Killing Head Bugs With Essential Oils

You know that dreaded feeling; the moment you realize your child has a head full of bugs. Ahhhh! I secretly wished that we would be able to dodge that bullet as a family, like entirely. I mean, I wash my kids’ hair for goodness sake! How did this happen? killing lice with essential oils
Well, regardless of how clean we think we scrub their heads, it turns out bugs like a clean head. Go figure. This is what I found crawling through my four year old’s head. I could see it as I sat next to him eating my dinner. Nice right? In traditional mamma monkey fashion, I instinctively picked it off his head and started combing for more. When I found the second and third one, I started freaking out which led to a swift buzz cut.12485_10154347645530273_6653311468769641878_n
After we removed all of the live adults, I felt a bit better, but then it dawned on me that they lay eggs. Oh geeze! I didn’t have the first clue how microscopic those little devils could be, or how long it would take to kill them. (Newbie here.) As my husband turned to Facebook for advice, I turned to my Essential Oils Desk Reference; the encyclopedia of oils. Thankfully, there is a protocol and I had most of the oils listed for bugs. That’s when I started feeling some relief. I didn’t have to run to the store and buy a special shampoo, I already had an arsenal on my counter-top. AND, I didn’t have to worry that I was soaking my four year old’s brain with hazardous pesticides.

“The most common remedy for lice is lindane, (gamma benzene hexachloride), a highly toxic polychlorinated chemical that is structurally very similar to hazardous banned pesticides such as DDT and chlordane. It is so dangerous that Dr. Gary Sansfacon, head of Quebec Poison Control in Canada has requested that lindane be banned.”


What I appreciated about our Facebook community was that no one suggested we use the bug shampoo. Either they understand my level of crunchiness, or they understand the caution when using pesticides. Either way, they all had some really helpful solutions that were all natural and easy. Things like:

  • Running the stuffed animals through a hot dryer cycle
  • Put all of the bedding and pillows in a trash bag. Squeeze the air out and tie it tight. Leave this for a few days to suffocate the vermin.
  • Mayonnaise or Coconut Oil all over the head will suffocate them
  • Tea tree shampoo
  • Vacuuming the car and the cloth seats
  • Boiling all of the hair brushes and combs
  • Treating all members if the family (infested or not)
  • And the best- BUZZ CUTS
That flower pot sitting on the mattress is my diffuser from Young Living. It pumps essential oils and water into the air and can cover up to 1000 square feet.

Basically, I did all of these things, with the addition of essential oils. I vacuumed the car and then sprayed the cloth seats with oils. I also coated my sons’ heads with coconut oil and essential oils for the following 5 days. I ran my diffuser, (essential oils and water) in their bedroom to disinfect the mattresses. Only one son was infested, but they share a room so I treated both boys.

So which oils did I use? The Essential Oils Desk Reference recommends:

  • Melaleuca Alternifolia- otherwise known as tea tree oil. I didn’t have this single oil, but I did happen to have Melaleuca in a blend called Melrose. 

Melrose also contains rosemary, clove and Niaouli.

I keep this on hand for blemishes, skin conditions and ear aches. It’s also very effective for killing bugs!



  • Lavender- known as the Swiss Army knife of oils. It covers just about everything

Outdoor sneezing, all skin conditions, rashes, bug bites, minor burns, & sleep aid!




  • Geranium- I didn’t have this single on hand, but I did have the blend called Joy.

Joy has 10 singles in it, including geranium. It’s included in the Starter Kit and is commonly used to combat feeling blue. When you know what’s in your bottles, blends are helpful because more than likely you will already have what you need.


  • Cinnamon & Rosemary- these oils are combined in the blend called Thieves.

This blend is highly effective against viruses and bacteria of all sorts. I did dilute it with coconut oil when I applied it to my son’s head so that it wouldn’t burn.

Click here to read more about what Thieves did for my family.

Other essential oils listed: peppermint, nutmeg, & thyme. I didn’t have any of those, but I trusted that the ones I did have were enough. After I applied the oils diluted with coconut oil, I covered our heads with shower caps. For the first night, we all slept with this mixture and the shower cap on our heads. For the following days, I applied the oils during the day, 3-5 times per day.Lice2 Lice1He wasn’t overly excited to wear the shower cap, but once we all were fashionably sporting one, he warmed up to it.

After 3 days of treatment, all of the little eggs were gone. They turned black and died. I did have to pick them out one by one in mamma monkey fashion, but it felt good to know they were dying. On day 3, my good friend came over who is an elementary school nurse to check all of our heads. She didn’t find any eggs on anyone’s head. Success!  I have heard of stories where it takes weeks to get rid of head bugs, but not with the oils.

As the new school year approaches, I’m planning on stocking up on my oils. They are multifunctional and for me, it’s a no-brainer. I also have started thinking along the lines of prevention. There’s a few stories about kids attending parties where everyone walked away with head bugs except the ones with lavender on their scalps. It’s a natural deterrent, and Young Living makes a wonderful lavender shampoo. Perfect for the upcoming school year!5100 If you are interested in purchasing some for your family, feel free to send me an email and we can chat, or you can use my online order form. YL_ID_alt_full_color







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