Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Headlice remedy


Hello I read in a post somewhere from a wife of an entomologist that using a few drops of tea tree oil, peppermint oil mixed in olive oil works in the following way: the tea tree and peppermint oil speed up the respiratory system of the louse making it breath in the olive oil and thus suffocating. Is this true? Is this how it really works?
Also, when they lay eggs, and I assume only females do, how many that hatch are male bugs?


I haven't heard any of the claims you are describing about oils speeding up respiration in lice.  The only thing oils do is serve to obstruct the respiratory system causing the POTENTIAL for suffocation.  Insects take in oxygen via several pairs spiracles on the side of their abdomens.  They don't have noses or singular breath intakes like animals.

You are correct in that only females lay eggs.  As to the sex ratio, I would assume 50/50.  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Nathan Riggs


I currently live in San Antonio, TX and have expertise in identifying insects, many types of spiders, and other arthropod critters that infest lawns, ornamentals, structures, trees, pets and livestock. Mites are not a strong point of mine. I'm not a licensed doctor, so I cannot provide medical diagnosis of conditions possibly related to insects or other arthropods. If you've got an interesting photo for me to see, attach it to your question, or let me know and I'll give you my email so the picture will get to me. If you have hosted an insect photo on a website, please include the link so I can go look at it and provide a faster ID for you. You may also join my group page on Facebook and post your picture at www.facebook.com/groups/antmans.hill/.


22+ years' experience as an entomologist: 5 years as a biologist with Merck Animal Health (I was part of the R&D team that worked to develop FrontLine flea and tick products) and 7 years as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist in San Antonio, Texas with Texas Cooperative Extension.

Veterinary Parasitology, Southwestern Entomologist, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Gardener Newsletter, Master Gardener SCION Newsletter, GardenStyleSA e-Newsletter

BS - Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Board Certified Entomologist, 1996-2000 - Medical and Veterinary Entomology Specialty (Entomological Society of America)

Awards and Honors
2000 Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for leadership on the Texas Fire Ant Program Educational Team.

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