Pubic lice (or crabs) – similar to head lice, except living in the pubic hair of men and women – are not as common as they used to be. They are small insects that breed rapidly to cause itching and in some cases infection. They are passed on by contact – literally walking from pubic hair to the next when two pubic regions rub together, so it can be a sexually transmitted infestation, not a classic STD or STI! Infection rates used to be as high as 10%, but the pubic louse has a new enemy: bikini waxing.
Removing the louse’s habitat (hair) means that it has nowhere to go, so even if your partner has it, they won’t walk across to you. Effectively waxing is destroying their habitat and making the louse an endangered species. Waxing has grown in popularity since the 1960’s with 80% of students saying their remove some or all of their hair.
The female pubic louse only needs to mate once to be able to lay eggs every day for the rest of her life, the young lice feed off blood.