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If you have found yourself plagued by the formidable parasites, you will want to stop them in their tracks as soon as possible and you can with a variety of home remedies for pinworms. There are several home remedies for pinworms that offer relief and even inhibit the spread of this parasite. In America alone, pinworms are one of the most commonly seen parasites, even more common than head lice, and most cases are often reported in children aged 2 to 10 years old. This is due to the fact that pinworms are easily and quickly spread from one host to another and children usually do not have high levels of hygiene or are aware of the consequences if they do not practice good hygiene.

Under those circumstances, you may find that you or someone you are close to may have become a host for the parasites, but do not panic. With the assistance of the following home remedies, you will quickly put a stop to the parasites and prevent them from coming back.


It is vital to understand the causes of pinworms in order to prevent the continued spread and growth of this parasite. Pinworms, (Enterobius vermicularis), are most commonly seen in children from 5-10 years of age, but this does not mean it is exclusively found in children. Anyone of any age can become a host for the parasites. Pinworms can be spread from human to human contact, which is the most common way of getting them or from touching a contaminated surface. Pinworms are also spread through eating contaminated foods such as undercooked meats such as beef, pork, or fish.

Pinworm eggs are microscopic and can be transferred onto any surface. An infected person will spread the eggs by scratching the rectal area and if they do not wash their hands, any surface they touch will become the new resting place for the eggs until they are blown away or picked up by an animal or another human. This is how pinworms can be contracted without human to human contact. Pinworm eggs can survive on any surface for two to three weeks as long as the conditions are right. Pinworm eggs thrive in moist and humid environments. Since it can take up to three months for pinworms to develop in your intestines, it is impossible to trace the source of the infection.

Infection will occur if you inhale or swallow the eggs. The most common way of ingesting the eggs is from hand to mouth contact. The eggs will either find their way under the fingernails or onto the hand after touching the rectum or surface with eggs on it. If you then touch your mouth or face, they will make their way inside. Once the eggs have found their way into the body of their host, it will take about a minimum of two weeks and as long as three months, for them to hatch inside the small intestine. After the eggs have hatched, the larvae quickly reach adulthood and begin breeding. After the pinworms have bred, the female pinworm will exit the body through the rectum and lay her fertilized eggs in the perianal region. This will only occur at night and causes the host severe itching and discomfort. Especially in cases that involve children, you will first notice symptoms like lack of sleep or complaining of an itchy bottom before you realize that they have pinworms.

Transmission of pinworm eggs can happen very quickly and since the eggs are microscopic, you will not be aware of them until they have already matured in your system. Be aware of the three main causes of pinworm infestation:

  • Children placing their hands or contaminated objects in their mouths

  • Eating unsanitary foods

  • Using or handling unclean sheets or clothing

Signs and Symptoms

Infestation of pinworms can happen very quickly and within just a few weeks you may begin to show signs of infection. There are several signs and symptoms associated with pinworms and they include:

  • Itchiness in the rectal area and even in the vaginal area

  • Urinary tract infection (most commonly seen in females)

  • Lack of sleep or insomnia

  • Bladder infections

  • Minor bleeding (usually caused from scratching)

  • Irritability

  • Restlessness

  • Abdominal pain

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Bedwetting

  • Loss of appetite

  • Stomach cramps

  • Sighting adult pinworms in feces or in the rectal area

  • Anal pain

  • Children complaining of discomfort or not wanting to go to bed

If you or your child are suffering from any of these symptoms, but you still are not sure if you have pinworms, it is important to perform what is called ‘the scotch tape test’. To do this, place a few pieces of clear, scotch tape outside of the rectum. Leave for a few minutes and remove. Place it in a disposable, sealed container and take it to your doctor so they can examine the tape under a microscope. They will be able to tell you immediately if the tape is contaminated with eggs or not.

Another way to spot the pinworms is to investigate the suspected host’s rectum at night with a flashlight. Ask the suspected host to spread their bottom and squeeze their abdomen, imitating a bowel movement. This will expose the anus and if there are adult pinworms present you will be able to spot them instantly with the naked eye. Adult pinworms are about the same size as a staple (about 8-13 mm for female and 2-5mm for male worms) and are white and translucent in color. If you perform this visual test, and notice that the individual does in fact have pinworms, you will need to start a treatment regime right away.


Home Remedies for Pinworms

Upon diagnosis of pinworms, you should seek to begin treatment immediately. There are a variety of home remedies for pinworms that can soothe symptoms and rid the host of these parasites. It is important to remember to be diligent throughout the course of treatment in order to fully eradicate the parasites and prevent reinfection or infection in another host.

It is also important to understand that all members of the household should seek treatment because pinworms are easily spread from one host to another. If you have pets they are exempt from being a host as pinworms are only found in humans, but the eggs can reside in their fur so regular bathing will be required. If you are diligent with the following home remedies, you will eliminate them quickly and safely.

