In an effort to prevent burning my children's heads with dangerous chemicals and pesticides during the dreaded annual lice infestation at school, I decided to check out a few natural alternatives for treatment and prevention.

Below I will list some of the treatments given to me by friends and family (I LOVE the old home remedies) and also some from internet research. You will be able to see what is needed, how to apply, and the pro's and con's.

*Remember, lice are very small (about 2-3 mm) and grey/white in color. The may look like flakes.

“Granny's Treatment”

Olive Oil
Metal Nit Comb
Apple Cider Vinegar

Coat hair completely with olive oil. Comb through with Nit comb and dispose of any little lice or eggs in a ziploc bag. Be sure to zip the bag up after each time you put one in. Massage in some more oil when finished and tightly cover the head with a shower cap, plastic bag, or swimming cap. In the morning wash hair normally, then rinse again with 1 tablespoon pure apple-cider vinegar and 1 cup water. Wait a few minutes and rinse again with shampoo. This will help kill nit and eggs. Repeat every couple days until no more lice or eggs are found.

“Tea Tree Methods”

Pure Tea Tree Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar or Water
Metal Nit Comb

Tea Tree oil has a pleasant smell and yet is very effective. The powerful oil can cause a reaction because it is very strong, so you must dilute the oil before use. It is also a good idea to test on skin before applying to a child's sensitive head. You may add Tea Tree oil to your laundry and bedding wash as well. (¼ oz of oil to your wash should be sufficient)

*Mix 1-2 tsp per cup of water or Apple Cider vinegar. Cover head in tight plastic for at least 15 minutes or overnight. Comb through in sections with comb, disposing of found nits and lice in a plastic bag.

*I've also heard of mixing a small amount of the oil with your shampoo, leave in for 15-20 minutes and rinse out, then do the same with your conditioner- leaving it in for just a few minutes before rinsing. Then comb through with your metal comb.

*It is also suggested that if you or your child is susceptible to dry skin, to mix Tea Tree oil with olive oil, applying to hair and scalp, cover with plastic overnight then comb through and wash in the morning.

Repeat the step you have chosen every 2 days until lice and eggs are gone.

“3-Oil Method”

Lavender oil
Geranium oil
Eucalyptus oil
Apple cider vinegar
Natural unscented body lotion
Fine tooth metal nit comb

Mix 2 drops of each of the above oils with one teaspoon of the body lotion. Rub into the scalp and let sit for 30 minutes, then comb through in sections. Rinse well and then rinse again with a mixture of 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar and 2 drops of each of the oils. Let that mixture dry naturally into the hair and scalp.

“No-Rinse Seed Treatment”

Nigella Sativa seed (aka fennel flower, nutmeg flower, Roman coriander, blackseed or black caraway) Apple cider vinegar

Use one cup of the apple cider vinegar and one cup of the Nigella Sativas finely ground seeds. Blend together, filter, and apply to head. No rinsing required.

So pick your method, or mix and match if you wish, but be certain to continue until there are no more signs of lice or nits. Wash bedding, pillows, stuffed animals and clothing in HOT water and dry on HIGH heat. Your clothes might shrink- but at least no more lice will be crawling around on them.

To clean mattresses and furniture it is suggested you use hot steam by means of a handheld steamer, steam cleaner or mop. These products produce heat at above the recommended heat setting that is effective in killing lice. Repeat the use of steam just as you do the treatment on the heads to prevent further infestation. Don't forget to vacuum!

Good Luck!

Author's Bio: 

Jessica Ruiz is the owner of, house cleaner, mother of two and owner of two pets. These articles and blogs are intended to educate and hopefully encourage more people to Go Green for home, health and happiness.