Peppermint Oil For Lice: Does It Kill Or Repel? [+ Alternative Sprays]

Can peppermint oil kill lice? Here is all you should know.

Head lice are terrible parasites that have become immune to a lot of treatments.

While a simple online search will turn out lots of results about possible treatments, only a handful of these are actually helpful to treatment.

Peppermint Oil And Lice

In other words, lice infestations can be controlled by a few of these treatments.

Now, a lot has been said about the efficacy of essential oils for the treatment of pest issues. This includes lice infestations. While such claims sound convincing, actual treatments prove otherwise.

READ: Dawn Dish Soap For Lice

Quite a lot of essential oil treatments have failed with lice problems as well as other pest issues.

Essential Oils: Repelling Than Killing

To have an idea of the efficacy of essential oil lice treatments such as peppermint oil, it’s important to note that these oils do more repelling than killing.

We’re talking generally about all pest types treated with essential oils like peppermint oil.

So, it’s highly unlikely that lice can be exterminated using peppermint oil.

Will Peppermint Oil Kill Lice?

Before now, our discussion has tended towards unraveling the extermination potentials of peppermint oil on lice.

The truth is; this oil has no such effect. In other words, peppermint oil WILL NOT kill lice. At best, it will repel or keep these parasitic pests at bay.

Even its repellent effect is in dispute among some users. Repellent treatments solely comprising peppermint oil have been administered with little to no results.

While this is a clear sign of inefficacy, it can be argued that the treatments administered weren’t properly done.

Simply put, ineffective or incorrect application methods may have been used, thus making treatments have little to no effect. Whether this is true or not isn’t the point.

Our goal of finding out whether peppermint oil will kill lice has been achieved.

Why Peppermint Oil Won’t Kill Lice

Peppermint oil, like most essential oils, aren’t considered effective lice treatments due to their non-toxic effect on these pests. Here, we can say that the reason why you get the results you get is that peppermint oil is simply not toxic to lice.

Even if it had any repellent effect on lice (which it hardly does), lice eggs are unaffected. These eggs will hatch and continue or worsen the infestation cycle.

So, it’s totally a waste of time to use a treatment that won’t give results.

Peppermint Oil For Lice: Alternative Essential Oils

There’s a strong belief amongst a large section of essential oil users that certain oils will resolve different types of pest issues including lice.

Such claims are even backed by lots of online articles in support of the efficacy of these oils. Since peppermint oil will do little or nothing in resolving your lice problem, is there a substitute?

While many articles will have you believe that essential oil treatments are reliable enough as standalone treatments, the reality is quite different. Tea tree oil has been promoted as a possible lice killer.

There’s a strong possibility that such may not be true.

Even when it kills fleas, the eggs remain unharmed. Also, not all fleas can be eradicated using tea tree oil or any other essential oil for that matter.

Why Peppermint Oil is thought to Kill Lice

Like most essential oils, peppermint oil is believed to repel or kill lice and other pests due to its strong minty smell. The longer these pests are exposed to the smell of this essential oil treatment, the more toxic it gets.

While this may sound a bit reasonable, actual tests have proven contrary.

Lice have survived long after being sprayed with peppermint oil. They might move from sprayed areas but never die due to peppermint oil application. Their eggs are even tougher in terms of immunity to certain treatments. As long as lice eggs remain on the scalp, peppermint oil treatments will do little to prevent them from hatching.

Looking Beyond Peppermint Oil For Lice Treatment

Quite a lot of people have been disappointed in using peppermint oil to exterminate lice.

You’ll hardly find persons completely satisfied using peppermint oil or other essential oils as their sole treatment for lice problems.

The continued disappointment faced by many makes it necessary to seek alternative measures.

  • Prescription Medication

According to the FDA, one of the best chances of dealing with lice issues is by using only medications prescribed by a health professional. Here, you’ll need to only follow instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Medications here include Malathion lotion 0.5%, and Ivermectin lotion 0.5%.

You may also be prescribed medications like Spinosad 0.9% topical suspension, and Benzyl alcohol lotion 5%. These should do an excellent job of killing lice and destroying their eggs.

However, symptoms of lice presence may persist after use. Under such conditions, you’ll need to seek further medical assistance.

  • Second-Line Treatment

Another reliable treatment alternative recommended by the FDA is the second-line treatment. Unlike prescription medication, this can be applied without the prescription.

However, it must only be used as instructed on the product label.

Lindane shampoo 1% is an organochloride that can be used when other treatments fail. You must be careful when applying this type of treatment as there are restrictions as to who this product can be used on.

Avoid treating pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with HIV infection, as well as persons with seizure disorders. Applying Lindane shampoo could further worsen certain health conditions.

It’s important to fully understand the safety instructions provided on the product label before use.

  • Are Over-the-Counter Medications Effective?

Not all over-the-counter medications have proven to be effective in killing lice.

However, it’s best when you go with FDA-approved treatments. These mostly have one or more active ingredients that have proven to be effective in killing lice and their eggs.

The active ingredients to look out for when buying over-the-counter lice medications include permethrin lotion 1%, and pyrethrins (mostly combined with piperonyl butoxide.

Since the goal is to have head lice exterminated, these should do an excellent job.

Peppermint oil will do little to nothing in resolving your lice problems. The use of this essential oil is an exercise in futility. Your best bet is to use proven treatments that work.

So, far, we’ve seen a number of these effective treatments that can provide you with significant results.

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