    1. Cleaning


A very thorough cleaning of the home environment is one of the most important steps to eliminating pinworms. Since the eggs can live on a variety of surfaces for up to two weeks, regular, vigorous cleaning needs to occur to inhibit the growth and prevent the spread of pinworms. Every single surface in the home needs to be cleaned daily and thoroughly. If you are the one cleaning, make sure to wear gloves and a mask covering the mouth so you do not accidently inhale any eggs or pick them up with your fingernails.

You will need to use bleach on any surfaces you can, including but not limited to:

  • Door knobs

  • Chairs

  • Bed frames

  • Toilets

  • Phones (use antiseptic wipes)

  • Keyboards

  • Remotes

  • Light switches

  • Bathtubs

  • Floors

  • Toys

  • Tables

  • Countertops

  • And any other hard surfaces in the home

When you are cleaning stick to the following list to ensure everything is done.

  • Change bed linens daily.

  • Wash any soiled clothing, towels, and linens in hot water and use the hottest setting on the dryer.

  • Change towels daily.

  • Clean the toilet, paying extra attention to the toilet seat, with bleach.

  • Vacuum carpets or rugs daily

  • Place any stuffed animals or toys in the dryer on the hottest setting and store in plastic bags until the pinworms have been eradicated.

  • Wash all cutlery, dishes, and glass ware in hot water and use a dishwasher if possible.

    2. Garlic


Garlic is one of the best home remedies for pinworms and should be incorporated into every home remedy treatment. Garlic does have a strong odor, but it is highly effective in killing the pinworms.

According to a study done by Christopher Hobbs L.Ac., A.H.G, the control group was given 6-15 grams or 3-5 cloves in decoction. The 154 cases of pinworms in children 2-9 years old were treated with decoctions of the herb given as enemas 3 times on days 1, 3, and 7. No eggs were seen around the anus in 76% of the patients. 


Powdered garlic does not work so you will need to ensure you have fresh cloves on hand. You can make a homemade enema like the one listed in the study by mixing the cloves of garlic with warm water. You can also mix garlic in with foods or make a paste by grinding a few cloves of fresh garlic until smooth and then mix with Vaseline and apply to the buttocks and rectal area to ease itching and kill any worms present.

    3. Grapefruit Seed Extract


Grapefruit Seed extract can be found in either pill or liquid form in a variety of health food shops worldwide. If you decide to take the grapefruit seed extract pills, you will need to take one pill, three times per day for the course of one week. Alternatively, if you have the liquid form of grapefruit seed extract you will need to place 10 drops into a glass of eight ounces of water. This will also need to be done three times each day for the course of one week. You should see improvement in the condition within the week.

    4. Wormwood


Wormwood naturally contains Santonin, isothujone and thujone as its active ingredients. The benefit to containing these three potent ingredients is the antiseptic properties will kill any worms present within the intestinal tract. Wormwood works by damaging the parasites membranes, therefore killing them.

Simply add a few drops to a cup of hot water and drink. It is best consumed on an empty stomach. This remedy is recommended for children who are infected with pinworms as it is quite effective in stopping them altogether. You can give this drink to the infected individual once every two hours for at least five days in order to see fast results.

Wormwood is effective in killing adult pinworms, larvae, and pinworm eggs making this a popular home remedy.

    5. Coconut


Fresh coconut is often used in India and Southeast Asia to stop pinworm infections. At breakfast, take one tablespoon of fresh coconut flesh followed by a teaspoon full of castor oil two to three hours later. Follow this regime daily until the pinworms are no longer in the system. Using the combination of the two ingredients will flush the pinworms from the body within one week, depending on the severity of the pinworm infection.

    6. Carrots or Cabbages


Carrots and cabbages both contain natural sulfur compounds which help to completely remove pinworms from the body. Grate a medium sized fresh carrot to consume before and after sleep for two to three days. If you find that your child is a picky eater, try mixing the carrots with honey for a better taste. Similarly you can grate half a cup of fresh cabbage and follow the same treatment regime. The raw carrot or cabbage will also aid to push the pinworms from the intestines.

For best results, use organic carrots or cabbages.

    7. White Willow Bark

Although white willow bark can be difficult to find in some areas, if you manage to get your hands on some, it is a highly recommended home remedy for pinworms. This natural remedy is full of salicylic acid, the same ingredient found in aspirins, and is a potent agent for fighting off pinworms. To use this treatment add a teaspoon of white willow bark to tea or warm water and drink twice per day throughout the infestation.

    8. Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are widely used for treating pinworms due to the ease, availability, and strength in fighting pinworms. Gather raw pumpkin seeds and combine with two cups of water in a pot. Heat this mixture on the stove with low heat for two hours. You can simmer slightly, but do not allow the seeds to boil. After the two hours, remove the pumpkin seeds from the heat for cooling.

