Can Humans Get Horse Lice?

Horse lice? You bet it’s real! Horses can have lice just like people can. Those itchy, pesky bugs seem to be able to pop up everywhere! But, what are the differences between horses having lice and people having lice?


Can Humans Get Horse Lice?

Simply put: no, humans cannot contract lice from horses.  Thankfully, horses carry completely different strands of lice than humans.  Lice that live on horses cannot survive on a human body, so thankfully, you cannot get lice from your horse.

Horse Lice

There are two different kinds of lice that use horses as their hosts.  These are Haematopinus Asini (H Asini) and the Damalinia Equi (D Equi).  The H Asini is the “horse sucking type” and the D Equi is the “horse biting type.”

Horse Lice: Haematopinus Asini — H Asini feeds on blood via the roots of the horse’s fur and hair.  They are most typically found in the base of a horse’s tail, the base of a horses’ mane, or the feathers around a horse’s fetlocks. Horse Lice: Damalinia Equi — D Equi doesn’t live by sucking a horse’s blood, they live by eating a horse’s dander.  Because of this, they do move around and prefer to live where the horse’s fur is thinner and softer. 


H Asini and D Equi have nearly the same lifecycles. The mature lice (louse, s.) lay their eggs near the base of a horse’s fur.  From there, the baby lice (called nits) hatch about five to twenty days later.  

Why Horses Get Lice

It is a commonly held belief that horses contract lice through poor or unclean living conditions.  But, this is not necessarily true. While unclean living conditions (poorly maintained stalls, dirty or ...

The good news is, you can’t get lice from your horse! But, it is easy for your horse to get lice, so understanding what steps to take to prevent and treat it is very important.  I hope this article helped you understand horse lice and its implications


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