Will Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away?

Do mothballs keep squirrels away? Yes, but it is ineffective. We will be discussing using mothballs to get rid of squirrels in the attic and other sections of your home.

Apart from the damage caused by squirrels, these rodents can also transmit diseases ranging from rabies, tularemia, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and Lyme disease.

These are reasons enough to want squirrels out of your home and off your property. Now, how to go about this is what we want to discuss.

Mothballs seem to offer lots of pest solutions for DIY enthusiasts. So, will it have any repellent impact on squirrels? This is what we want to find out.

Here, we’ll be discussing all there is to know including what it is, how it works, and whether it does repel squirrels.

Using Mothballs For Squirrels In The Attic & Basements

Mothballs are almost 100% percent active ingredients and true to their name are small insecticide balls designed for moth treatment. Most mothballs you see are either made of paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene.

These are chemical solids that are slowly dissipated to a gaseous state.

They give off fumes that are known to be toxic to a wide range of pests including moths. However, the toxicity of mothballs isn’t restricted to pests. It also extends to humans and animals.

This creates a problem as safety is crucial to any pest control measure being adopted.

Damage Caused By Squirrels

Although we’ve mentioned the diseases transmitted by these rodents, it’s also necessary to state the damage.

Squirrels will burrow through furniture and upholstery to create or set up their nests. Apart from wood, they also chew on metal and plastic materials.

This creates a problem as your property ends up getting defaced. You’ll need to save your home from further damage by taking action.

Do Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away?

Ordinarily, squirrels can’t stand the smell of mothballs.

While this is true, using mothballs for squirrel treatments isn’t an effective repellent method. This is because quite a lot of things can go wrong.

First off, when used in outdoor environments, mothballs may contaminate soil and water.

When used indoors, both adults and kids are exposed to its toxic fumes being released. Naphthalene, a key active ingredient of mothballs is a known carcinogen.

This is a scary fact for most homeowners as no one wants to put themselves and their family in harm’s way.

Also, using mothballs to keep squirrels away will likely cause other types of health problems such as headaches, nose irritation, nausea, eye irritation, hemolytic anemia, and coughing.

Extended periods of exposure to mothballs may lead to kidney and liver damage.

Is it Worth the Risk?

How bad is your squirrel problem? Is it worth the risk of using mothballs for treatment? However desperate you are to keep squirrels away, mothballs aren’t the solution.

You’ll need to find alternative measures to do this.

Mothball Fumes are Likely to Linger On

Because squirrels get into attics from a variety of entry points such as wood siding and shingles, it’s common to place mothballs around such entry points.

Also, mothballs are placed around the attic and everywhere else these rodents use as nesting spots.

The problem is, the fumes released by these pesticides linger on and are steadily inhaled by humans. Also, mothball fumes are denser than air, thus making its concentration higher at lower levels.

This affects kids the most as they’re the worst hit.

With a higher concentration of mothball vapor, kids inhale the most fumes, thus being the most vulnerable to its toxicity.

Mothballs May be Mistaken for Candy

It’s a common fact that kids are curious.

Now, mothballs are quite colorful and look similar to candies. The problem is, your kids may mistake these pesticides for candies.

This is why it becomes quite risky to use mothballs as squirrel repellents.

If You Must Use Mothballs For Squirrel Deterrent

Ideally, mothballs are pesticides designed for use against moths, silverfish, and other fiber pests. However, they’ve been seen to have repellent effects on other pests outside of those it was designed for.

If you must use this product, it should only be used as specified on the label.

Mothballs have regulated pesticides that mustn’t be improperly used. When not in use, it must be properly sealed up in its container. This prevents the release of fumes or vapors that could be inhaled by humans and pets.

Alternatives To Mothball Squirrel Control

Instead of using mothballs for repelling squirrels, consider adopting safer and more comprehensive treatments such as preventive action.

Squirrel prevention is much more effective than using a potentially harmful or toxic treatment that is common to mothballs.

  • Find Out What Attracts Squirrels

In a bid to keep squirrels at bay, you’ll need to find out the source of their attraction. This is a much better alternative to mothball treatments. Squirrels are mostly attracted by food and fresh water.

Such food includes nuts, berries, mushrooms, seeds, and fruits among others.

You might want to check how your surrounding offers such incentives.

By clearing out scattered nuts and also sealing up seeds among other food sources, you’re making your home less attractive to these rodents.

This is a much safer alternative to mothball use.

  • Consider Calling for Professional Help

With mothballs within your home, there’s a possibility of damages already caused or created.

An example is the entry points used to gain access to your attic or other areas of your home. Such entry points will have to be fixed after treating or repelling squirrels.

Professional pest management services will adopt the best strategy that fits your situation. Of course, such methods are mostly safe and save you the stress of having to personally deal with these rodents.

  • As much as You Can, Avoid Mothball Use

Due to the many risks associated with mothball use, it’s best to avoid it altogether. The risks aren’t worth it.

Insisting on its use might end up creating a serious and irreversible health condition that may prove fatal.

We’ve seen that squirrels will be repelled due to the irritating fumes released by these solid insecticide balls.

Although mothballs will repel squirrels, it isn’t a reliable and effective method. Plus, it exposes humans and pets to a wide range of health risks.

You may want to reconsider your use of mothballs for such treatment. In its place, we’ve provided several alternatives chief of which is the hiring of a reputable pest management service.

After treatment, you’ll need to ensure that that re-infestation doesn’t occur.


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