-tight plastic bag and leaving it for two weeks to kill the lice. Vacuum floors and furniture where the lice may have fallen.

How do you get rid of fleas?

You can get rid of fleas by using a powerful vacuum on floors, employ a steam cleaner for carpets, wash all bedding in hot water, and use chemicals to treat.

Comparison Video

Summary

Lice and fleas are both small wingless insects and they depend on hosts to survive. They both have an itching effect and may cause discomfort to the host. However, the insects are slightly different in their appearance and the way they move. The lice are white or yellow in color and the fleas are dark or almost black in color in color. Lice crawl from one place to another while the flea jumps from one place to another. Both are not harmful to human beings as they do not carry any bacterial or viral diseases.

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