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.
Do Mothballs Repel Squirrels?
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
Homeowners dealing with squirrel issues have been known to deploy a variety of treatment methods.
Quite a lot of these repellent methods include the use of common remedies which comprise of substances not originally designed for such purpose (repellent squirrels).
One of those we’ll be looking out for is the use of mothballs.
Mothballs are mostly comprised of either naphthalene or para-dichlorobenzene. These insecticide balls are designed for preserving and storing off-season clothes from moth damage.
Lately, people have gone beyond using it against cloth moths to applying for other pest issues.
Here, we’re interested n finding out if mothballs have any repellent effect on squirrels. Can these rodents be kept away from your home using mothball insecticides?
You’ll want to stick around to find out.
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.
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.
How Moth Balls Repel Squirrels
Apart from the fact that these chemical pesticides have a pungent smell, there’s hardly any detailed explanation about how squirrels are repelled by mothballs.
Squirrels, like most rodents, have a keen sense of smell that helps them with locating food sources.
Due to their heightened sense of smell, squirrels can perceive the pungent smell of mothballs from afar. They’re turned off by such a pungent smell and stay as far off as possible.
It’s also likely that the same way humans and pets are affected by the toxicity of mothballs is also applicable to rodents.
Even at that, the toxic effects do not manifest instantly.
They take time for symptoms to start showing. So, apart from the pungent smell of mothballs which drives squirrels, nothing more can be said for certain about the repellent effect of this pesticide on rodents.
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.
Moth Balls and Toxicity
Quite a lot has been said about toxicity levels people get exposed to through mothball use.
Is it actually toxic? If it is, would it be a bad idea to use it against squirrel infestations? The chemicals used for mothballs really are toxic.
Mothballs get dispersed or spread to a treated area through sublimation.
Sublimation simply refers to a situation where solids get converted to gases.
Now, these gas fumes when inhaled pose a serious toxicity threat. This is due to the contents which are naphthalene and para-dichlorobenzene.
Naphthalene in particular is known to be a carcinogen.
So, exposure to these by you or members of your household significantly places you at high risk. Symptoms of such toxicity include headaches, eye & nose irritation, nausea, and couching.
At significant levels of exposure, severe health conditions can result such as hemolytic anemia, as well as kidney and liver damage.
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, Remove & Repel
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.
Preventing squirrel infestation involves a wide range of strategies including placing gutter guards and covers for downspouts, and trimming overhanging branches closes to your roof.
Also, you’ll need to remove any pileup of debris against your walls, and filling up all cracks on walls and foundation.
You also need to eliminate all access to food sources, while also eliminating standing water.
In terms of repellents, there are lots of repellent products in the market you can buy to take care of your squirrel problem. However pressed you are, mothballs aren’t an option to consider.
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.