Can You Drown Lice?

featured image drown lice

Is drowning lice a good alternative lice treatment? Can you drown lice?

Anyone struggling with lice today knows that it is extremely difficult. Most lice are resistant to over the counter treatments, so many people are turning to home remedies for relief. 

Many people with lice are stuck in what I term the “never-ending lice cycle” that looks like this…

You discover lice, you spend hours treating, nit-picking, house cleaning etc.

You think it’s gone for a few weeks…

But, then it’s back again!

Sound familiar? This cycle will repeat over and over again until you change what you’re doing. Perhaps that’s why you’re researching drowning lice...

Let me introduce myself...

lice expert

Hi there! I'm a lice expert, lice coach, Registered Nurse, and the creator of My Lice Advice. I help people with lice every day in my lice treatment center, in school districts, and in government work. But the thing I love the most is empowering parents to get rid of head lice in ONE DAY at home! 

You can eliminate lice in one day using the same proven professional technique I use in my lice center on your child. Follow along with the Step-by-Step Video System, and when you're done with the videos you're done with lice. PERMANENTLY!

Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Lice?

Now that you know what you're looking for I want to talk briefly about your biggest worry (that your child actually has lice) and the question I get asked by parents around the world that have been battling lice….

problem #1

Parents around the world are all asking me the same question…. "Why is it so much harder to get rid of lice now?"

Lice have become immune to everything that used to work in the past. Perhaps you remember your mom using a typical lice treatment or mayonnaise and that doing the trick. The new strain of head lice is no longer killed by those treatments, that’s why lice today are termed by people, “super lice,” because they are immune to those treatments. 

I’ve cured thousands of people of lice in my lice center and let me tell you, I don't do it with over-the-counter lice treatments. 

problem #2

Most people struggle with lice because they focus all of their attention on killing lice bugs and not enough attention on GETTING RID OF LICE!

If you want to get rid of lice you have to address all 3 of the problems of lice:

  1. Lice Bugs
  2. Lice Eggs
  3. Getting Lice Back

The best way to get rid of lice is to tackle all 3 of these problems at the same time, which is what I teach in my step-by-step video system.

So, if you discover your child HAS lice, don't panic. Just head over to the video system. Follow along with the videos and you'll be done with lice by the end of the day.

Copy of the solution long arrow (1)

Super Lice

A super lice bug at high magnification.

First, you should know that if you have struggled with head lice, you are not alone, and it is not your fault. The current strain of head lice is immune to pesticides found in over the counter treatments and most prescriptions.

An over-the-counter pesticide treatment won’t kill lice, no matter how long you leave it on.

Lice these days are called “super lice” because they have genetic mutations that make them extremely difficult to kill. 

A recent study shows that about 98% of lice today have the super lice mutation.

So, is drowning lice a good alternative?

Before talking about whether or not you can drown lice, you should ask yourself a critical question...

Do you want to KILL LICE or GET RID OF LICE???

Because there’s a big difference! Killing lice today, does NOT get rid of lice. If you focus all of your energy on killing lice bugs, you will NEVER get rid of lice! 

Here’s why...

When you have lice you have to deal with both lice bugs and lice eggs. Often people focus all of their attention on lice bugs, but neglect the much bigger problem- LICE EGGS! Those eggs are full of little lice bugs, just waiting to hatch and start this whole lice cycle all over again! That’s why you keep getting lice back!

Can Lice Drown?

drown lice featured image

Yes, you can drown lice, but not usually in water (keep reading to find out what drowns lice).

When you submerge lice in water, this is what you’ll usually see…

Water is not toxic to head lice, but lice have developed ways to survive prolonged periods in water.

As soon as lice come into contact with water, they close up their breathing holes so they won’t drown, and within a minute, lice go completely immobile and appear to be dead.

lice face

After about 10 minutes of being immersed in water, lice will go into a “hibernation- state.”

This “hibernation- state” protects lice, making it so that they can conserve energy, and no water will penetrate their breathing holes. This is a common phenomenon, often termed as “playing dead” by researchers.

When people attempt to drown lice for prolonged periods, they are likely to see lice in hibernation-mode and assume that lice are dead.

