Can You Use Mothballs to Keep Out Pests?

Pest infestations can be nasty. Could mothballs help?

Mothballs are, obviously, a good way to rid your home of moths. But what about other pests? Are mothballs as effective against other unwanted creepy crawlers as they are against moth infestations? To answer that question, we first need to look at how mothballs work and how they’re intended to be used in a home.

How Mothballs Work

When you open a package of mothballs, you should see a handful of nuggets that look something like after-dinner mints. These are mothballs in their solid state. But over time, mothballs go through a process called “sublimation,” transitioning from a solid to a gas.

As they sublimate, mothballs give off toxic fumes that will eradicate any moths, larvae or eggs in the area. This method is effective but can also be hard to control. For the best results mothballs should be placed in airtight, closed-off areas so the gas all stays in one place.

Do Mothballs Keep Out Other Pests?

It might make sense to use mothballs to keep all kinds of pests out of your home. But even if mothballs technically work against other pests, it’s still not really a good idea.

Mothballs have a specific use and application. They’re relatively safe if limited to places that are out of the way and sealed off, making it difficult for children and pets to get near them or their fumes.

But if you start using mothballs more frequently around your house, the chances of someone being exposed to them soar. Placing them out in the open can only lead to trouble.

Besides, you’re much better off tackling a pest infestation with methods designed for your specific pest. Mixing and matching different pest control tools is not a good idea. You wouldn’t use a mousetrap to get rid of moths, so why use mothballs to deal with a mouse problem?

Only use mothballs for the tasks specifically described on their label. Otherwise, you’re taking unnecessary risks.

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