Do Mothballs Get Rid of Rodents?

Who still uses mothballs? You may have seen them on an old TV show or mothballssmelled their strange odor at your grandma’s house, since they were used much more commonly decades ago. Though they may seem outdated to many, some try to repurpose them as rodent repellent, albeit unsuccessfully.

Original Function of Mothballs

Mothballs, per the name, are little chemical balls that you put in a closet or wardrobe to keep moths from eating holes in your clothing. Typically, they are used for out-of-season clothing that you store for long periods of time.

Mothballs are round discs of solid pesticides with the active ingredient naphthalene, camphor, and paradichlorobenzene (dichlorobenzene). At room temperature, these solid discs release vapors that are toxic to moths and moth larvae, eliminating them or deterring them from the area. Eventually, the ball would be totally used up as it turns into a gas and needs to be replaced.

Don’t Use Mothballs for Rodent Control

Mothballs are frequently suggested as a deterrent in both indoor and outdoor areas. These solutions are ineffective, dangerous to humans and pets, and illegal in some cases.

Mothballs contain naphthalene, but the small quantity in mothballs is insufficient to effectively deter rodents, and the smell rapidly dissipates. The smell can be a deterrent in large enough quantities, but will not prevent rodent infestation, on top of health risks.

Mothballs are commonly made of naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, both of which are toxic to humans and have detrimental health effects. Accidental mothball ingestion is common in children. Fumes from naphthalene mothballs can escape into the air and can cause respiratory problems. High levels of fumes can accumulate in closed areas, and improper use of mothballs can lead to long-term exposures to people and pets. Medical issues as a result of mothball naphthalene poisoning include hemolytic anemia, methemoglobinemia,  and in rare cases, kidney damage.

For these reasons, mothballs should not be stored in closets, crawl spaces, attics, basements, storage chests, garment bags, or other spaces excluding airtight containers.

Get Professional Rodent Control

The best way to end your rodent infestation is to trap and remove the pests. The professional technicians at Critter Control® has decades of experience in animal removal, and have all the tools and technologies to assess and solve your rodent problem. Call us today for a free consultation at 954-467-6067.