Dish of mayonnaise--will it kill lice?

Does Mayonnaise Kill Lice?

After finding out that their child has lice, many parents resort to home remedies to try and kill the lice and prevent an infestation. While we don’t deny that a good home remedy has gotten us out of a jam more than once, lice are the exception. Home remedies can often do more harm than good, delaying effective treatment and allowing lice to multiply, leading to a full-blown infestation. Today, we’re addressing one of the most common home remedies we’re often asked about: mayonnaise. While we generally think of this beloved condiment as being reserved for our favorite deli concoctions, more and more parents have turned to this common household ingredient to target head lice. If you’re interested in learning if you can use mayonnaise to kill lice, keep reading.

Why Do People Try to Use Mayonnaise to Kill Lice?

The school of thought behind mayonnaise as a lice treatment is that the mayonnaise will essentially suffocate the lice. The theory is that applying the mayonnaise to your child’s hair, then applying plastic wrap overnight will prevent the lice from being able to breathe, and the lice will die off.

Does Mayonnaise Kill Lice?

In short, no, mayonnaise does not kill lice. According to the CDC, there is no scientific evidence to support the notion that mayonnaise effectively treats lice. It’s important to realize that lice are considered to be both insects and pests by definition. This means that in order for any type of topical product to kill lice, it has to contain an insecticide. Common household products such as mayonnaise do not fall into this category.

Does Mayonnaise Kill Lice Eggs?

Aside from the debate over if mayonnaise can kill lice, there is a separate debate over if mayonnaise can kill lice eggs. No, it does not. Even if mayonnaise could successfully suffocate adult lice, it would still be unable to kill lice eggs. Lice eggs do not breathe, which means they are incapable of being suffocated. Getting rid of lice eggs (nits) can be the most difficult aspect of lice treatment—even when using traditional lice shampoos.

Danger of Suffocation

As an aside, it’s also important to mention that trying to use mayonnaise to kill lice can be dangerous. There have been reports of children actually suffocating from the plastic bags and plastic wrap used to secure the mayonnaise overnight. Some children have even contracted food poisoning from the mayonnaise.

Professional Lice Treatment in Jacksonville and Orlando, FL, and Savannah, GA

Many parents try home remedies to treat their child for head lice as they are under the impression that these remedies are more convenient and less expensive to use when compared to professional lice treatment. Hopefully, today’s article has emphasized the importance of choosing a safe and effective treatment option for your child.

At Fresh Heads Lice Removal, we pride ourselves on being a lice service that your family can rely on to help you safely diagnose, treat, or prevent a full-blown lice infestation. We are committed to safely and quickly removing head lice so your child can return to normal life as quickly as possible. Our FDA-cleared AirAllé® device safely and naturally dehydrates lice in one visit. Don’t waste time and money on ineffective home remedies, contact us today—we’d love to help!


Schools Without Lice.

Schools Without Lice

At Fresh Heads Lice Removal, our goal is to get rid of lice in schools across the nation. That is why we created the Schools Without Lice program. Made in partnership with the Lice Clinics of America, the Schools Without Lice program supports nurses and teachers with free resources, screenings, and treatments. Together, we can make schools lice-free!

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