Do Mothballs kill or repel all insects?

December 16, 2012

I have been in and under houses when the distinctive aroma of mothballs finds its way into my nostrils. Some people claim to like that odor, I am not one of them. Let's answer the question posed in the title of this blog.

The label on a typical mothball box usually mentions two insects that the mothballs may be used against. They are moths (go figure) and carpet beetles. The manufacturers do not list any other uses. The label directs users to place the mothballs in a closed or sealed container along with whatever you are trying to protect. This will prevent the pesticide fumes from gathering in living spaces where people and pets might in hale them. Yes, I said pesticide fumes. Mothballs contain fumigants that can be harmful to humans if ingested or inhaled over the long term. The vapors, once released tend to linger for long periods of time. 

Mothballs are not to be used as a rodent repellant either. My brother was right, mom was breaking the law. Mothballs are registered pesticides and to use them in ways not specified on the lable is against federal law. The Environmental Protection Agency has decreed that the label of any restricted pesticide and it's use is the law. So, when you see mothballs being used incorrectly gently inform the user about the improper use and when mom is out shopping tell your brother to go and gather the ones he finds up.

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