Have you ever had an infestation of mice? If yes, then you will be pretty happy to read everything that you can about getting rid of them yourself. That may be leading you to a lot of contradicting answers. They will mainly be about what you can and can’t use to rid them from your home. One of the questions that you may have asked yourself is: Do mothballs repel mice?
In this article, we are going to cover that question, if you should use them, or not, and why. First of all, let’s have a look at where the thought has originated.
First things first, let’s look at the reasoning as to why they may work.
What Is A Mothball?
Mothballs are small balls of chemical pesticides and deodorants used to prevent mold and moth larvae from damaging clothes. Some of the older mothballs were a chemical called naphthalene. However, due to the flammability, the majority of the more modern mothballs are made from 1,4-dichlorobenzene. They both appear the same, and unless you know which is which, they would be challenging to tell them apart.
Both of those chemicals are highly hazardous and cause severe damage to any animal that eats them or exposed to them for any length of time. Since 2008, the EU has banned all mothballs that contain naphthalene due to its health hazards. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the state of California both consider 1,4-dichlorobenzene to be carcinogenic.
Therefore, the chemicals in both of them are highly dangerous. However, the design of mothballs was to work only in airtight containers. They work by releasing a gas that will kill pests and their larvae that is inside the box.
Mothballs As Repellents
While in the past, using mothballs to repel mice has been used, it is because of its high toxicity. However, the main misconception about them is that if you are using them in open areas, such as living spaces, they are not toxic. That is not true. Using mothballs in that way will lead to long term exposure to the chemicals and cause severe damage to people and pets that are in the vicinity.
One mothball can cause serious harm to a child. The reason for that is because mothballs are nearly 100% active ingredient. Not to mention the fact that it is illegal to use any pesticide any other way than is stated on the packaging. It is highly unlikely that you will find mothball packaging that tells you to use them anywhere other than in an airtight container.
So, people think that mothballs repel mice is because of the high levels of dangerous chemicals in them.
Do Mothballs Repel Mice?
The shortest answer to this question is no. Mice do not know the damaging effects that mothballs have. Therefore, the smell of the chemical will not turn away or deter most animals. There have been cases of mice and rats walking straight past mothballs. So, they certainly do not even repel them. It may well kill the rodent if exposed to the chemical for long enough. However, you then have to hope that they do not die in your wall cavity.
Usually, there is a little bit more of a conclusion to write at the end of articles. However, this one only requires a few questions and answers, I think:
Do mothballs repel mice? No
Will mothballs kill mice? Yes, if there is enough exposure.
Do mice eat mothballs? No
Will exposing the mice to mothballs in high enough quantity be easy? No.
Could it harm you and your family to try to repel mice with mothballs? Yes
Is it illegal to use mothballs as a deterrent? Indeed it is.
Perhaps you should read our article about what mice are attracted to.