There are a number of treatments for head and public lice, although all but one are effective to varying degrees. The one guaranteed way to eliminate both is to shave the head/underarm, crotch region. No hair, no nits, no lice. Insecticidal shampoos available on the market can be used to treat lice although there is some evidence of resistance to the insecticide in louse populations. A minimum of two treatments is necessary. While adults are susceptible to insecticidal shampoos, the nits are relatively impervious to the shampoos. Because it takes 10-14 days for the eggs to hatch, a second treatment is needed after two weeks to kill the adults that develop from the surviving eggs. There are various treatments that rely on essential plant oils, but for these to be effective large amounts are sometimes required and these oils may be harmful. Finally, there is evidence that oil or mayonnaise applied to the hair will kill lice. In all cases care should be taken to remove visible nits with a fine-toothed louse comb or fingernails.

Children with head lice need to be routinely inspected. All bedding, as well as any hats or clothing that come up to neck level should be washed. This should be done corresponding with each shampoo treatment.