Mothballs or naphthalene balls are commonly used in homes to keep pests away. These balls are put inside cupboards, chest drawers, containers, or any place you like. But Do mothballs kill rats?
No, mothballs do not kill rats. Though their use is so extensive, it has become a common misconception and has made its way into our lives. These calls are not powerful enough to keep all the rats and mice away.
Reading this article will keep you aware and well-informed of all the things that can keep rats away and all that that doesn’t. It will address the common misinterpretations and guide you to the effective means of keeping rodents away.
What Are Mothballs Made Of?
The mothballs comprise of para-dichlorobenzene. It is an organic compound. The common name for it is naphthalene. The compound is toxic to insects and humans alike. What matters is its dosage of it.
This particular chemical can be shaped into a round ball and remain solid at room temperature. However, it can be changed to a flaky form and has the property of turning into fumes under particular conditions.
The mothballs have a pungent odor. These are solid lumps of pesticide. Their toxic vapors are enough to kill moths and their larvae. They can repel a number of small insects by their smell. The smell of mothballs can protect your cloths from being eaten away by creepy crawlies.
Why Are Mothballs Harmful?
The mothballs are considered harmful due to their chemical composition. These solid balls have a chemical compound that becomes vapors during air exposure. The reaction is slow, so it offers a long time of protection against insects.
The mothballs are not harmful only to insects but also to humans as well. They have a strong smell, and some people might be allergic to them. Other people complain about dizziness and experiencing nausea after smelling a mothball. Some people may even get headaches.
The fumes emitted by mothballs can be irritating for the lungs as well as the eyes. Those people who are sensitive must use it with care. The chemical compound in mothballs is also suspected of causing cancer if consumed.
Mothball Uses For Rats
In general, mothballs kill fiber insects, moths, and moth larvae. The moth balls are placed inside enclosed boxes or containers with all your clothing for the best results. It is the best protection against insect holes in your clothes.
With time, a myth has developed in social circles that moth balls are good enough for preventing rats, squirrels, and mice in your vicinity. However, it is not valid. The primary underlying thought is that mothballs can suffocate the animal.
Moreover, the pungent smell of mothballs can keep the rodents away. However, the mothballs serve no purpose in keeping the rats away. So, if you have been relying on this technique for so long, it is time to end it!
What Effect Does Mothballs Have On Rats?
The mothballs are extensively used in homes to keep rats away. However, the amount of naphthalene is insufficient to hamper the functioning of red blood cells circulating inside the rat’s body.
While moths and other small insects suffocate to death due to the red blood cells’ insufficiency to carry oxygen, the rats live on as survivors. If you want to kill rats with naphthalene balls, you will have to make a lot of effort.
First, you must catch the rat and place it inside an enclosed container. Secondly, you need to put lots of naphthalene balls inside so that their toxic vapors strangle the rat’s respiratory system. Just one or two balls are not enough to do the job.
The exposure may prolong to days, and there are chances you will get positive results or not. If the rats die, you can throw away their dead body.
Do Mothballs Repel Rats?
The mothballs do not repel rats. Many people line their house with mothballs or naphthalene balls, but all this goes in vain. People have packets stored in their grocery stocks to take a mothball out whenever they see rodents.
Using mothballs will not affect rats except for making the house smell bad. Neither will it prevent the rats from entering your house nor will it keep them away. Smelling these mothballs will not have the slightest effect on rats.
Therefore, you must resort to other measures to repelling the rats away. It involves the use of ginger or garlic cloves. You can also use the rat-repellant sprays to drive the rats out of your house.
How Much Exposure To Mothballs Is Dangerous?
There is a limit to the exposure of mothballs. The Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA) in the U.S.A has set a permissible limit for the use of mothballs. This limit is 10ppm (parts per million).
If you are using this beyond this limit, it can be toxic. How does this apply to rats? Say, if you are injecting your rats just to check the toxicity profile of the drug, any dose that exceeds this limit will be dangerous for the rats to come up with.
That is why, if you are a researcher, you must know the guidelines as well as the limit that has been set by international organizations. This way you can become aware of the dosage that is lethal for rats as well as humans.
