Mothballs to Repel Rats

Updated November 21, 2016

People all over the nation have problems with rats infesting their homes and damaging their property. The estimated population of rats in the United States is the same as the human population, and it will only continue to grow. These rodents can carry diseases and and it is important to repel them from your property if you detect an infestation or as a preventive measure, but to do so without jeopardising your health.

What Are Mothballs?

Mothballs are a combination of chemicals that work as a pesticide and release a strong order. In earlier years they were composed of naphthalene, but because this chemical was easily flammable they are now composed of 1,4-dichlorobenzene. There are even times when insect repellent is included in the mothballs, which can be harmful to humans and pets.

Can I Place Mothballs Outdoors?

Rats are most commonly found outdoors in woodpiles, under patios and sheds, in compost or leaf piles, and in gardens. They can also be found in garages and under vehicles. Mothballs can be placed in garages and sheds easily, but for homeowners who have pets other outdoor areas should be avoided. The chemicals can cause harm to household pets and to other animals in the area.

Can I Place Mothballs Indoors?

Mothballs are commonly placed in the attics and basements, but anywhere else in the home should be cautioned and avoided. Be sure to read the directions on the packaging carefully, and to place the mothballs in areas where they will be out of reach in sealed containers. Also place the mothballs away from central ventilation systems.

Negative Side Effects of Mothballs

When used in large amounts mothballs can repel rats and other animals, but there are many negative side effects to those who are overexposed. Overexposure to the chemicals in mothballs can cause nausea, headaches, eye and nose irritation, and even more serious problems like liver and kidney damage. If any of these symptoms occur the homeowner should contact poison control right away.

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