Learning how to prevent lice is one of the ways I’ve managed to keep my sanity in the past decade.
This blend of essential oils creates a lice prevention spray that is highly effective. Even better? It only takes minutes to make!
Erika Bragdon is a Certified Essential Oil Coach from the Essential Oil Institute.
I’m going to bet that after you read the title “lice prevention spray”, your head began to itch! In my book, there are few creatures as evil and loathsome as these tiny creatures.
If you’ve ever had to battle lice at your house, you know what a tedious and long process it can be to get rid of these critters from your heads and home.
Trust me, it only takes one incident with lice to have you making this lice prevention spray part of your daily routine!
Prevent Lice Before They Infest
Lice can hit any household – whether you are the cleanest in the neighborhood or not.
A common myth that you only get lice if you live in a dirty home, but it’s not true. I know people from some of the nicest areas that had heads suddenly filled with nits, and those from rougher areas that have never had the pleasure (ugh).
It’s a time-consuming and labor-intensive process to search for and comb out knits. Plus you have to wash clothing and bedding and are on edge each time you check ahead in case you find an egg or adult still lurking.
Though you may not have to sanitize your house if you have lice as much as you think.
It’s not fun to tell friends and family that you have lice. There is still a stigma attached and some people will just treat you like you have the plague!
So let’s try to stop this lice battle before it starts with this lice prevention spray with essential oils.
This lice prevention spray is one way to be proactive, especially if you have heard of a case of a friend or family member battling or even if there are cases at school you are worried will spread.
*Pin the image below to easily find the instructions later!
How to Prevent Lice with Essential Oils
As any reader of mine will know—I fully believe in the power of plants, particularly when concentrated into essential oils.
I prefer natural, holistic remedies whenever possible, particularly when it comes to something I spray onto my children’s heads daily!
Let’s talk about the essential oils for lice prevention. The combination of these oils are the perfect blend to fend away lice.
They dislike this odor, and will hopefully not set up camp on you or your child’s head! Take note that this is a prevention spray and not a lice treatment.
I cannot make the claim that this spray will get rid of lice once you know there is a case of it in your house.
While these essential oils will help keep lice away from your head, you will need something different if you are actually treating it. If you find lice, check out my post for how to get rid of lice without chemicals.
First – please read my Essential Oil Common Sense Safety page before using this essential oil recipe.
I am not a medical professional and the information presented here is merely for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice. It is your responsibility to do your own research, consult with your doctor, and make safe decisions for yourself and your family.
Tea Tree Oil for Lice Prevention
Tea tree oil is probably the most important ingredient in this spray, which is why it’s a main ingredient for this head lice prevention tool. A 2012 study was conducted to test the effectiveness of tea tree oil in treating head lice, and had a 100% mortality rate on lice after 30 minutes. Pretty amazing what plants can do!
Bug Repelling Essential ↓
Essential Oil Safety
You’ll notice that I have three different lice prevention spray recipes listed below. Not all essential oils are safe for all ages, so please pay attention to the age ranges for each recipe.
DIY Lice Prevention Spray
Use a total of 50 drops for 16 oz spray bottle or 20 drops for 6 oz spray bottle for kids over 6. For younger kids, you’ll use less.
Choose the appropriate recipe below, then fill the bottle with water up to the 16 oz. mark! That’s it – you’re done!
For younger children (for under age 6)
For a 16 oz spray bottle:
- 10 drops tea tree oil
- 10 drops lavender
- 5 drops geranium
- 5 drops citronella
Lice Prevention Spray for 6 and Older
For a 16 oz spray bottle
- 10 drops tea tree oil
- 10 drops rosemary
- 5 drops geranium
- 10 drops citronella
- 10 drops lavender
- optional – 5 drops spearmint or peppermint (do not use for kids under age 10)
Essential Oils to Add to Shampoo
For children older than six, you can also just add these essential oils for lice prevention to shampoo bottle, then shake well:
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
- 10 drops rosemary
- 5 drops citronella
- 5 drops geranium
I also created a label that you can print out and tape onto your spray bottle so you know what is inside. CLICK HERE to print it!
