According to the Center for Disease Control, one of the primary symptoms of body lice is intense itching. A body rash may also occur, due to an allergic reaction from the insect's bite. Other symptoms include sores caused by itching, or thickened or discolored skin if the infestation has been going on for a long time, especially around the lower body, including the waist, groin and upper thighs.
The New York Times Health Guide also lists small, red bumps as another symptom. Itching may also be more prevalent around the waist and under the arms, or where clothing is tighter. Body lice are potentially dangerous and, according to the CDC, have been known to spread diseases such as epidemic typhus and trench fever. Such infestations are usually spread by contact with the body or clothing of an infested individual or sharing bedding that has been exposed to the lice. To diagnose body lice, a visual inspection is performed to locate eggs or insects around the seams of clothing. If one is still unsure about an infestation, the CDC recommends a visit to a health care provider. Treatment involves improving personal hygiene and washing all of the infested clothing and bedding materials in water that is above 130 degrees F. Sometimes a doctor will recommend treatment with a pediculicide; however, such treatments are usually not necessary if one follows the steps above.