Once the seeds and water have cooled, filter the mix and remove any layers of oil. For one hour, take one tablespoonful of the filtered water, every 15 minutes. Wait for two hours and take a laxative. Wait for two more hours and eat a bowl of warm oatmeal. The amount of pumpkin seeds to heat depends on weight. Children between 2 to 3 years old should use about 45 grams of pumpkin seeds, while adults may take up to 300 grams of pumpkin seeds. It is ideal to continue this treatment for three to five days.

    9. Dietary Changes

healthy diet

This is one of the simplest ways to help remove pinworms from the body. Taking away foods that pinworms feed off of will ensure that your intestines are not a friendly place for them to live. You should see to adjust your diet by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as high fiber foods such as bran, whole wheat, or raisins. Consuming more high fiber foods will help to add bulk to the stool and flush the pinworms out from your system. You should also ensure to eat plenty of probiotics such as yogurt or curd as they will help to build the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. The growth and strong presence of the good bacteria will allow the intestines to become a hostile environment for the pinworms and this will help to get rid of them.

It is also important to lower the ph levels in the body, as this will help to kill the pinworms as well. Drinking at least on eight ounce glass of lemon water daily will to help lower the body’s ph levels.

Parasites, especially pinworms, feed off of sugars. It is best to remove the following food items from your diet until the pinworms are gone, especially in cases of children.

  • Carbohydrates

  • Refined Sugars

  • Sodas

  • Candy

    10. Clove and Flaxseeds

Combining clove with flaxseeds is an easy, yet wonderful home remedy for pinworms. The natural properties found in clove and flaxseeds work together to combat pinworms. You will be able to find whole cloves and flaxseeds in supermarkets or health food stores. To prepare this treatment method take one clove and crush together with flaxseeds. The ratio should be one whole clove to ten flaxseeds. Once combined, add to food for consumption. It can be well mixed into savory foods or even smoothies. If you need to use this home remedy for a child, try to use honey or add into a fruit smoothie to help improve the taste. You should do this once per day, for three days on, followed by three days off. Continue this treatment schedule until you have relief from the pinworm infestation. Most people who use this remedy find that they will have to do at least two rounds of the treatment schedule to fully see results. Once again, this varies on the severity of the pinworm infestation.

    11. Yellow Squash Seeds

Yellow squash seeds have many of the same properties as pumpkin seeds, such as the fact that they contain sulfur, making them another popular and easy choice in fighting off pinworms. The preparation is quite similar, however with the yellow squash seeds you will actually need to boil the water. Combine 50 grams of crushed and smashed yellow squash seeds with two cups of water and boil for 15 minutes. You will then filter the water after it cools to remove the seeds and any debris. You should drink a small glass of the filtered liquid (no more than eight ounces) between meals throughout or at least three times throughout the day for best results. It is ideal to continue drinking this mixture until the pinworms are no longer in your system.

    12. Onions


Onions are a powerful agent in treating pinworms naturally. Onions contain sulfur naturally and this active ingredient is useful for fighting the pinworm infestation. In order to make this treatment simply take one to two medium sized onions, (white, brown, or red onion varieties work best), and peel, then slice. Take the slices of onion and add to a pitcher of warm water. Let this pitcher soak covered overnight or for at least twelve hours. After the soak, you will need to strain the liquid with cheesecloth or strainer. To use this treatment, drink a small glass (about eight ounces) of the liquid three times a day for at least two days. This is not the best tasting home remedy however it is highly effective in eliminating pinworms of all life stages and does so within two to four days depending on the severity of the infestation.

    13. Bitter Gourd

bitter melons

Bitter gourd can be found in several supermarkets and is known for its treatment in diabetes as well as pinworms. Take two bitter gourds and extract the juice from both of them. Drink small amounts of the bitter gourd extract three to four times per day for at least one week. At the end of the week you will begin to notice relief from symptoms and signs of the pinworms will start to disappear. You may repeat this treatment for another week, depending on how serious the pinworm infestation is.

Bitter gourd is quite bitter and if you are not a fan of the strong taste or you are using this remedy for a child, it will be best to combine with another liquid such as juice or add honey to the extract to combat the bitter flavor.

    14. Apple Cider Vinegar


Photo Credit: eatthis.com

Consuming apple cider vinegar is a helpful and safe method for eliminating pinworms over time. Apple Cider vinegar will not kill the worms in your intestine right away, yet with continued regular use you will soon be able to flush the pinworms from your system entirely. Take an eight ounce glass of water and add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into it. Drink this mixture twice every day to lower the ph level in your intestine. This will make it difficult for the worms to thrive and force them to die a natural death. If you do not like the taste, combine with honey or add to a juice to disguise the taste. This is an ideal solution if you have children.

