What are Moth Balls

How do you react when you see your newly purchased woolen clothes, which were kept safely in the wardrobe, been spoiled and eaten up by the moths and insects at home? I’m sure it will be terrible. The first and foremost you would try to do is to remove the clothes from wardrobe and put loads of moth balls inside the shelves and stuff few in the clothes as well and put them back. You will get a sense of relief by the fragrance and be surprised to see that the insects have actually vanished leaving your clothes to be safe. So, what are these moth balls and how do they act on insects? Are they really useful and what are the risks associated in their usage? Here are the answers for all your questions.

Moth balls are one of the insect repellants readily available in small balls which helps to keep away insects like silverfishes and moth larvae away from eating up your clothes, especially the ones made of wool and also prevent them from nesting and breeding in your wardrobe. They are generally made up of either naphthalene or para dichlorobenzene (PDB).Both these chemicals have a common feature of fumigating or vaporizing, spreading the smell even at the normal room temperature. Therefore once these balls are spread in the shelf or removed from the packet, they start acting as a deodorant and with the gas it releases the insects cannot stay around. Thus your woolens are not only safe but also smell refreshing.

Moth balls are used as a repellent not only for insects but could serve effective even on animals like cats, snakes, mice and don’t be surprised even bears don’t like the smell of moth balls. People use them while camping around in forest areas to keep away the animals in eating their food. Moth balls though effective, has to be used only as per instructions on the label.

Everything is not always good with moth balls and there are many drawbacks too attached to moth balls that range from simple to fatal.

  • The primary reason for moth balls to be unsafe could be the chemicals they contain in them. Both naphthalene and PDB are considered toxic and with heavy amount of inhalation of the same has proven harmful ranging between nausea and headaches to anemia or even death. They tend to reduce the red blood cells and this condition could be transmitted even from a pregnant woman to her new born or even unborn. There could be also be symptoms of fatigue, loss of appetite and diarrhea.
  • Another dangerous thing to happen with such moth balls around could be that your small kids or pets can unknowingly swallow these balls which are highly poisonous leading to irritation in eyes, skin, affect the liver and kidney.

These drawbacks might make people consider certain other alternatives to get rid of moths like keeping the woolens tightly packed in containers, warming the clothes once in a while in hot sun, cleaning all the clothes before putting them into shelves, vacuum clean all the places and furniture to remove any existing infestations and also by using cedar oil or cedar shavings. So take care of your home by keeping it safe and also free from moths.


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