Can I Use Mothballs to Get Rid of Mice?


Filed under: Rodents


You might have heard that mothballs will solve your mouse problem, and you’re wondering if it’s true. We’re glad you asked, because there can be a few potential problems with using mothballs as a pest control solution.

Technically speaking, using mothballs to combat a mouse infestation would be illegal. That’s because any EPA-registered pesticide must be used according to label instructions, and moth ball labels clearly state that the product should be used to control fabric pests (like moths) only.

What about mothballs that are sold specifically for use against rodents? Yikes. If you encounter someone selling such a product, definitely don’t buy it. Since mothballs are not approved by the EPA for that purpose, mothballs labelled as a pest control agent would actually be illegal products.

Having said that, many people figure that the EPA won’t know if they utilize mothballs to eradicate mice in their own home. So maybe you feel tempted to try it anyway, but we definitely do not recommend doing that!

The reason people think mothballs work against mice is because they contain naphthalene. When inhaled or ingested, naphthalene alters red blood cells so that they cannot carry oxygen. But because mothballs contain naphthalene in minimal amounts, it really won’t have much effect on mice anyway. Mice will likely just find another place to nest, so that they aren’t living in immediate proximity to any mothballs, but they’ll still be all around your home.

In fact, some recent studies have linked naphthalene to nasal cancer and other health problems in humans. It’s not likely that a few mothballs in the attic would have this effect, but why take the chance?

And since mothballs can contaminate soil, water, and plants, we definitely don’t recommend using them outdoors either.

In short, if you’re considering mothballs as a pest control solution for mice, it is simply a bad idea. It won’t work, and it could even be dangerous or theoretically illegal. If you’re concerned about a rodent problem, give us a call and we’ll help you identify safe and effective solutions.



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