Apple cider vinegar can be combined with a number of other home remedy treatments to allow for a faster recovery time.

    15. Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth

Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Photo Credit: purefectpet.com

Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth is a great way to treat pinworms naturally, just be sure to purchase food grade diatomaceous Earth when you are out shopping for it as there are varieties of diatomaceous Earth that are used in aquariums and can be toxic to humans if consumed. The food-grade diatomaceous Earth is a sedimentary, chalky rock that is made from fossilized small algae, called diatoms. Consumption of food-grade diatomaceous Earth can dehydrate pinworms and kill them slowly. Food-grade diatomaceous Earth is ideal for killing pinworm larvae and as well as adult pinworms.

The dosage of food-grade diatomaceous Earth that should be used is 1 tablespoon daily for adults and 1 teaspoon daily for the children. The food-grade diatomaceous Earth can be added to smoothies, applesauce, and even water. It does not dissolve so make sure you stir it up very well. It is also important to try not to inhale the food-grade Diatomaceous Earth, as it can damage your lungs in large quantities. If you are using this home remedy to treat children, it is best to combine the food-grade diatomaceous Earth with soft foods such as applesauce as previously mentioned. Stir thoroughly to disguise the taste as well as prevent the chance that your child could inhale the food-grade diatomaceous Earth.

You should continue taking the appropriate dose of food-grade Diatomaceous Earth until there is no longer any sign of pinworms. You can add it to your daily diet even after you are no longer suffering from pinworms as it offers a wide variety of health benefits and preventative methods for a wide range of illnesses, including pinworms.

    16. Prevention

Once you have been diagnosed and throughout the infection, you will need to prevent further infestation and the spread of pinworms. There are several ideal methods to follow for preventing pinworms from coming back or getting them altogether. It is especially important to follow prevention methods if you have children and to be diligent about doing these methods.

Prevention methods for pinworms include:

  • Washing your hands and nail beds thoroughly after using the toilet and after touching the genital region.

  • Cleanse the anal region with mild, antiseptic soap and warm water. Make sure to rinse thoroughly.

  • Avoid scratching throughout the infection.

  • Avoid biting your fingernails.

  • Keep your fingernails trimmed short and clean

  • Wash all bedding, pajamas, and underwear in hot water and dry in the dryer on the hottest setting.

  • Change your bed linens often

  • Be sure your child wears clean underwear daily

  • Do not share towels with anyone else and use a fresh towel daily

  • Vacuum play areas and frequented carpeted areas often

  • Do not allow other children or family members into the bedroom of the infected individual until the pinworms are completely gone.

  • Do not sleep on contaminated linens

  • Wear close fitting, clean underwear

  • Avoid touching your face

  • Clean the toilet after each time your child uses it

  • Inform any daycares, teachers, or playgroups that your child has contracted pinworms. They may or may not have contracted them from these environments but it is socially responsible to inform these places of your child’s condition to prevent other children from possibly catching pinworms. Pinworms are more common than head lice and the stigma attached to having pinworms does not mean you are dirty or unclean as anyone of any age can catch pinworms.

Despite using these methods, it is still possible for pinworms to spread as they are very contagious and easily spread to a wide variety of surfaces. It is not uncommon for pinworms to reoccur after the initial infection as they are highly contagious and can live on a variety of surfaces for several weeks.

Contracting pinworms is not as uncommon as you would think and with the assistance of using home remedies for pinworms you will be cured of these parasites in no time. Make sure you follow through with a variety of treatment methods and find the ones that work best for you or for your child. It is important to not miss any dosages as this can allow the pinworms to come back or not be fully affected by the home remedy treatments.

Take extra care to inform other family members or individuals who interact with your child on a regular basis. Informing these people can help to prevent them from catching pinworms and will also help to ensure your child’s condition is contained.

Remember to be diligent in cleaning routines. This is one of the most important steps in killing eggs and stopping the further spread of pinworms. In addition to following strict cleaning routines throughout the infection, it is ideal to follow a more healthy diet. If your child is the one who has contracted pinworms, you will need to monitor their diet closely to ensure they are not sneaking high sugar foods or carbohydrates or are being given these foods from individuals unaware of the change in diet. 

Overall pinworms are something that several families and individuals go through. Do not feel ashamed of this condition and seek to get yourself or your child back to normal as soon as possible. As long as you follow strict cleaning routines and prevention methods, you will narrow your chances of pinworms spreading or reoccurring. It is recommended to combine a few of the home remedies for fast and effective results.

A Doctor of Public Health, Lacy Ryan has accrued more than ten years of experience, making a name for herself as a researcher, writer, policy analyst, and project manager specializing in public health and international development.She earned her PhD in Community and Behavioural Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, her Master’s Degree in Global Health and Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh, and her Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Biomedical Sciences (with minours in Biology and Psychology) at the University of Waterloo.