Mice can be – to put it simply, a menace. A tiny mouse can wreak more havoc than you could possibly imagine before you even detect their presence in your home. Seeing as rodents are seemingly getting smarter and developing different methods to evade traps set to kill them or at least keep them away, it is no surprise that there are many methods devised to facilitate their extermination. One such method is the use of mothballs in high-concentration. With either paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene as its active ingredient, a mothball is a white ball-shaped pesticide that effectively keeps pests away.

The purpose of this article is to provide answers to frequently asked questions about the use of mothballs such as what do mothballs do to mice and will moth balls keep mice away.

It is important at this point to state that the chemicals that mothballs contain are highly-toxic fumigants that are volatile when exposed to open air. What this means is, mothballs in open space react with the air to create discomforting fumes that deter rodents and other pests in that vicinity. However, for mothballs to do more than just discomfort mice and actually serve as a permanent solution by keeping them away, the concentration of the fumigants must be high. When applied in high concentration, the fumigant in mothballs damages the indoor air quality and although it is toxic to mice and rats, it, unfortunately, can be toxic to humans as well.

Like any other strong pesticide, mothballs should be kept away from children when used in the home. If it is bad for rodents, it will also have a harmful effect on you, your kids and your pets. Ensure that everyone leaves the house till the toxic mothball fumes have dispersed completely.

So how do mothballs get rid of mice?

When the fumigants in mothballs react with air, they give off certain fumes that are irritating to mice and rats and as such the rodents tend to keep away from environments where mothball fumes are present. But, it is important for us to mention that the primary use of mothballs is to get rid of moth or other larvae from clothing. Which is why, for mothballs to become an effective rodent repellent, the chemical concentration has to be extremely high.

Advantages of using mothballs to get rid of mice

Using mothballs to keep mice away comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages.


Mothballs are one of the most popular mice repellents out there and can be purchased easily from online stores or department stores around you. So if you settle for the mothball method, you can find supplies easily in your local store.


Mothballs are an inexpensive yet highly-effective method of keeping the mice away thus making it a preferred choice for many people. These low-priced products can be just about everywhere.

Ease of Use

Mothball fumes can be quite disturbing, even to the humans who’re trying to get rid of mice. But the simplicity of its application process and the results are, perhaps, a worthy compensation for the smell. Not to mention that the size of the balls means that they can easily fit into small spaces where rats and mice hide.

However, there are also some disadvantages that you should consider before you settle for mothballs as an ideal mice extermination option for your house.

Disadvantages of using mothballs get rid of mice


As earlier stated, when in high concentration (which is essential for repelling mice), mothballs react with the air and release fumes that are toxic to people and could trigger allergies, cause choking and even death. The harm that could come from exposure to a high concentration of toxic chemicals found in mothballs is one major setback when it comes to using this pesticide. One proven way to avoid this setback is to leave your house whenever you place fresh mothballs in your home.

High risk of re-infestation

Using mothballs is a reliable method of getting rid of mice only when you consistently use this repelling method over an extended period of time. When the environment remains constantly hostile, rodents run off to a new location. But simply using the mothballs once or twice without replacing them leaves you at a high risk of re-infestation.

Harmful to Pets and Children

Mothballs are shaped like tiny white balls – and this is tempting for toddlers who are keen on throwing whatever they touch in their mouths. Additionally, your pets could chew on mothballs too, or be affected negatively by their toxic fumes. If you must use mothballs, do so with caution.

Does not work outdoors

Using mothballs outdoors is not very effective as weather conditions such as rainfall can easily dissolve the balls. Not to mention that the number of balls needed to achieve their rodent-repelling effect outdoors will be expensive.

It is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages mentioned above before choosing to use mothballs for your home.


In the end, it comes down to a yes or no answer to the question “Do mothballs keep mice away?”

And your answer will depend on how consistent you are with the application of mothballs. Because using this product consistently is an inexpensive and effective way to get rid of rats and mice.