Do moth balls kill moths?

Do moth balls kill moths? It is probably of no surprise that the answer is in fact Yes, moth balls do kill moths. Anti-moth balls contain pesticides that are intended to kill clothes moths and other fabric consuming and thread wrecking pests.

They are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The label on any pesticide, including mothballs, will always specify exactly where and how you can legally use the product. Using mothballs in a manner not specified on the label is not only illegal, but can also harm people, pets, and even the environment.[/vc_column_text]

Html code here! Replace this with any non empty text and that's it.

Balls, flakes, crystals, and moth or naphthalene bars are insecticides. They come in a solid form that slowly produces a toxic gas that will kill moths and other insects. Naphthalene balls in the United States contain very high concentrations of naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene as the main active ingredients. To remain safe, they should be ideally used in relatively sealed containers so that the gases that are produced do not disperse too much into your own environment. The trapped gases accumulate inside the container and kill any moths inside. If mothballs are used in unsealed and unmonitored conditions, they can harm people, animals, or wildlife that may touch or eat the mothballs, or accidentally breathe in their harmful vapors.

Some anti-moth balls on sale may be illegal, meaning that they were imported without the contents or labeling of the product having been supervised. Because they have not been evaluated, the risks they present are unknown.

These white marbles of strong and strange odor are used to prevent insects, especially moths, from eating natural fibers such as wool and paper, so it is common to see them next to clothes and books stored in the closet, attic or basement.

The repellent used in the balls can also be in the form of a flake, a thick disc, or a soap bar. You may have seen these before lurking around in the back of a cupboard. Beware to avoid them as much as possible. It really isn’t good for any animals to come into contact with them.

Moth Ball Uses & Alternatives

Faced with the risks associated with naphthalene pellets, many people have begun to avoid using them at all costs, replacing them with natural moth repellents such as cedarwood, lavender or Indian lilac.


How to get rid of moths naturally


If you want to use mothballs anyway, the U.S. National Pesticide Information Center recommends reading the product instructions first.

The label usually asks the user to place the pellets in a tightly closed container so that pesticide vapors are not released into spaces where people and pets can breathe them for long periods. Inside airtight containers, vapors released by the pellets accumulate and kill moths. Of course, concentrations high enough to kill insects can also pose a potential risk to people, so clothing that is stored in appropriate containers and protected with these products should be aired before use.

A common mistake is to use the pellets in containers that are not airtight, allowing toxic vapors to escape into the surrounding air. This can lead to long-term exposure capable of causing serious health problems.

Another common mistake is to use pellets in gardens or other outdoor locations to control insects, snakes, and other wildlife. In addition to the fact that using the product outdoors can cause harm to children, pets and other animals, they can also contaminate soil, plants, and water.

How should mothballs be used to kill moths?

To work, camphor balls are enclosed with clothing, allowing vapors to accumulate and kill moths or larvae. Before clothing is worn, the fabric must be aerated. This is very important for children who are especially vulnerable to vapors. Camphor balls are a carcinogen, and their vapors should not be inhaled by humans or pets, as they can be deadly.

Badly ventilated rooms where camphor balls are used can be especially dangerous. Extended exposure to camphor ball vapors can lead to irritation of the throat, nose, and lungs, along with headaches and confusion, as well as depression or irritation. Long-term exposure can lead to liver or kidney failure.

Correct use of moth balls

Normally the containers where the mothballs are stored come with instructions for the user, these containers must be actually sealed, which will prevent pesticide fumes from accumulating in spaces where people and pets can breathe them in for extended periods of itme. Inside airtight containers, vapors from mothballs accumulate and kill those nasty little clothes moths.

How do mothballs affect people?

The smell of naphthalene is almost a nostalgic smell for some adults as they can remember it from childhood, as these poison balls were probably more widely used and probably used a little bit more carelessly. People would put naphthalene balls in their clothes drawers to kill moths that try to eat your clothes, putting holes in all your favourite outfits. If they’re made out of natural materials that is. Gardeners use naphthalene balls to repel pests from destroying plants. However, studies conclude that overexposure to naphthalene is harmful to people, animals, and the environment.

Harmful Effects

Paradichlorobenzene can be a carcinogen and can also damage the liver and kidneys at high doses. Exposure to naphthalene can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and shortness of breath. When people inhale naphthalene vapors, they inhale a pesticide. Using naphthalene in open spaces can harm children and pets and contaminate soil and water. Children and pets can mistake them for candy and eat them. If this happens, call for emergency help immediately.

Safe Use

After opening a packet of naphthalene balls, they should be stored in an airtight container, sealed in an area with separate ventilation from the house, such as a garage or even a garden shed. The correct way to use naphthalene balls is to place them between the clothing in an airtight, sealed container so that toxic gases are trapped. After storage, the container should be opened outdoors and the clothes thoroughly washed.

Natural Alternatives To Moth Balls

Clothes should be thoroughly washed, then placed in airtight containers. Drawers and cupboards should be completely vacuumed (Some people don’t like the pungent smell of cedar wood shavings and fresh herbs). They can be placed with clothing to keep moths at bay. In the garden, cedarwood chips can act as a pest repellent when placed around plants. The smell will be much more pleasant, and the decorative character of the shavings integrates perfectly into the natural environment. Another alternative is to plant lots of lavender. For some reason all the annoying critters hate it and you get lovely purple flowers in summer.

Naphthalene alternatives you can use

• Cedarwood chips are ideal for keeping moths away. You can opt for trunks made of this wood or go all out and get a cedar wardrobe

• Store clothes in airtight bags. Everything needs air to survive.

• Clean the surface of the wardrobe once a week with lavender oil. They hate lavender.

• Hide cloves and cinnamon in the wardrobe and behind the appliances to scent the place. I have yet to try this as Neem oil, cedar and lavender are my weapons of choice.

• Wipe down cupboards or wardrobes with apple cider vinegar. This will kill any larvae or eggs you missed.

How to Get Rid of Mothballs

Naphthalene balls can be a useful tool for murdering those scum bag moth babies. Placed in a closet or in your chest of drawers to keep clothes free from the relentlessly hungry jaws of the moth larvae . However, naphthalene balls themselves can leave behind a pungent, unpleasant odor, and you may want to remove them from your home completely. It takes a bit of work to get rid of the naphthalene balls, ensuring there is no trace of that strong odor remaining on your clothes.


  1. Remove all mothballs from your closet, wearing rubber gloves to keep the odor from your hands. Place the removed mothballs in a plastic bag, tying the handles of the bag in a knot to keep them inside.
  2. Throw the bag in the trash outside if possible, like the one on the sidewalk waiting to be picked up. You want them as far away from your house as possible if we’re ever going to get that smell out of your house.
  3. Get some baby powder and sprinkle it over any clothes that still smell of naphthalene. Use a hairdryer on the garments for a few minutes to help freshen them up and to spread the baby powder more effectively.
  4. Shake clothes into a sink or into your garden, to remove any excess baby powder.
  5. You can also tumble dry the clothes on a low level in the tumble dryer, the heat and the tumble action will help to remove any traces of those poisonous naphthalene balls.

So there you have it, if you had somehow been wondering do moth balls kill moths? We hope that you have gotten the answers you were looking for. Always remember when mothballs are used correctly in an airtight container, the risk of exposure to humans and pets is low. However, if mothballs are not used correctly or are used outdoors, the gas can be released into the environment where people can unintentionally breathe in the vapors. If you can smell naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, then that means you are breathing in the pesticide. Be sure to take all the necessary precautions and follow all instructions to avoid poisoning or any other accident. Remember to always keep out of the reach of children and pets.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here