Purpose Pediculosis caused by human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer (Anoplura: Pediculidae) is a public health problem with a high prevalence, especially among children in school age. Different chemical pediculicides (insecticides) are used against lice but the repeated application of these pediculicides for the treatment of P. humanus capitis infestation in the past decades has resulted in the development of resistance. The plant essential oils have been used as alternative sources of lice treatment agents. Pediculicidal activity of the essential oils of three Origanum species (O. onites, O. majorana and O. minutiflorum) against P. humanus capitis adults was examined in this study. Methods Essential oils from aerial parts of three Origanum species were obtained by hydrodistillation using a Clevenger-type apparatus. P. humanus capitis specimens used were obtained from infested children by combing method at primary schools. Adult lice were exposed to three dilutions (1%, 0.5% and 0.1% w/v) of tested oils for 5 min using the adult immersion test. Results According to the results, all Origanum essential oils at 1% concentration have been shown to significantly decrease the rate of limb, bowel and abdomen movements, producing more than 90% mortality after 12 h. Conclusion Our results indicated that Origanum essential oils can be used for the development of new pediculicides against head louse.