Do Mothballs Repel Mice?

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Mothballs are one of the most common household items used to protect clothes from being damaged by moths. Do mothballs repel mice? Mothballs pose several other risks to humans and pets.

Mothballs are very harmful to the environment and pets. Additionally, many illegal mothball products on the market have not been evaluated for safety by the EPA.

Mothballs, repel mice, and pesticides—the only time these phrases are together is to illustrate their illegal use. Frequently, there are even illegal versions of common pesticides that pop up on the market.

People will often try to find a cheap and easy way to get rid of rodents, but using mothballs as a pesticide can have dangerous consequences. 

Continue reading to find out more about do mothballs repel mice.

What Mothballs are and Why They are Dangerous?

do mothballs repel mice

Mothballs are small balls that prevent clothes moths from chewing holes in clothing. The active ingredient present in mothballs is naphthalene, a chemical that releases fumes that kill the moths.

Mothballs must be placed in a sealed container so the fumes can build up and be effective.

Mothballs are balls that release fumes to kill insects. There are two active ingredients in mothballs- naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene.

While the fumes from mothballs might not be harmful to you when they are sealed in the ball, it is important to be aware that they can be harmful if breathed in for a long period.

Mothballs are small balls that contain a pesticide, which is harmful to both the environment and your health. When opened and worn, the mothball will release the pesticide you will inhale. It can be dangerous because the pesticide is known to be carcinogenic.

Do mothballs repel mice?

Grey rat near wooden wall on floor. Pest control

Now, let’s get into detail: do moth balls repel mice? Mothballs and mice go hand in hand. However, there is no scientific evidence that mothballs repel mice.

There is some evidence to suggest that mothballs are not even effective against moths. One level of naphthalene is not enough to kill or repel mice, and it is too toxic for humans.

Additionally, the concentration of naphthalene needed to be effective against moths is much higher than what would be harmful to humans.

Mothballs do not repel mice, and they can be harmful to children and pets if ingested. Additionally, prolonged exposure to mothballs can cause a variety of health risks in humans. Moths are smart enough to avoid mothballs, so they are not an effective way to get rid of them.

Mothballs also have some signs of side effects. These include headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, and kidney damage. Some of the adverse effects are more serious than others, so it is important to be aware of them before using mothballs as a mouse repellent.

Mothballs are a common household item, but they are not recommended to solve your mouse infestation. Using mothballs as animal repellents is illegal in many states.

If you have a rodent problem, it’s best to call a professional exterminator.

Do mothballs keep mice away outdoors?

Close up the rat in dry leaf background. Animal contagious disease concept.

Mothballs are a type of pesticide that is used to keep pests away. In the case of mice, the smell of mothballs near their nest would bother them, and they would find a way around the mothballs.

Mothballs are a popular way to get rid of rodents, but they come with many risks.

The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) warns that mothballs can contaminate plants, soil, and water, potentially harming wildlife. In addition, using mothballs is not always effective in getting rid of mice.

How to use mothballs to get rid of mice at home?

White naphthalene balls on black velvet

Mothballs are a popular way to get rid of mice from the house. However, it is not very effective. The strong smell of the mothballs scares the mice away.

To use mothballs effectively, take small containers with lids and pierce holes. It will allow the smell to escape and deter the mice.

You can place a few mothballs in a container where the mice come. The mothballs will help to get rid of the mice.

Mothballs can help to get rid of mice by stopping them from getting inside your home in the first place. Mothballs are an effective way to get rid of mice in the attic. The balls work to make the area inhospitable to the rodents, and eventually, they will leave.

While this is a solution to the problem, it is not always a desirable one, as mothballs give off an unpleasant smell.

Do mothballs, pesticides, and other products kill mice in the house?

Cute rat in an old wooden barn with hay.

Mothballs do not kill mice. They don’t do anything to deter them permanently. Mothballs repel mice and rats because the smell of the chemical in the mothballs interferes with their sense of smell.

It will make them avoid an area where there are mothballs, which can help prevent them from entering a home or structure.

Do mothball scents keep rats away?

Mothballs are a popular, if not altogether effective, way to try and keep rats away. The theory is that the smell of the mothballs will ward off the rats. However, this is not always the case, as rats can be stubborn creatures.

In addition, mothballs for rats are troublesome as they are to humans- meaning that both parties can suffer from the effects of the mothballs. Rats need industrial traps and professionals for removal.

Do mothballs repel rodents?

Mothballs are not effective at repelling rodents. They are attracted to the chemical naphthalene, which is found in mothballs.

Using mothballs as a form of pest control is not an effective strategy. There are many other methods to get rid of rodents, including traps and poison.

How to keep away mice without mothball pesticide effects?

One cute rat looking out of a wooden box

Mothballs are a popular way to get rid of mice, but they can be harmful to humans and pets if used incorrectly. There are four alternatives that you can use to get rid of mice on your property: 

There are a few popular ways to keep mice, like Snake traps, catch and release traps, and glue boards. Each method has its pros and drawbacks, so users need to decide which one best suits their needs.

Electronic repellers emit high-frequency sound that rodents are sensitive to. Some people also like to use mothballs as a repellent- although this method can be dangerous for pets and children.

Finally, you can try blocking any entrances that the mice might be using to get into your home.

It is important to remove anything that will provide favorable living conditions for them, including food, water, and shelter to keep mice away.

Start taking care of any cracks or crevices in the home’s foundation, closing up any holes in the walls or roof, and getting rid of clutter. Additionally, mothballs can be used as a deterrent. Mice will usually leave an area if they can’t find food there. 

Some things, like mouse urine smells, can give away the nest’s areas. Another DIY removal method is keeping all the essential oils on hand.

Put some oil in a glass bowl as a mice repellant threat and wait for the mice to approach. Everything related to the essential oil smell will repel them.

Do mice eat soap?

Mice are known to nibble on anything available to them. It includes food and items like soap or glue that contain animal fat. So yes, mice will eat soap if it is accessible.


Mothballs are a common way to try and control rodents, but they are not very effective. The active ingredient in mothballs, naphthalene, can irritate rats if a high enough dosage is used, but it’s not in the common mothball.

There are better ways to control rodents that don’t involve using potentially harmful chemicals. The amount of naphthalene in a common mothball is not high enough to cause any harm or discomfort to rodents.

However, it is important to remember that naphthalene is a dangerous chemical and can be harmful to humans and pets if ingested. In conclusion, using mothballs to repel mice can be risky.

While the right amount of naphthalene will deter rodents, too much can be harmful and even deadly.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.