Infestation - Related Links


For other uses, see Infestation (disambiguation).
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 B65-B88.9
ICD-9 120-129, 132-134
NCI Infestation
Patient UK Infestation

Infestation is the state of being invaded or overrun by pests or parasites.[1] It can also refer to the actual organisms living on or within a host.[2]


In general, the term "infestation" refers to parasitic diseases caused by animals such as arthropods (i.e. mites, ticks, and lice) and worms, but excluding those caused by protozoa, fungi, and bacteria.[3]

External and internal

Infestations can be classified as either external or internal with regards to the parasites' location in relation to the host.

External or ectoparasitic infestation is a condition in which organisms live primarily on the surface of the host (though porocephaliasis can penetrate viscerally) and includes those involving mites, ticks, head lice and bed bugs.[4]

An internal (or endoparasitic) infestation is a condition in which organisms live within the host and includes those involving worms (though swimmer's itch stays near the surface).

Medically, the term "infestation" is often reserved only for external ectoparasitic infestations[5] while the term infection refers to internal endoparasitic conditions.[6]


  1. ^ "infestation" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ "Infestation - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". 
  3. ^ Harvard Medical School; Anthony L. Komaroff (28 December 2004). Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. Simon and Schuster. pp. 889–. ISBN 978-0-684-86373-3. Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Bed Bug Information". 
  5. ^ "Bedbugs". Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  6. ^ Leland S. Shapiro; Leland Shapiro (2005). Pathology and parasitology for veterinary technicians. Cengage Learning. pp. 111-. ISBN 978-1-4018-3745-7.