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NOVA ScienceNOW

Bugs That Live on You

  • By Kate Becker
  • Posted 01.06.11
  • NOVA scienceNOW

From your head to your toes, your body is a veritable jungle of flora and fauna. Some are visitors, some are permanent residents, but all are enough to make the average person queasy. Whether we like or not, our bodies are perfect environments for the creepy and crawly. For hundreds of thousands of years, these animals have called our bodies home—or at least "food." This list isn't comprehensive, but it will give you a taste of the pests that are having a taste of you.

Launch Interactive

From bed bugs to eyelash mites, a jungle of insects and arachnids thrives on and around the human body.

Kate Becker is a researcher for NOVA and NOVA scienceNOW, and a frequent contributor to NOVA's blog.

Credits

Melissa Salpietra contributed to this slide show.

IMAGES:

(head louse)
Eye of Science / Photo Researchers, Inc.
(body louse)
CDC/Frank Collins, Ph.D., James Gathany
(eyelash mite)
Andrew Syred / Photo Researchers, Inc.
(tick)
CDC/Dr. Christopher Paddock, James Gathany
(human botfly)
Laboratory Identification of Parasites of Public Health Concern, CDC
(dust mite)
Andrew Syred / Photo Researchers, Inc.
(bed bug)
Janice Haney Carr, CDC
(scabies mite)
Eye of Science / Photo Researchers, Inc.

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