Our kitchen and pantries are full of food that we need to keep fresh, especially during the hotter months. One way to keep pests away from our food is by using mothballs. Mothballs are small balls of poison that release a gas that is deadly to moths and other insects. But how can you use them in your kitchen?
Moths usually enter our homes through open doors or windows. They are attracted to the light and warmth and can smell food from far away. Once they find their way into our kitchens, they lay their eggs on our food, which hatch into larvae that eat the food. It ruins our food and can also make us sick.
Mothballs can help to keep moths away from our food. They are poisonous to moths and other insects, and they release a gas that is deadly to them. You can place mothballs in your pantry or your kitchen cabinets, and you can also put them in a cloth bag and hang them up.
To give you a complete insight into using mothballs in the kitchen, here are some things you need to know.
What are Mothballs?
Photo Credits: Gardening Know How
If this is your first time using mothballs, you might not understand yet what they are. Mothballs are small balls of poison that release a gas that is deadly to moths and other insects. Aside from acting as a protective chemical for molds and moths, mothballs also have a very strong smell that can keep your kitchen smelling fresh.
Mothballs are made of either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Naphthalene is a white, crystalline substance that has a strong smell. It is the most common type of mothball, and it is made from coal tar. It is the more common mothball type, and it is cheaper than paradichlorobenzene.
Paradichlorobenzene is a white, crystalline substance that is made from chlorinated benzene. It is less common than naphthalene, but it is more effective in killing moths and other insects. It also has a stronger smell than naphthalene.
Mothballs are poisonous and can be harmful to humans if they are inhaled or ingested. If you have young children or pets, keeping them away from mothballs is important.
What Mothballs Are Made Of
Traditional mothballs consisted mainly of naphthalene, but many mothballs now contain paradichlorobenzene or transfluthrin.
Naphthalene is a chemical derived from coal tar or crude oil, utilized as a fumigant to repel and kill moths, larvae, and other insects. Many manufacturers also use it as a preservative in some products such as shampoos, deodorants, and shoe polish. Despite its usefulness, this substance can be toxic if inhaled or ingested in large quantities, causing liver damage, anemia, and kidney damage.
In addition, it acts as a flammable chemical that can be hazardous to the indoor environment. This chemical (naphthalene) is no longer used in mothballs made nowadays.
Paradichlorobenzene is a solid white substance that has a sweet, chloroform-like odor. It sublimes at temperatures below 78 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning it goes directly from a solid to a gas without first going through the liquid state. It makes it an ideal fumigant because it can quickly fill a room with its fumes.
This chemical is used as a moth repellent and insecticide in toilet bowl cleaners and herbicides. It can be harmful if inhaled or ingested in large quantities because it can cause organ damage.
Transfluthrin is a pyrethroid insecticide used to kill various insects, including moths. It works by paralyzing the nervous system of the insects, causing them to die. This chemical is more toxic to insects than paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene, making it more effective in killing them.
Things to Do with Mothballs
Before using your mothballs for your kitchen, you need to know how to use mothballs around the house.
👉Use it for storing clothing.
The main usage for mothballs is to protect your clothing from being eaten by moths. Mothballs contain a deadly gas that is not good for moths and their larvae, making it an effective way to keep them away from your clothes.
To use mothballs for your clothing, you can place them in a cloth bag and hang them in your closet or put them in a drawer with your clothes. You can also put mothballs in your suitcases when you’re not using them to keep moths from getting into your clothes.
👉Use it to drive away mice from the shed or garage.
Another way to use mothballs is to drive away mice from your shed or garage. Mothballs produce a strong smell that mice don’t like, so they will stay away from the mothballs’ area.
To use mothballs in your garage, you can put them in a cloth bag and place them in the areas you think the mice are coming from. You can also put mothballs in your shed or garage to keep mice away.
👉Use it as a pesticide.
Mothballs can also be used as a pesticide to kill bugs and other insects. The fumes from the mothballs will kill the bugs and insects, making it an effective way to get rid of them.
To use mothballs as a pesticide, you can put them in a cloth bag and place them in the areas you think the bugs are coming from. You can also put mothballs in your garden to keep bugs away from your plants. To get rid of pests on a potted plant, place the plants in a transparent plastic bag, like a cleaning bag, and add mothballs. You will be surprised at how well this works!
👉Use it to store woolens.
Aside from placing a few mothballs in your closet, you can also use mothballs to rinse off your woolens. Mothballs will keep moths from getting into your woolens and eating them. You may dissolve a few mothballs into the water for your last rinse and then soak your woolens for about 30 minutes. After that, you can dry your woolens as usual and store them in a cool, dry place.
👉Use it to keep bats away from the attic.
If you have bats in your attic, you can use mothballs to keep them away. The strong smell of the mothballs will drive the bats away, making it an effective way to get rid of them. To use mothballs to keep bats away, you can put them in a cloth bag or scatter them around the perimeter of your attic. You can also put mothballs in your chimney to keep bats from getting into your house.