A lice quickly crawling through a woman's blond hair.

But, most of them are not….

Within an hour of being removed from water, most lice “resurrect” back to life.

When lice resurrect, they are at full strength and capable of breeding just as they did before being immersed in water.

How Long Does it Take To Drown Lice in Water?


Some sites say that lice can not survive more than 6 hours immersed in water.

This is not true. 

Researchers tested “Drowning” lice in two separate studies. In one study, five hundred head lice were removed from individuals and treated differently. Some immersed in water, others in dimethicone oil, and others not immersed in anything. Of the lice immersed in water here are the results:

6 hours in water = 100% of lice survived
24 hours in water = 50% of lice survived

The lice were initially in “hibernation mode” when removed from the water, but 50% of lice were alive and active within an hour of being removed from the water.

Even more alarming is that the submerged lice survived longer than the lice not submerged in water!

What's the FASTEST Way To Get Rid of Lice?

The purpose of My Lice Advice is to help parents get rid of lice as fast as possible. And the fastest way to get rid of lice is to get rid of lice in one day, no re-treatments. This is how lice professionals like myself get rid of lice in lice centers. Most people assume that lice professionals use some kind of crazy strong lice product or something. But the truth is that's not how lice professionals get rid of lice so fast....

When I treat lice in my lice center I don't use any toxic chemicals or special treatments. In fact, you can do a professional lice treatment at home without buying any lice products. I teach parents how to do this professional technique on their children at home, on my page Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro!

In Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro! you learn how to get rid of lice in less than a day by doing what the pro's do. And it's gone permanently- there are no re-treatments, and no messing around with lice kits. You do the professional  technique on your child at home, you kill all of the lice and the lice eggs in one session and then you're done with lice. 

That's the FASTEST and MOST EFFECTIVE way to get rid of lice. You can learn how to do it by clicking here.

Can You Drown Lice Eggs?

No, lice eggs have a thick waxy coating on them, making them pretty much impossible to kill. You absolutely can’t drown them!

In a study, of lice eggs submerged in water for a very long still hatched, even in the water.


lice can't swim

Suffocation Methods Won’t Work

Many sites say that lice can hold their breath for no more than 6-8 hours, which is NOT TRUE! As shown in the previous research, lice can hold their breath for more than 24 hours! So, trying to “suffocate” lice with just any oil will not work. 

Common “suffocation” methods that do not kill lice are olive oil and mayonnaise.

Some claim that if you leave olive oil or mayonnaise on the head for 8 hours, it will drown lice. That is not true. Here are the stats for how many lice were killed by common “suffocation” methods in a study 

If you use a “suffocation” method like this, you’ll see lice go into “hibernation-mode” like they do when you immerse them in water. And, you rinse the home remedy out of your kid’s hair, the lice will resurrect back to life and be at full strength. 

Summing It Up…

Lice can not be drowned with water because when lice come into contact with water, they can hold their breath for a very long time. Even if you were to soak your head in water for 24 hours, many head lice would still survive! When you immerse lice in water, they go into hibernation mode, appearing dead, but resurrecting back to life within an hour at full strength. 

If you plan to use a home remedy for lice then I DO NOT recommend you try to drown the lice. Instead I’d recommend you use a more effective home remedy like the ones I cover in this article. But, understand that there is no home remedy or treatment out there that kills all lice bugs or lice eggs, so it’s going to take you several weeks to get rid of lice using a method like that. If you want my advice, I say skip soaking your head in water and check out the How to Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro! Online Course and get rid of it in ONE DAY.

All the best,



Theresa is a lice expert with years of experience curing children of lice. She currently works with government agencies and non-profit organizations to help children with the most severe head lice infestations in the US.

Originally trained as a Registered Nurse, she changed specialties to study lice. Later, she opened a lice treatment center where she perfected the PRO technique she teaches in the Get Rid of Lice Like A Pro online course. She now works helping those struggling with lice around the world.

She is the creator of, one of the top lice informational websites in the world and she teaches parents around the world how to get rid of lice in less than a day in the Get Rid of Lice Like a Pro online course.

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