Technically the answer to that is yes. Practically speaking if the lice are on your head, you would need to apply an oil, like olive oil, to the hair and leave it on for at least 8 hours. You obviously cannot submerge the head in water for 8 plus hours in order to drown them or you will drown, as well! Some studies even show that head lice can survive if the lice are immersed in water for 24 hours! However, LiceDoctors has incorporated into our lice treatment a plan that does drown the lice without requiring you to have your head under water for 24 hours!
CAN LICE DROWN?
Can you drown head lice in bath water, perhaps while taking a long soak? Sadly, no. The amount of time you spend in the bath wouldn't kill lice. But can head lice drown at all? The answer is yes. LiceDoctors patented lice treatment plan includes adding olive oil to the hair. The oil loosens the nits and immobilizes the bugs. During this time, your technician is combing out the infestation and then handpicking the remaining nits and head lice.
Upon completion of that task, she will give you an after-care plan that you will do on your own that simply involves sleeping with the oil a few times. During this phase of the treatment, if there are any head lice that were too small to be seen on the day of the treatment, the oil will drown them. These parasites can only keep their breathing apparatus closed for less than 8 hours. At that point, the breathing hole opens and the oil drowns the head louse. This is the most effective and safest lice removal process to get rid of a head lice infestation.
You may wonder does chlorine kill lice and if so, is it a good idea to try to drown head lice in a swimming pool. Head lice are immune to the effects of most chemicals including chlorine. You won't be able to drown either adult head lice or nymphs in a pool without staying under water for over 8 hours (don't try that!). So can you drown lice? The human head louse is a hardy creature and the only way to kill it is to drown it on the head with oil or physically remove it from the hair.
CAN YOU DROWN EGGS?
You absolutely cannot drown head lice eggs. They have a thick coating around the outside that protects the baby bug that is growing inside. Nothing penetrates the shell of the egg (nit) so you will not be able to drown it. The only way to affect eggs is to remove them from the hair. To do that you must either comb them out with a high quality metal lice comb or slide them off the hair strands with your fingers. This takes practice and expertise as these nits are small and camouflage in the hair.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DROWN LICE IN WATER?
As we have explained there is no practical way to drown lice in the water. This is simply an impractical lice removal process. If the lice are immersed in water, it would take at least 8-24 hours for them to die, possibly even longer. Since no one can safely have the lice immersed for that long, this is not the way to try drowning lice nor is it an effective lice treatment. Rather than trying this or other home remedies, we suggest that you apply a viscous product, like olive oil, to the hair. Leaving it on the hair for several hours is the only effective way to drown lice.
DO SUFFOCATION METHODS WORK TO KILL LICE
As we have ruled out drowning head lice in water, we need to focus on a lice treatment plan that works and that is using a viscous substance and saturating the hair with it. In order to drown the head lice you need to make sure that the hair is soaked through with the oil. If you are applying this to the head of a child before bedtime, be sure to put an old towel across the pillow to soak up any oil.
Other methods used to get rid of head lice via suffocation include adding conditioner, coconut oil, mayonnaise, or tea tree oil. These have varying degrees of success and come with potential side effects or difficulty implementing. For example, some people are allergic to tea tree oil and other home remedies. Mayonnaise dries quickly and while it can be effective to treat lice because it is thick, it is one of those lice treatments that is difficult to work with on the human head.
The truth is that lice can hold their breath for at least eight hours. That eliminates the possibility of drowning them in a swimming pool or bathtub. You're kind of on the right path, but there's a big difference between asking, will lice drown in water, and do head lice drown in anything?
If you apply a viscous oil to the hair, it will eventually suffocate the live bugs, but you still have a problem with their eggs. Each bug lays 6 -10 eggs a day up to 30 days. Nothing pierces the eggshells, so drowning eggs is impossible. In order to get rid of lice for good, it is imperative to get rid of the nits, or they will hatch and the lice will come back.
So, can you drown lice in water or oil and get rid of an infestation? Not completely. In order to eradicate the case, you need to do a complete treatment that addresses bugs and eggs. That's where LiceDoctors comes in. LiceDoctors technicians are experts in killing live head lice and in finding and extracting the nits from the hair. When your technician leaves, you will be lice-free and will have after-care instructions to use so that you ensure that the case is finished. Call LiceDoctors to get rid of lice the easy, convenient, and guaranteed-to-work way, at 800-224-2537.