Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bugs in my hair



Since the end of July I have had bugs in my hair. I have tried everything which is used for lice to get rid of them. They will not stop multiplying. I do not know what to do to get rid of them. I have seen a doctor and he prescribed malithion (sp). I can only get them out of my hair by combing. Very distressing!!  Any idea how to irradiate?!   Thank you!! I am from Central illinois, USA.

Dear Cynthia - These are leafhoppers in the family Cicadellidae. These are strictly plant feeders that accidentally got in your hair; they will not infest or cause harm to you in any respect and you need do nothing other than routine washing/brushing your hair. At this time of year, some species become extremely abundant; I often raise clouds of them while mowing our lawn. Although some species can be serious plant pests, they simply are nuisance pests as far as humans are concerned.
Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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