Does swimming pool water kill lice?

Are you sick and tired of scratching your head? Have you tried every shampoo under the sun with no success? Fear not, as we may have just discovered a unique solution to rid yourself of these pesky little critters once and for all. But before you grab your goggles and cannonball into the nearest public pool, let’s investigate the question on everyone’s mind: does swimming pool water kill lice?

The anatomy of a louse

To understand whether or not swimming pools can help get rid of lice, it’s first necessary to examine what exactly a louse is. These minuscule insects are parasites that feed exclusively on human blood. They attach their eggs (known as nits) to individual strands of hair near the scalp using a sticky substance produced by their bodies, waiting approximately seven days for them to hatch.

After hatching, they go through three stages known as instars before becoming fully grown adults roughly ten days later. Adult female lice lay around five eggs per day during their month-long lifespan, with each nit able to produce anywhere from one to ten more offspring at various points throughout its life cycle (yikes!).

What happens when someone swims in chlorine-treated water?

Now that we know how nasty these creatures truly are let’s move onto our main topic – chlorine! Chlorine is a chemical commonly used in most pools worldwide as it effectively kills bacteria, fungi and viruses but….what about lice?. Simply put swimming pools use ‘chlorination’ methods which involve adding either liquid or solid forms of chlorine containing compounds such as sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite in small amounts into the water . By maintaining levels between 1-3 parts per million (ppm), swimmers are safe from bacterias ,viruses whilst bruises heal faster due its antiseptic nature compared to regular water. Chlorine, however, does not discriminate between harmless microorganisms and unwanted pests such as lice.

But how can we still be sure it doesn’t eradicate them too? Because taking a dip in a regular swimming pool won’t do much to kill off any nits that have already attached themselves to your scalp before you take the plunge. Also,louse or head lice are specifically adapted to attach tightly to hair follicles using their strong claws . Even if some of them end up in the water by chance, they’d survive long enough until someone else enters the water again – gross right?

What about saltwater pools then?

So if chlorine-treated swimming pool water can’t help get rid of lice what about saltwater pools?. Saltwater pools were introduced as an alternative for people who did not want their skin subjectedto high amounts of chlorinated chemicals , butd oes salt effectively eliminate scorching annoyance on our scalps?. Similar to chlorine-based disinfection methods,salt kills bacteria fungi while having milder effects on human skin whilst being touted as more environmentally friendly. But the answer unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you ask) remains no; salt is less effective than chlorine since-contrary to popular belief- its salinity level’s effect on organisms’ life lies close proximity rather than below physical surfaces like crustaceans considering they’re evolutionarily designed for prolonged time underwater at salty depths instead of along hair strands.

So what will help get rid of lice?

At this point we realize that simply going for a swim won’t aid us against these pesky parasites so let’s discuss some options that may actually work:

Head Lice Shampoo & Combing

The most common way people try and tackle their issue with headlice is through use of special combs alongside shampoos containing insecticides specially formulated targeting headlice. This method involves having a long metal comb with fine teeth that aid in curling and capturing of the lice followed by application of insecticides contained shampoo to immobilize or kill . If done correctly, this can be highly effective although time-consuming.

Chemical Treatments

Whilst swimming pools are ineffective against headlice infestation because children contract nits when they come into contact with individuals containing them, getting a professional treatment within days is paramount. While these can be expensive there are cheaper at-home remedies available for purchase on the market. Always ensure you know what active ingredients in the formula obtained from doctors/pharmacists trained professionals before use.


In short, though chlorine will likely not end up killing off any unwanted guests in your hair whilst taking a refreshing dip in a swimming pool: relying upon it as sole solution would unlikely work since life habitat and structure is specific to human scalp surface area so folks should indeed stick to using traditional methods like combing alongside special shampoos if trying to rid themselves of those pesky creatures., otherwise professionals’ help needed could still work efficiently so why put all eggs in one ‘swimming pool’-shaped basket?