How to Use Mothballs in The Kitchen
Mothballs are not very safe in the kitchen, pantries, or food storage. It would be best if you never used mothballs near food or any locations to prepare food, like your kitchen. It is always advisable to use mothballs in sealed containers.
Mothballs can be harmful if inhaled, so it’s important to use them in a well-ventilated area. If you’re using mothballs in your kitchen, open the windows and doors to let the fumes out. You should also avoid using mothballs near any heat source like an oven or stove.
Best Alternatives to Mothballs
If you want your kitchen to be moth and bug-free, there are alternatives to using mothballs.
These organic mothballs contain 100% natural cedarwood. Cedar balls are a great way to keep moths and bugs away from your clothes and other stored items.
Cedarwood oil is a strong repellent for moths, beetles, and other insects. Cedar balls are a great alternative to mothballs because they’re not as toxic and more effective in repelling bugs. The oils and aroma of cedar are short-lived, which is a disadvantage. You’ll need to change any cedar balls, hangers, blocks, or chips every 2-3 months.
✔Non-Toxic moth traps
Moth traps are a non-toxic and safe way to get rid of moths. Since moth traps don’t produce harmful fumes, they are a great alternative to mothballs.
Moth traps use pheromones to attract moths. Once the moths are attracted to the trap, they will get stuck in the adhesive and won’t be able to escape. Moth traps are safe to use around food and in your kitchen. You can even put them in your pantry or closet. Moth traps are safe to use around children and pets, and they’re more effective than mothballs.
Lavender oil is a great alternative to mothballs because it’s non-toxic. It has a delightful aroma that will give your stored clothes a nice smell. Lavender oil is a natural insecticide effective in repelling moths, beetles, and other insects.
Hang a sprig of dried lavender in your pantry or the kitchen, or put a few drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball and place it in your storage area. You can also add a few drops of lavender oil to your woolens before you store them.
Like cedar oil, the effects of lavender fade with time and lose their strength. You’ll need to reapply it every few months to keep moths and bugs away.
✔Cloves, thyme, and rosemary sachet
Cloves, thyme, and rosemary sachet are great alternatives to mothballs. This sachet will repel moths and keep your clothes smelling nice.
To make this sachet, you’ll need:
-1/2 cup of dried cloves
-1/2 cup of dried thyme
-1/2 cup of dried rosemary
-A small bag or sachet
Mix the cloves, thyme, and rosemary and put them in the bag or sachet. Hang the sachet in your closet or pantry, or put it in your storage area. The scent of the herbs will repel moths and keep your clothes smelling fresh.
If you want to, you can add a few drops of lavender oil or cedar oil to the sachet for extra protection against moths.
Herbal sachets are a great alternative to mothballs because they’re non-toxic and smell nice. However, like cedar oil and lavender oil, the effects of the herbs will fade over time. You’ll need to replace the sachet every few months to keep moths away.
Using sealed storage is one of the greatest ways to keep moths at bay. Sealed containers keep your stored items safe from moths, bugs, and other insects. You can use any type of container as long as it’s airtight.
Mason jars, Tupperware, Ziploc bags, and vacuum-sealed bags are great options for storing your food and clothes. Be sure to label the containers, so you know what’s inside.
Sealed containers are a great way to keep moths away because they prevent the moths from getting to your stored items. Moths can’t lay their eggs on your clothes if they’re in a sealed container, and they can’t eat through sealed bags or containers.
You can store nearly anything in sealed containers, including clothes, linens, blankets, towels, and food.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Mothballs in The Kitchen
Mothballs may not be good inside the kitchen, but they also have their benefits.
Eliminate moths: Of course, we use mothballs to eliminate moths. It is the main advantage that this mothball may provide. It has a strong odor that can kill moths and their eggs instantly.
Prevent larvae and eggs from hatching: Another thing that mothballs can do is prevent the hatching of larvae and eggs. If these insects manage to lay their eggs on your clothes, they will not hatch if you place mothballs with them. The chemicals will see that the eggs will not hatch and turn into moths that will wreak havoc around the house.
Prevent the pests and insects: Not only does it kill moths, but mothballs can also keep other pests and insects away. These include silverfish, cockroaches, and ants.
Keeps clothes safe from damage: If you are storing clothes in your kitchen, you may want to consider using mothballs. It is because they can keep your clothes free from damage. Moths are known to eat through clothes, which can ruin them. However, if you place mothballs with your clothes, they will be safe from damage.
Easy to find and purchase: Mothballs are easy to find in any store nearby. You may also purchase them online. They come in different packaging, so you can choose the one that you think will be perfect for your needs.
