Life Improvements

Why Are Moth Balls Toxic?

moth balls

5 Compelling Reasons to Choose Moth Ball Alternatives

What are moth balls typically used for?

If you’re using moth balls, you are usually trying to control moths or silverfish, which are pests that can damage your clothing. Moth balls are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These were invented in 1948, and these smelly, white orbs are considered old fashioned in today’s world. You are now asking yourself ‘Why do I allow moth balls toxic traits into my home?’

Follow along as we improve your life by telling you why you shouldn’t use moth balls.

Contact us!

1. They STINK – Like a Musty Attic

moth balls

This is one of the reasons we recommend people to stop using moth balls. They smell very unpleasant, like a musty attic. The nasty smell of mothballs gets worse the longer you inhale it, and they are also toxic.

2. TOXIC Chemicals Are In Them

moth balls

Using moth balls can be toxic due to the chemicals that are found in them. They contain naphthalene and/or paradichlorobenzene. These have both been found to be potentially carcinogens and are poisonous. With prolonged exposure to the fumes from using moth balls, you can become VERY ill.

3. NOT Kid or Pet Safe – Uh Oh!

moth balls

The chemicals we talked about above (naphthalene & paradichlorobenzene) are toxic to both humans and pets. These chemicals are in a solid form to begin with, but slowly change to a gas, which can be inhaled if you’re not careful. Pets and children may mistake the small, round shape of a mothball as candy, and they may try to eat them. If this happens, seek medical attention right away.

4. Ineffective to MICE – Yuck!

moth balls

Avoid using moth balls as a rodent repellant, as they are not strong enough. However, even the amount of naphthalene found in moth balls can be toxic to humans, so using a higher concentration of that would be extremely dangerous. There are certain all-natural pesticides that repel mice though, so don’t be discouraged!

5. They DON’T Last Long Anywhere

moth balls

Moth balls usually only last 4-6 months, but even when they dissolve, the nasty smell of them will linger around. Using moth balls is not very effective because the chemical in them used to repel moths evaporates into a gas in the air.

5 Alternatives to Moth Balls

1. Cedar Sense’s Cedar Balls

moth balls

Our all-natural cedar balls last 3-7 years. They are non-toxic, so you can put them anywhere in your home and not have to worry about your children or pets getting ill from being around it. We provide eastern red aromatic cedar that not only keeps your clothes fresh year-round, but also deters pests like moths and mice.

2. Moth Traps

Hang in closets to catch moths. They last up to 3 months and are pet/kid safe. You can get replacement moth trap strips and reuse the original trap.

3. White Camphor Oil

This is a natural essential oil that can deter pests like moths away. Dilute the oil and store it in a spray bottle. Spray down your closets and it can help keep moths away.

4. Cedar Scented Spray

You can use this spray on people, plants, and pets, as well as in and around your home to deter some bugs including moths.

5. Citronella Candles

Place lit citronella candles outside your home when the bugs come out and it will help keep them at bay. Citronella can deter mosquitos and moths.

To Conclude…

Here’s a list of 5 reasons to stop using mothballs as well as 5 alternatives to moth balls. We want to improve your daily life any way that we can.

STOP using mothballs!
  1. They stink
  2. Toxic chemicals in them
  3. Not Kid/Pet Safe
  4. They don’t work on mice
  5. They don’t last long
Here’s what to us instead!
  1. Cedar Sense’s eastern red aromatic cedar
  2. Moth traps
  3. White camphor oil
  4. Cedar spray
  5. Citronella
moth balls

The National Pesticide Information Center
The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH)

More Useful Tips From Cedar Sense

If you liked these great reasons to stop using mothballs, check out the many different uses cedar has!

If you found this post useful, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, where we give you tips & tricks for FREE!

Check us out on our other platforms!


What does moth ball keep away?
Mothballs sometimes are used illegally to repel pests not listed on labels. Some of these “off-label pests” include: squirrels, skunks, deer, mice, rats, and snakes, among others animals. Cedar is a much more safer option.

Are mothballs harmful to humans?
According to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), the chemicals used in mothballs can be toxic to humans and pets and as people are exposed to these chemicals that are released as toxic fumes in the air space of the home. None of this happens with natural cedar.

Can smelling mothballs make you sick?
Inhalation of naphthalene may cause skin and eye irritation; gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea; neurologic symptoms, such as confusion, excitement, and convulsions; renal problems, such as acute renal shutdown; and hematologic features, such as icterus and severe anemia. Eastern Red Cedar does not cause any of these issues, as it is all natural and non-toxic to pets and kids.

Are mothballs toxic to dogs?
Mothballs are very toxic to dogs, cats, and people. Using eastern red cedar is the only safe, all natural, non-toxic pest repellent.

Leave a Reply