Why Mothballs Are Ineffective for Rat Control?
Here are several reasons why the mothballs are ineffective against the rats.
The quantity of naphthalene present in mothballs is insufficient to kill rats. The dosage of naphthalene in mothballs is enough to deter small insects, especially fiber insects and moths.
Naphthalene balls are most effective when used inside sealed containers or enclosed spaces. The dose is not sufficient to kill big animals like rats.
The rats are intelligent animals. Even if the smell of naphthalene bothers them, they ignore it and try finding another entrance. Rats can squeeze through the tiniest of holes and find a new resting area for themselves in no time.
Is Moth Ball Good For Rats?
No, mothballs are not suitable for rats at all. Rats prefer to walk away from them if they sniff them. Their smell is pungent, and the rats do not like smelling them. They instantly recognize that it is not a substance to consume.
Moreover, rats keep their distance from substances that are not for them to eat. The unpleased smell of mothballs deters the rat away. However, the rats are intelligent creatures; if they want to make their way inside enclosed spaces, they will find another way.
If rats consume moth balls by mistake, though this is rare, they will choke and die. The amount of naphthalene should be more than the average to produce the effect.
Is It Safe To Have Mothballs In The House?
If you increase the dose of naphthalene to harm the rats, it will become a two-edged sword. It will affect humans too. Having a large quantity of mothball affects human beings too. Moreover, if you have any pets in your house, the high dose of naphthalene present in the place will hurt them too. There are some serious health risks involved with the mothballs.
Say the naphthalene ball fumes start circulating the air of your house; the children may develop long-term breathing problems. This can act as a slow poison for everyone breathing in the moth ball fumes.
Moreover, infants can also consume naphthalene balls indirectly. This negligence can result in dire consequences for the children. It involves a choking hazard for the animals as well as human beings.
Some mild symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and irritation in the nostrils.
Does Naphthalene Balls Prevent Rats In Car?
When it comes to putting mothballs inside the cars, they turn out to be effective against rats. Raw tobacco is yet another alternative that can be used for driving rats out of your vehicles.
Rats detest the smell of mothballs and will immediately leave your car in peace. The best thing about naphthalene balls is that they are cheap and readily available in the market.
All you have to do is go out and purchase them. Take our 3 to 4 balls and place them in different corners of the car. After getting a whiff of the fumes, the rats will be in a hurry to leave the vehicle.
If you do not find naphthalene balls, you can use phenyl spray and spray it in your car. This will make the rats run far away.
How Do Mothballs Kill Rats?
If you really mean to kill rats by using mothballs, you must do it in the following manner.
- Put the rat in an air-tight container
- Add all the mothballs present in one packet
- Close off the lid
- Make sure there are no holes in the container so that the fumes escape to the external environment
- This is done to make sure the rat suffocates to death
It might take more than a day, but the rat will die eventually.
This process is quite lengthy. As mothballs are not solely known for killing rats. Neither are they strong rat repellents. However, you can try new ways of getting rid of rats for good.
What Kind Of Animals Do Mothballs Keep Away?
The mothballs are considered illegal. Why? Because they are a threat to human health as well. However, a limited dose has never caused anyone harm. Neither have any cases been reported so far.
The pests are called off-label pests, including small animals like snakes, rats, mice, deer, skunks, and squirrels. After reading this article, you must be sure of one fact- that rats remain unaffected by mothballs.
Furthermore, the mothballs are only effective in driving the rodents away. They are not strong enough to bring about their death. If you intend to kill them, you might want to search for some intense means to do so.
Wrapping It Up
When you walk into a store, sometimes you grab a product that the man behind the counter recommended. However, do not always rely on that solely.
You should check before buying. It is a common practice to hand over mothballs to customers. It would be best if you did not fall for this. It will not yield the results that you desire.
If you keep using them, it will have no effect. That is why you do not need to buy them. The best alternative is installing snap traps and baits to lure the rats in. this will kill them and make your house infestation accessible.
To prevent the re-entry of the rats, you can use natural remedies like garlic and ginger.