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Fact or Fiction: Do Mothballs Keep Mice Away?

Do Mothballs Keep Mice Away? Have you ever heard of using mothballs to keep mice away from your home? It seems like a convenient solution, but does it really work? Some people swear by this method, while others claim it’s a complete myth. With so much conflicting information out there, it can be difficult to know what to believe.

In this blog, we will explore the topic of using mothballs as a mouse repellent and separate fact from fiction. So, get ready to discover the truth about mothballs and their effectiveness in keeping mice away.

What Are Mothballs?

Mothballs are small, round balls that are used as a pesticide to control and prevent moths from damaging clothes and other textiles. They are typically made of either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, both of which have a strong, pungent odor that is effective at repelling moths.

The use of mothballs has been a common practice for many years, with some people even using them as a general pest control method to keep other insects and rodents away. While mothballs can be effective in some situations, they can also be dangerous if not used properly, and there are concerns about their impact on the environment.

Do Mothballs Keep Mice Away?

The short answer is no, despite their reputation as a mouse repellent. Mothballs are typically used to protect clothing from damage by moths, but their use as a mouse deterrent is a common misconception. While the smell of mothballs may be unpleasant to humans, it is unlikely to deter mice from entering your home. In fact, there is little scientific evidence to support the idea that mothballs are effective in repelling mice.

So why do some people believe that mothballs work? One reason could be the pungent smell of naphthalene, the active ingredient in many mothballs. This odor can be overpowering and may give the impression that it is effective in keeping mice away. However, mice have a keen sense of smell and can quickly become accustomed to the scent of mothballs, rendering them ineffective as a long-term solution.

Another factor that may contribute to the myth of mothballs as a mouse repellent is the fact that they are often used in areas where mice are commonly found, such as attics and basements. However, it is likely that any reduction in mouse activity in these areas is due to other factors, such as the lack of food and water sources, rather than the presence of mothballs.

Read More about what smells keep mice away.

Natural And Safe Methods To Deter Mice

When it comes to deterring mice, there are a variety of natural and safe methods you can use in your home. You don’t have to resort to toxic chemicals or harmful pesticides to keep mice at bay.

  • One of the most effective natural deterrents is peppermint oil, which has a strong scent that mice can’t stand.
  • Another option is to use ultrasonic repellents, which emit high-frequency sounds that mice find unpleasant.
  • You can also try sealing up any holes or cracks in your home’s exterior to prevent mice from getting inside.
  • Keeping your home clean and clutter-free is another important step in deterring mice, as they are attracted to food crumbs and other debris.
  • Finally, consider using humane traps to catch and release any mice that do make their way into your home. By using these natural and safe methods, you can effectively deter mice without putting yourself or your family at risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Mothballs Keep Mice Out Of Campers?

No. While the strong odor of mothballs may deter some rodents, it is unlikely to be a foolproof method for keeping mice away from your camper.

Do Moth Balls Keep Mice Out Of Cars?

No. There is no clear evidence to support the claim that mothballs can keep mice out of cars. In fact, the use of mothballs in cars can be dangerous and harmful to human health. Mothballs contain toxic chemicals that can emit fumes and cause respiratory problems, especially in enclosed spaces like cars.

Will Moth Balls Keep Mice Out Of My Shed?

No. While mothballs may have some deterrent effect on rodents, they are not a guaranteed solution and may not be effective in preventing mice from entering your shed.

Does Mothballs Under The House Keep Snakes And Mice Away?

No. While mothballs are believed to be effective in repelling certain pests, such as moths and some insects, there is little evidence to support their use as a snake or mouse deterrent. Some people claim that placing mothballs around the perimeter or underneath the house can help keep these unwanted visitors away, but the effectiveness of this method is questionable.


As we conclude our discussion on mothballs and their effectiveness in repelling mice, it is important to note that while these products may have a strong odor, they are not a reliable or safe solution for keeping mice away. In fact, using mothballs can pose serious health risks to humans and pets, and their effectiveness in repelling mice is largely a myth.

Fortunately, there are natural and safe methods to deter mice, such as sealing up any entry points, keeping your living spaces clean and free of food debris, and using essential oils or other natural repellents. By taking these preventative measures and avoiding the use of harmful products like mothballs, you can effectively keep mice out of your home or other spaces without putting yourself or others at risk.

So remember, the next time you’re tempted to reach for the mothballs, think twice and consider safer and more effective options for keeping mice away.

Robert Gillman, Ph.D.

Science Editor

Robert Gillman is a rodentologist and the publisher of the website RodentsFacts. He has dedicated his career to studying rodents and their behavior, habitats, and impact on the environment. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Robert has become an expert in rodent control and management, and has helped countless individuals and organizations address rodent infestations.

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