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Iraq’s In-Home Lice Treatment Of Choice? Gasoline.

​Head lice is a worldwide problem and treatments vary from country to country. Unfortunately many of the treatments implemented across the globe involve harmful chemicals. For instance, in Iraq, a parent might douse their child’s hair in kerosene or gasoline to kill lice since both are effective (albeit highly hazardous to child) and often easier to acquire in their oil-producing nation than a pesticide-based shampoo or high quality lice comb. Just like many of you reading now, the thought of dousing a child’s head in gas is ludicrous to me! However, I did some research and learned that gasoline was a common lice treatment in the United States in the first half of the 20th century, and some families still use it today. Ask your great-grandmother or peek at the below articles about gasoline lice treatment in the USA. It’s sad to read about how many kids have been severely burned and scarred from gasoline lice treatment accidents. It makes me all the more grateful for the completely chemical-free lice treatment method I use to kill lice and nits.

Unfortunately many treatments which are considered standard today call for repeatedly dousing a child’s hair in a pesticide-based shampoo. Those pesticides include permetherin, pyrethrin, ivermectin, and malathion. Are these safer than kerosene or gasoline? Definitely! But, as parents, let’s think critically about our own actions. Just because the internet or a medical professional recommends the pesticide treatment does not mean it is your best option.

Another option is manual removal treatment which does not require using any chemicals to get the job done. It takes a lot of skill and patience to do properly but it is very pleasant for the child and highly effective. Manual removal has zero side effects and as such the American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed the method used by Organic Lice Guru. The Academy writes, “The inherent safety of the manual removal method relative to the toxicity of the pesticide method is real.” (

Organic Lice Guru uses an advanced combing technique, developed by a school nurse with 20+ years of lice and nit removal, to manually remove all the lice and nits (eggs) so that the person is cured in one treatment.

Parents – please be aware that neither gasoline nor pesticide is necessary to solve your lice problem. They are more harmful than helpful. The manual removal method is best but it takes the right tools and great eyesight. Consult Organic Lice Guru to learn how to do it or go ahead and just delegate your child’s treatment to us. Educate yourself ahead of time and develop a treatment plan that best fits your needs so that you don’t panic the first time you see a louse in your kid’s hair and douse them in a pesticide-based product.

Have questions? Call us anytime!

The following eight American newspaper reports, spanning the last thirty years, detail the horrific dangers of using gasoline or kerosene as a lice treatment method.

​Lesnick, Gavin.   “Teenager Burned Trying to Kill Lice.”
   Evansville Courier & Press.   25 February 2009.
Bolinski, Jayette.   “Girl OK After Gas Used to Treat Lice .”
   The [Springfield] State Journal-Register.   24 June 2006   (City/State; p. 7).
Bender, Kristin.   “Teen’s Treatment Ends in Tragedy.”
   The Oakland Tribune.   2 January 2004.
The Denver Post.   “Burn Victim to be Treated in Boston.”
   9 September 2000   (p. B3).
Reuters.   “Mom’s Head-Lice Remedy Burns.”
   Philadelphia Daily News.   22 July 1997   (National; p. 18). 
Johnson, Jason.   “Girl, 11, Critically Burned as Parents Try Ridding Hair of Lice.”
   The Boston Herald.   9 September 1996   (News, p. 7).
Austin American-Statesman.   “Woman, Daughter Burned After Using Gas to Fight Lice.”
   21 September 1995   (p. B4).   
St. Louis Post-Dispatch.   “Lice Cure Injures Child.”
   28 October 1989   (p. A4).