Do Mothballs Deter Squirrels

Do Mothballs Deter Squirrels?

Yes, mothballs can deter squirrels.

Mothballs are commonly used as a repellent for various pests, including squirrels. However, it is important to understand the effectiveness, safety, and potential drawbacks of using mothballs to deter squirrels. In this article, we will explore the topic in detail and provide you with valuable insights.

Understanding Squirrel Behavior

Before delving into the effectiveness of mothballs as a squirrel deterrent, it is crucial to understand squirrel behavior. Squirrels are agile and intelligent creatures that can cause damage to property, gardens, and even homes. They are known for their ability to chew through various materials, including wood, plastic, and electrical wires. Squirrels are attracted to food sources, nesting opportunities, and shelter.

How Do Mothballs Work?

Mothballs are small balls or tablets containing a chemical called naphthalene. This chemical produces a strong odor that is effective in repelling moths, hence the name “mothballs.” The pungent smell of mothballs is believed to deter not only moths but also other pests, including squirrels.

Effectiveness of Mothballs as a Squirrel Deterrent

While mothballs can be effective in repelling squirrels, their effectiveness may vary depending on the situation. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Odor Concentration

The concentration of the mothball odor plays a significant role in deterring squirrels. If the odor is too weak or diluted, it may not be effective in repelling squirrels. Therefore, it is important to use an adequate number of mothballs and place them strategically in areas where squirrels are active.

2. Outdoor Use

Mothballs are primarily designed for indoor use, and their effectiveness outdoors may be limited. Outdoor environments have more air circulation, which can disperse the odor quickly. Additionally, rain or other weather conditions can wash away the odor, reducing its effectiveness as a squirrel deterrent.

3. Squirrel Adaptability

Squirrels are intelligent creatures that can adapt to various repellents over time. While mothballs may initially deter squirrels, they may eventually become accustomed to the smell and return to their previous activities. It is important to combine mothballs with other squirrel deterrent methods for long-term effectiveness.

Using Mothballs to Deter Squirrels

If you decide to use mothballs as a squirrel deterrent, here are some guidelines to follow:

1. Safety Precautions

Mothballs contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to humans and pets if ingested or inhaled. It is crucial to handle mothballs with care, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Keep them out of reach of children and pets, and avoid using them in areas where ventilation is poor.

2. Placement

Place mothballs strategically in areas where squirrels are active or gaining access to your property. This may include attics, crawl spaces, garages, or near entry points. Use a sufficient number of mothballs to ensure the odor is strong enough to deter squirrels.

3. Combine Methods

For better results, combine the use of mothballs with other squirrel deterrent methods. This may include sealing off entry points, trimming tree branches near your property, using ultrasonic devices, or installing squirrel-proof feeders. By employing multiple strategies, you increase the chances of effectively deterring squirrels.


In conclusion, mothballs can be used as a squirrel deterrent due to their strong odor. However, their effectiveness may vary depending on factors such as odor concentration, outdoor use limitations, and squirrel adaptability. It is important to use mothballs safely and strategically, while also combining them with other squirrel deterrent methods for optimal results. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and prioritize safety when using any pest repellent.

Similar Posts