How to Prevent Lice
Now that you have your lice prevention spray made, you will want to use this on a regular basis and spray your children’s hair after washing.
If you know of a case of a friend, family member, or classmate who had lice, be sure to get this out and spray everyone’s hair daily to avoid an infestation!
You can also spray this on combs, brushes, and any other hair styling tool that you use around the house or share with one another. And if you know there are cases going around at school, be sure to spray coats, hoodies, and even backpacks!
Everyone’s skin responds a bit differently to essential oils as well, so you may need to change the concentration of oils if this dries out your scalp too much.
If that is the case, I’d cut down the amount of tea tree and peppermint in half. The lavender shouldn’t dry your scalp since lavender is always soothing to the skin.
If you have used a spray like this or something similar, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
I’d also love to hear about any natural lice treatments you have used in the past if you have had your own lice battle in your homes!
Looking for more ways to keep your house healthy using essential oils? Check out these posts:
DIY Homemade Linen Spray with Essential Oils
Homemade Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Spray + Roller Blend
DIY Car Air Freshener with Essential Oils
The Simple All-Natural Tick Repellent for Dogs
Hey! thank you so much for sharing this i will surely try this out.
This spray is great! Thank you for sharing! I’ve sprayed all our furniture, bedding that can’t be washed, car interior, and carpet! Planning to spray my hair next! Thanks again!
Thank you for sharing your experience and recipe. Can i use olive liquid for combining eo and water?
I am sitting here, laughing my tail off, because you called head lice “The Plague”!
I actually am fighting this very same plague, and wrote about it on my blog.
I am also currently mixing up your lice spray as we speak.
I’ll gladly leave a link to this post in my follow up blog about this horrid plague!
Thank you so much for posting this <3
Melissa Rhodes says
Can I use this on my daughters hair everyday?
I use it on my kids’ hair regularly (almost daily) whenever I hear of a lice outbreak at their schools.
I would take a break every so often, but yes, you can use it daily. Good luck, Melissa!
Greg Mcmurry says
So does this work my child has had nits or lice last 3 school years and I really need something that works I tried faiy tales last year and she still got it
Is there an easy way to take out lice or eggs ?
Nope. I just spent 2 hours going through my daughter’s very thick shoulder length hair 🙁 I will say that a lice treatment gel was recommended as an additional purchase that was supposed to help the comb glide easier and I didn’t purchase it. I tried two different Combs and ended up just using pinched fingers for eggs and the comb for lice.
Oh no, how frustrating! Did you use this spray regularly, Ani? I’d love to get your feedback so I can tweak the recipe if needed. Thankfully we have not had any lice (yet and fingers crossed we don’t!)
Lice freee spray is a God send!!!! It kills lice and kills the eggs, it is chemical free and this stuff is amazing!!! The eggs that were left on my daughter’s head were shriveled up and dried out!!!! My daycare has a no nit policy so I rinsed her hair with vinegar and it helped me to pull them off way easier with my nails! I am going to make this preventive spray for sure!!!
Hello and thank you!
I just happen to have distilled water at home. (I use it for our sinus rinse.)
Should I use that instead of plain, old tap water?
Yes, Junie. Distilled water works.
Michelle Goforth says
I make my own spray conditioner. I mix tea tree oil, kids conditioner and water in a spray bottle. So far it has worked great. I am going to try this though. I like the oils combined together.
Can I substitute the lavender oil with chamomile oil?
No, chamomile is very different than lavender.
I see several lice-prevention sprays around. I was under the impression water does not dilute EOs and because of that we run the risk of spraying bits of undiluted oil on our kids’ heads.
This is why we say to shake it before each use – this helps mix up the oils and water more evenly.
Michele M Mayes-Gerra says
You can also add a drop or two of dish soap
or castile soap to the bottle to help keep the EO’s dispersed.
