Plant essential oils for combating lice and eggs

Created on 06.06.16

A study investigating the chemical composition and the pediculicidal activity of natural essential oils provides evidence for effectiveness against both lice and eggs.

The new study by Yones et al., published in the April 2016 edition of the Journal of Parasitology Research evaluated the percentage of inhibition of hatch (PIH) by applying tested essential oil on 15 female head lice and another 10 nits.

Using the filter paper contact bioassay method, natural oils from spearmint, clove, cassia, thyme, eucalyptus, and anise were applied to head lice and nits and lice mortalities reported every 5 minutes for 180 minutes.

The findings revealed that spearmint oil was the most effective with a complete inhibition of emergence at 0.5 mg/cm2 while thyme, eucalyptus, and anise oils appeared to be effective adulticides.

The findings suggest that essential natural oils are successful in inhibiting nymph emergence and this implies that these oils are potential pediculicides for head lice control.

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