Sulfur has been used for centuries to get ride of nasty little bugs that infest the warm places we like to sleep.

Assuming I have found natural sulfur sources can they be used to effectively and safely de-louse my camp? If so what is the best way to do it?

  • 9
    Please don't do this. If the sulfur is effectively killing the bugs you don't like it's probably also killing a lot of benign and desirable species, not to mention contaminating water supplies. If you are bothered by bugs, apply repellent to yourself. Please don't spray insecticides (even natural ones) willy nilly over your camp site. Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 17:44
  • I'd follow the advice in the answer of @whatshisname. As for after the apocalypse, this question about lice may cause me to rethink my decision not to buy an apartment in a converted missile silo. :)
    – ab2
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 20:30
  • 1
    Sometimes the answer is no, but that doesn't make it a bad question Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 21:26
  • 2
    @CharlieBrumbaugh Good point. I like this question as it gives an opportunity for others to understand environmental concerns of using natural elements and other compounds in the wild.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 23:16

2 Answers 2


Yes, sulfur is non toxic and very effective at controlling the itching and repelling horse lice, body lice and other mites.

But that said, I would not recommend delousing your entire camp with sulfur.

I would recommend getting out of there and once back home clean up everything immediately, using acceptable means and then and only then return to the great outdoors at a later time.

Here's the thing. I am a pesticide applicator and according to the law, you could be in serious trouble if this was done on provincial lands, especially if any damage was caused by such actions.

Here is what my course book has to say about sulfur:

Sulphur is an element long used as a combination fungicide-miticide-insecticide, available in a variety of formulas for the control of a wide range of plant diseases. May injure plants in hot, dry weather. It is phytotoxic to certain sulphur-sensitive plants such as pears, apricots, raspberries and cucurbits. Relatively non toxic to humans, animals and bees, but may be irritating to the eyes and skin. - Handbook For Pesticide Applicators and Dispensers (Page 95).

What you are suggesting is against the law in Canada. Only authorized persons can do it in the forests and they are usually government personnel.

Applying pesticide in any form, whether a natural element or not, is not permitted in the forest lands of Canada. I would think most countries have similar laws in place.


If lice are a problem, go back to town, get the necessary supplies, and deal with it the right way.

Yes it can be fun to play mountain man and try to source everything from the land. But that usually results in ecological damage. This scenario is no exception.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.