6 Home Remedies to Eliminate Lice

Pediculosis is a contagious external parasitic disease caused by the invasion of lice, mainly located on the human scalp. Although the condition does not involve health risks, preventing it from occurring is necessary. 
6 Home Remedies to Eliminate Lice

Last update: 17 January, 2019

Lice are tiny parasites between 2 and 3 millimeters long that vary in color but are generally gray or transparent. They feed on small quantities of blood from their hosts. So if you end up with lice, it’s necessary to know several remedies to eliminate lice once and for all.

Normally, they live on the human scalp, in the hair, behind the ears, in the eyebrows, and even in the eyelashes.

They spread through direct contact, occasionally due to the sharing of personal objects such as hats, caps, or hairbrushes.

Although lice live around 28 days, they can multiply quickly, laying 10 eggs per day.

The eggs, or nits, reach adulthood between 12 and 14 days. If the lice are not treated quickly, they can multiply, since their life cycle repeats every three weeks.

What are the symptoms?

  • A “tickling” sensation or movement in the hair
  • Itching or an urge to scratch
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Eczema or skin lesions due to constant scratching

Are lice dangerous?

Currently there are no known cases of diseases transmitted through lice, hence they are not considered a threat to public health.

However, secondary infections can occur in the skin because of scratching in the affected zone.

Did you know that lice can live for up to 30 days, and during that time each female is capable of laying about 200 eggs?

Check out this article: 7 Natural Ways to Quickly Get Rid of Lice and Nits

What should I do if I have lice?

Although it doesn’t represent a serious health issue, to eliminate lice requires treatment that includes family members and people in close contact with the affected person, and treatment must be repetitive.

Unfortunately, there is no approved medicine on the market today that completely eliminates lice eggs (nits) and lice.

In fact, we recommend using medicine at the same time as alternative treatments. 

For this reason we at Step to Health would like to share some of the most effective procedures and household remedies to use in head lice cases.

1. Eucalyptus Oil

The eucalyptus is a tree native to Australia that is now grown throughout the world. Its leaves are harvested and oil is produced through a process of distillation. In fact, the oil has many uses.

  • Among them is the use of eucalyptus oil as an antiseptic and astringent for wounds. For this reason, using it can diminish the effects of lice on the skin.

2. Olive Oil

This oil of vegetable origin, with multiple benefits for the human body, can function as an auxiliary when treating lice.

  • In this case, its thickness is its best quality, since it deprives lice of oxygen. When they are covered in oil, the lice cannot breathe, and they die from suffocation. Thus, you can eliminate lice successfully.

3. White vinegar

This liquid originates from the acetic fermentation of alcohol by means of bacteria.

Among its components is acetic acid, which helps dissolve the chitin in the exoskeletons of the lice, which helps them attach to hair.

You can combine the two remedies above to make vinegar and olive oil treatments. 


  • 2 cups of white vinegar (500 ml)
  • 2 cups of olive oil (500 ml)


  • plastic wrap
  • metal lice comb


  • Heat the vinegar to a temperature that can be tolerated by the infected person without burning them.
  • After moistening the head, soak the hair in the hot vinegar and massage for a few minutes, until most of the hair is covered.
  • Put the hair up in a bun or ponytail and wrap it in plastic wrap, as tightly as possible so that the vinegar’s smell and properties can work against the lice. The plastic wrap should not be removed for 1 hour.
  • Once an hour has passed, remove the plastic wrap and rinse the hair with hot water.
  • Heat the olive oil to a temperature that will not burn the skin and cover the hair with it.
  • Once again, put your hair up and wrap it in plastic wrap, and leave it for 1 more hour.
  • Next, remove the plastic wrap. Then, using the metal lice comb, remove the lice and nits from the hair carefully and thoroughly, by sections.
  • Once you find that you were able to eliminate lice completely, wash your hair normally with the shampoo of your choice, as many times as you feel are necessary.

Note: Some people only carry out the process with vinegar.

4. Tea Tree Oil

This is considered one of the best substances for getting rid of lice. 

Derived from the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree, which originates in Australia, this oil has been used since ancient times to treat skin issues.

It has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties, all very helpful trates when it comes to preventing lice infestation.

5. Parsley

This commonly used plant, originally from small islands in the Mediterranean Sea, has many medicinal properties.

Thanks to the beta-carotene it contains, parsley promotes healing and accelerates the skin’s natural wound repair process.

Some of the essential oils that parsley provides have antibacterial and antifungal properties that help heal skin infections and alleviate irritated skin.

Likewise, it helps eliminate lice infestations, diminishes irritation from bites and regulates the pH of the scalp. 

6. Lavender Oil

Lavender is a medicinal plant with a large variety of uses. In its essential oil form, it is used as an analgesic, cellular regenerator, and sedative.

However, one of its main weapons against lice is its odoriferous property, which acts as a repellent.

  • Applying lavender oil to the scalp will create a kind of shield against future lice invasions.

Other methods

Fine-tooth comb

Also known as a lice comb, the fine-tooth comb is an easy to use tool designed to catch nits and lice between its fine teeth.

This comb is meant to be used on wet hair.

  • The combing process is more effective when combined with hair conditioner and alcohol, which will allow the comb to slide through the hair easily, causing less damage to the hair.

No direct contact

Avoid head-to-head contact in places that require social contact, such as sandpits or swimming pools.


We recommend washing any clothing the infected person has worn a few days prior to treatment with hot water. Then, dry them on the hottest setting or iron them.

Lice and eggs cannot survive in temperatures over 128 degrees fahrenheit.

If the garments must be dry-cleaned, take them to the laundromat or store them in plastic bags for two weeks in order to avoid spreading the lice.

Personal items

You should avoid sharing the following items:

  • stuffed animals and dolls
  • hats
  • towels
  • personal hair care products

Clean furniture and floors

Avoid leaving hair from the infected person around house, as they may possibly contain nits.

Do not lie on furniture that the infected person may have touched recently.

Head lice survive for 1 or 2 days without human contact.

Nits, on the other hand, cannot hatch without human body temperature, but an entire week is necessary for them to die, unless they find a place with similar temperatures.

Note: Avoid fumigating with aerosols, since they can be toxic.

If you want to know more, here’s another great article: 5 Chemical-Free Solutions for Cleaning Your House

As you can observe, treatments to wipe out pediculosis require time and attention to detail. However, these alternatives are practical and natural.

We hope you find these recommendations helpful.

  • Gairí, J. M., et al. “Pediculosis de la cabeza.” Protocolos diagnósticos y terapéuticos en dermatología pediátrica 1 (2002): 75-86.
  • López Sánchez, Sebastián. “Guía práctica para el control de piojos.” (2008).
  • Ramírez, M. Soledad, y Marisa Torres. “Pediculus capitis: terapias disponibles.” Revista chilena de infectología20.2 (2003): 111-116.