Do Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away?Effective Method or Myth

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Gardeners have experimented with many repellents to keep squirrels out of their gardens. The use of strong scents that repel squirrels is one of these strategies. But, do mothballs keep squirrels away?

Yes, Mothballs keep the squirrel away effectively because of their powerful smell. They are very harmful to the environment, so using natural deterrents can help. Mothballs are pesticides used to manage moths, silverfish, and other fiber pests in wool and other natural fiber apparel and textiles.

Mothballs are used by people who work both indoors and outdoors to keep squirrels away. Mothballs are used in several different places to repel squirrels, as explained in the given article.

How Toxic Are Mothballs To Squirrels?


Mothballs contain compounds that are poisonous to squirrels. By inhaling the gases, people are exposed to the compounds in mothballs. Squirrels are exposed to these mothballs if they smell like mothballs. Mothball repellents are shown to have transient adverse effects on squirrels when they eat them as food.

Hemolytic anemia is one of the more severe symptoms of naphthalene exposure. Additionally, naphthalene may be carcinogenic. Also, prolonged mothball exposure might harm a squirrel`s liver and kidneys.

How Should Mothballs Be Used to Deter Squirrels?

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Mothballs eliminate pests, including squirrels, moths, and fiber insects. Place mothballs around your flowers or even in areas around the yard, such as the attic, if you have a squirrel problem inside and around your home. Before using any items that have been mothball-treated, make sure to wash them all.

Mothballs made with paradichlorobenzene are less dangerous than those made with naphthalene. Even one mothball, when ingested, can be poisonous. The substances may harm blood cells.

Do Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away From Plants?

Do Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away From Plants

Yes, squirrels can be deterred by placing mothballs around your plants. Every few weeks or so, when the fragrance of these mothballs starts to diminish, replace them.

But Significant environmental issues arise from using mothballs in gardens to repel squirrels from plants. They typically contain paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene. These substances can enter the soil and groundwater and are extremely dangerous. The plants you are trying to protect from these mothball risks can possibly suffer damage.

Do Moth Balls Keep Squirrels Out Of Flowerpots?


Yes, the smell of mothballs keeps squirrels away from flowerpots and other plants. Naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, two compounds with powerful scents, are the main components of mothballs.

As they break down and transition from a solid, they emit an extremely powerful and offensive gas. The only drawback of mothballs is that you must refill them once a week.

Will Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away From Bird Feeders?

Bird Feeders

Yes, mothballs will keep squirrels away from bird feeders. Even though they contain chemicals, mothballs are an effective squirrel repellent. They use a powerful smell that the squirrels detest to keep them from visiting bird feeders without harming them.

The bird species dislike a mothball as well. The odor of mothballs will also keep birds off birdfeeders. Ingestion of mothballs by birds from a birdfeeder may cause Vomiting, sluggishness, and appetite loss. Inhaling the vapors from moth balls has also poisoned pet birds.

Do Mothballs Keep Squirrels Out Of The Attic?


Yes, mothballs are used in attics to keep squirrels under control instead of clothing moths. However, mothballs should be kept in firmly closed containers and not in basements, attics, or other areas. The mothballs release gases into the air, leading to respiratory issues.

In enclosed spaces, high concentrations of chemical fumes can build up. Long-term exposure to people and animals from improper usage of mothballs is possible. Because the vapors are heavier than air, they will collect along floors and endanger young children and animals.

Are Mothballs Illegal To Use To Keep Squirrels Away?

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This varies depending on where you reside. However, many locations have outlawed the use of mothballs to keep squirrels away due to their severely harmful environmental consequences. The Environmental Protection Agency in the US is in charge of controlling them. 

Mothballs, like all pesticides, have labels that outline exactly where and how they can be used legally to keep squirrels away. Mothball usage not authorized by the label is prohibited and dangerous for people, animals, and the environment. It’s possible that some of the mothballs for sale were imported without proper review of their labeling or ingredients. The risks they pose are unknown because they haven’t been examined.


Squirrels can be cute, but they can also cause much damage to gardens and gnaw on nearly everything in sight. Squirrels can be repelled using mothballs as well. While many claims that mothballs, are also toxic and can be deadly to the squirrel, your family, and your pets, quite helpful in the war against these small rodents.

Mothballs made with paradichlorobenzene are less dangerous than those made with naphthalene. When ingested, even one mothball can be poisonous. Blood cells may be harmed by the substances. Up to five days after consuming a mothball, the effects might not become apparent.


National Pesticide Information Center