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Do Mothballs Repel Mice?

December 26, 2020
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Nobody likes having mice in their home. Rodents inside your home can cause many problems since they can go through your food, gnaw on wires and furniture, and carry different diseases. When you notice a mice infestation in your home, it’s important to act on it right away. One popular way of eliminating rats and mice from a home is with the use of mothballs.

But do they really work: are mothballs effective for repelling mice? Even though mothballs can help control pests like moths and other bugs, it isn’t a very effective mice repellent. Aside from this, it also poses other risks to humans and pets. 

Using Mothballs To Repel Rats

Mothballs are classified as a pesticide and are used to help eliminate bugs and insects. It is commonly used to kill pests on fabric and clothing. These are commonly made of active chemicals, either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene.

Mothballs work by slowly turning from a solid to a toxic vapor. As these items can be harmful to the environment, mothballs are actually regulated by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). It is important to follow the instructions on the label when using it to prevent any unwanted accidents. 

Since mothballs are classified as a pesticide, it is not uncommon to use it as a mice repellent. It is believed to drive rodents away because it has naphthalene, a chemical that can cause blood cells to lose its ability to carry oxygen when inhaled. 

Naphthalene is also a strong-smelling substance. It emits a pungent scent that is sensitive to rats and mice. Since rodents have a strong sense of smell, some people think that mothballs can be used as a deterrent for these pests. Unfortunately, mothballs shouldn’t be used as mice repellents at all.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Mothballs to Repel Mice

Mothballs may be regarded as mice repellents, but it has not been proven effective. The amount of naphthalene found in mothballs is enough to eliminate moths on fabric like clothes and bedsheets, but it is not enough to repel mice. 

To effectively repel these rodents, you would need higher levels of naphthalene. However, using higher levels can be toxic to humans and other animals as well. The required level of this chemical to repel mice is the same level needed for humans.  

There have also been some instances wherein mice have walked past mothballs. When these are placed around the house and left alone for a while, rats and mice are generally smart enough to identify that it is a threat to them. They simply avoid the mothballs and take another route instead. 

The use of mothballs can pose risk to children and pets, since they can accidentally consume these. They may mistake these for food and candy, and can cause worse problems in the long run. 

Prolonged exposure to mothballs can also impose multiple health risks to humans. Some of the mild side effects are headaches and nausea, while some of the adverse effects include respiratory problems and kidney damage. 

Additionally, the use of mothballs as animal repellents is illegal. The Environmental Protection Agency prohibits the use of mothballs to repel mice, rats, squirrels, snakes, and other wildlife, which is another reason why it is not recommended to use mothballs to solve your household mice infestation.

4 Safer and More Effective Alternatives to Repelling Mice

Since mothballs can cause harm to humans and pets, you may want to consider other methods to repel mice. Here are four safer and more effective alternatives to eliminate mice in your property: 

  • DIY Rat Repellent Using Peppermint Oil: One method to help with a rat infestation is to make DIY rat repellents using household items with strong scents like peppermint oil. To do this, simply soak a cotton ball in peppermint oil and leave it in places that can serve as entryways or hiding places for mice.
  • Traps: There are different kinds of mouse traps you can choose from. Some of the common traps found on the market are the snap trap, the catch and release trap, the glue board, and the electronic trap. 
  • Electronic Repellents: Electronic repellents emit a high-frequency sound that rodents are sensitive to. This sound cannot be heard by humans, but it can help repel mice, rats, and other pests. 
  • Making Your House Unattractive For Mice: It is also recommended that you remove anything that will provide favorable living conditions for mice or rats. This can be done by storing food properly and removing clutter. Without a consistent food supply, these rodents will look for new shelter instead. 

Effective Rodent Control at Positive Pest Management

Using mothballs to control rodent infestation inside your house is definitely not an effective method and can even cause more problems than you already have. Because of this, it might be best to consider professional help when it comes to eliminating rats and mice. 

Positive Pest Management offers professional pest control services in All of New York City and Lower Westchester County. We have a team of expert staff that is highly experienced in extermination work. 

Our team is eager to work with you and provide you with customized solutions based on your needs. We promise to deliver excellent service that will help you with your problems. Call us whenever the need arises to know more. 

Read more: How To Get Rid of Rats Without Poison