I haven’t tried that before – thanks, Michele!
Crystal Kuntz says
Do u soak the hair or just mist it? Does it make the hair look oily?
We just mist the hair on regular days but (when I remember), I spray my daughter’s head more thoroughly after she takes a bath or shower. No lice at all (knock on wood!) 🙂
Would adding the oil amounts to a detangler spray be as effective (as opposed to plain water)? I use detangler on my daughter’s hair every day, and that would save a step!
Yes, you can do that too!
Nicole Johns says
Do I have to use the lavender? I bought tea tree oil and peppermint but not the lavender?
You don’t have to use lavender. I think the combo with lavender does help but the tea tree is the most essential essential oil. 🙂
Hello,Ive been using vinegar,tea tree oil,water and mint in my daughters hair for the last wile and never had a problem but today was told that its to strong of a vinegar smell on the bus. can i use your mix and add some vinegar to it and it not be over powering of vinegar? if so how much would i use?
I would cut back on how much vinegar you’re using – if you’re filling the spray bottle half-way with vinegar, try 1/4. Or substitute witch hazel.
Stephanie Dragotta says
I just made this but I made it a little strong by mistake because my bottle won’t hold 16oz of water. But it smells great! I also added Rosemary. Had a note today from my kids preschool that they had a case! Ty!
Nancy Palma says
Thank you for the recipe, I will try this too!! I’ve been using these hair elastics that are Lice Repellent made with essential oils on my two daughters and this summer was the first time they came back from summer camp without Lice! I believe their website is http://www.licebands.com
Anyways thank you for sharing!
Do you spray it on before they go to school and after they get home from school? Or mainly after they wash their hair?
I do it after my daughter’s hair is washed. I know some people do spray it on daily but honestly, I always forget!
Is this spray safe for pets?
No, I would not use this on pets. Some essential oils, including tea tree, can be toxic.
Can I use this mixture in conditioner instead of as a spray?
Yes, you can add a couple drops of each essential oil to condition.
My 13 year old daughter has gotten lice for the first time from her Dad’s (his girlfriend’s kids get it from their Dad’s every weekend when they are there). Having something to prevent would be a godsend after we get rid of the this initial outbreak. I’m just wondering when you say to add a certain number of drops to shampoo or other hair product, how much EO to how much hair product? We have some bottles that are quite large, and others are smaller, so want to make sure we keep this in a safe, but productive range. I’m quite new to EO, other than already prepared products and would like your input! Thank you!
The amount I recommended is for the average sized shampoo bottle – maybe about 16 oz. If you have smaller or larger sized bottles you can adjust accordingly. Hope it helps and your kiddos stay lice free!
Hello! Could you please provide me instructions on how many drops for each oil using a 5oz spray bottle? Thanks
Hi! Can I use lemon eo instead of citronella? Or can I leave it out all together? I have everything else.
You can leave out citronella if you want. The citronella does help, but this combo should still work without it. Good luck!
I make my own treatment for treating lice. I use coconut oil and then I add about 10 drops trea tree essential oil. I then work it into my kids hair. When all the hair is nice and oily, I comb the lice and nits out.
The lice all die, so it is easy to comb them out.
I will definitely make this spray to use as prevention. Thank you for sharing.
Great tip! I have a post on how to get rid of lice here too – https://livingwellmom.com/natural-lice-treatment/
General rule is blends made with tap water last a week or 2, blends made with distilled water last 4 to 6 weeks, substitute 20-25% of your water with vodka or 190 proof ever clear if you want it to last longer. For a 16 oz bottle, I’d assume you wouldn’t need this mixture for too long and distilled water should be sufficient. Bacteria grows in the water, alcohol prevents that.
Thanks for sharing. This really helps me a lot.
Would this work without the peppermint? My daughter is younger than 6 and I don’t feel comfortable using peppermint around her yet.
Yes, you can omit the peppermint.