Last long: Mothballs can last for a long time. You do not need to replace them often, unlike other methods like using cedar oil or lavender oil. A singles mothball can last for months, so you do not need to worry about running out of them anytime soon.
While mothballs may have their advantages, they also have a few disadvantages.
Harmful to humans and pets: One of the main disadvantages of using mothballs is that they can be harmful to your health. The chemicals that are used to make mothballs can be toxic if inhaled. They can also be harmful if they come in contact with your skin. Children and pets are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of mothballs. If you have children or pets in your home, it is best to avoid using mothballs.
Strong odor: Another thing that you need to consider is the strong odor of mothballs. The chemicals that are used to make mothballs can be quite strong. If you are not fond of strong smells, you may want to avoid using mothballs.
Difficult to remove: Another disadvantage of mothballs is that they can be difficult to remove. Once they are in your home, it may be difficult to remove the mothball smell. You may need to use a strong cleaning solution to remove the mothball smell from your home.
Risks of Being Exposed to Mothballs
Mothballs have chemicals that can be harmful to your health. When exposed to them for a long time, you may experience some side effects.
If you inhale the fumes of mothballs, you may experience nausea and vomiting. It is because the chemicals in mothballs can be toxic when inhaled.
If you come in contact with mothballs, you may also experience nausea and vomiting. It is because the chemicals in mothballs can be toxic when they come in contact with your skin.
Other effects include:
- Dizziness and headache
- Shortness of breath
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Skin irritation
- Eye irritation
⚠More severe effects
When mothballs enter the body, they can cause more severe effects. These include:
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
Mothballs can be harmful to your health. If you are exposed to them for a long time, you may experience some side effects. Some of these side effects can be mild, while others can be more severe. If you experience any side effects, you should seek medical help immediately.
Safety Precautions of Using Mothballs
It would be best to take the necessary precautions. Here are some safety precautions that you should take when using mothballs:
Use in a well-ventilated area: One of the things that you need to do is to use mothballs in a well-ventilated area. It is because mothball chemicals can be harmful when inhaled. If you use them in a poorly ventilated area, you may be at risk of inhaling the fumes.
Wear gloves: Another thing that you need to do is to wear gloves when handling mothballs. It is because the chemicals in mothballs can be harmful when they come in contact with your skin.
Use the right size and amount: Make sure you use the right size and quantity of mothballs for the number of things and the container size when using mothballs. As a general rule, it would be best to use 1/4 of a mothball for each shirt that you keep in a gallon-sized container. Use two or three 1/2 inch diameter balls for a big storage bag holding multiple pieces of clothes. For a huge trunk, use up to four one-inch diameter balls.
Do not use near food: You should also avoid using mothballs near food. The mothballs may transfer their chemicals to food, which can be harmful when ingested.
Avoid using it in lawns or gardens: You should also avoid using mothballs in your lawn or garden. The chemicals in mothballs may cause negative effects on plants and other wildlife.
Keep out of reach of children and pets: You should also keep mothballs out of the reach of children and pets. It is because they are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of mothballs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long do mothballs take to work?
A: Mothballs begin working as soon as they are placed in the area to be protected, and they operate best in an enclosed location where the fumes catch the moths. They can keep moths and larvae off your clothes for three months.
Q: Can I use mothballs more than once?
A: You can use mothballs more than once, but they may not be as effective the second time around. It is because the chemicals in mothballs can break down over time.
Q: Where is it safe to put mothballs?
A: Mothballs are safe to use in well-ventilated areas, away from food, inside an airtight container. Don’t place it in an open closet. It would help if you also keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Q: What are some other ways to get rid of moths?
A: You can get rid of moths by using moth traps, insecticides, or natural predators. You can also use the natural scent of lavender, rosemary, and thyme to get rid of them.
Q: Does mothballs kill cockroaches?
A: Mothballs do not kill cockroaches. However, they can help to repel them. It is because the chemicals in mothballs can be harmful to cockroaches.
Q: Are camphor balls safer than naphthalene mothballs?
A: Camphor balls are not necessarily safer than naphthalene mothballs. They both contain chemicals that can be harmful to your health. However, it is safer to use camphor balls between the two since they are natural.
Q: Is it safe to put mothballs in kitchen cabinets?
A: You should avoid putting mothballs in kitchen cabinets. You should only place them in an airtight container. The chemicals in mothballs can be transferred to food, which can be harmful when ingested.
Keeping your kitchen safe and clean from moths can be a challenge, but it is important to do so to avoid the potential damage they can cause. Mothballs can be a helpful tool in getting rid of moths, but it is important to use them safely and correctly.
Always avoid using them in your kitchen. If you want to get rid of moths, there are several alternatives you can use that are safer for your kitchen. You can try using moth traps, insecticides, or cedar balls. You can also use the natural scent of lavender, rosemary, or thyme to keep moths away.
Whatever method you choose, make sure you take the necessary precautions to keep your kitchen moth-free.