Do Mothballs Repel Squirrels? Find Out Here


Squirrels can be delightful creatures to observe in their natural habitat. However, when these furry critters start invading our homes and properties, they can quickly become a nuisance. Squirrel infestations can lead to damage in attics, gardens, and even electrical wiring. As homeowners seek effective ways to deter squirrels, the question arises: Will mothballs keep squirrels away?

Mothballs have long been used as a means to repel insects and pests due to their strong odor. But can this pungent aroma also ward off squirrels? In this blog post, we will explore the effectiveness of using mothballs as a squirrel repellent and discuss alternative methods to keep these agile creatures at bay. So, if you’re dealing with a pesky squirrel problem, keep reading to find out if mothballs are the solution you’ve been searching for.



Squirrels are cute and playful creatures that can bring joy to our lives with their acrobatic antics. However, when they invade our homes or gardens, they can quickly become a nuisance. Squirrel infestations can cause significant damage to property, from chewing through electrical wires to nesting in attics and causing structural issues.

In the quest to keep squirrels away, many homeowners have turned to mothballs as a potential solution. Mothballs, traditionally used to repel moths from clothing storage, contain chemicals such as naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene that emit a strong odor. This odor is known to deter insects and some animals, leading to the belief that mothballs could also keep squirrels at bay.

But do mothballs really work as a squirrel repellent? In this article, we will delve into the effectiveness of mothballs against squirrels and explore alternative methods to address squirrel infestations. So let’s dive in and find out whether mothballs are the answer to your squirrel troubles or if there are better options available.

Squirrel Infestation

Note: While it’s important to find ways to deter squirrels, it is crucial to do so humanely and consider the well-being of these creatures. Let’s explore the topic further to make informed decisions and strike a balance between our needs and wildlife conservation.

Understanding Squirrel Infestation

Understanding Squirrel Infestation

Squirrels, with their cute appearance and playful behavior, often captivate our attention. However, when they invade our homes and properties, they can quickly become a nuisance. Understanding squirrel infestation is crucial in order to effectively address this issue and protect our surroundings.

Squirrel Behavior

To comprehend squirrel infestations, it’s essential to have some knowledge about squirrel behavior. Squirrels are highly active rodents known for their agility and impressive climbing skills. They are predominantly diurnal creatures, meaning they are most active during daylight hours.

Squirrels are natural hoarders, and they spend a significant portion of their time gathering and storing food for the winter months. They primarily feed on nuts, seeds, berries, and fruits. Additionally, squirrels build nests called dreys, usually made from twigs, leaves, and grass, where they take shelter during unfavorable weather conditions.

Damage Caused by Squirrels

While squirrels may seem harmless, their presence can lead to various problems and substantial damage. Here are some ways in which squirrel infestations can impact your property:

  1. Structural Damage: Squirrels have strong teeth that continuously grow. To keep their teeth in check, they gnaw on various objects, including wood, electrical wires, insulation, and PVC pipes. This habit can cause significant structural damage to your home or business.

  2. Garden Destruction: Squirrels are notorious for raiding gardens and damaging crops. They have a knack for digging up newly planted bulbs, munching on ripe fruits and vegetables, and uprooting delicate plants.

  3. Nuisance Noise: Squirrels are not the quietest of creatures. When they establish their nests within the walls or attics of buildings, their constant scurrying, scratching, and vocalizations can become quite disruptive, especially during mating seasons.

  4. Health Risks: Squirrels are carriers of various diseases, including leptospirosis and tularemia. Their droppings can also contaminate the environment and pose health hazards to humans and pets.

Understanding the behavior of squirrels and the potential damage they may cause is crucial in developing effective strategies to prevent infestations and protect your property.

Remember, it is always advisable to seek professional help if you suspect a significant squirrel infestation on your premises. These experts have the necessary knowledge and experience to safely and humanely remove squirrels and implement preventive measures.

What are Mothballs?

What are Mothballs?

Mothballs are small, solid balls or tablets that are commonly used as a deterrent against clothes moths and other fabric pests. They have a distinct odor and contain chemicals that are known to repel these insects. However, their effectiveness in repelling other pests, such as squirrels, is a topic of debate.

Composition of Mothballs

Traditional mothballs are typically made from either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Naphthalene is a white crystalline substance derived from coal tar, while paradichlorobenzene is a white solid compound. Both chemicals release a strong odor that acts as a repellent.

Usage of Mothballs

Mothballs are primarily used to protect clothing and textiles from damage caused by fabric-eating pests. They are commonly placed in drawers, closets, wardrobes, or storage containers to create a vapor that deters moths and larvae from infesting the fabrics. The odor emitted by mothballs lingers for an extended period, providing continuous protection.

Some people have also experimented with using mothballs as a potential solution for repelling squirrels from their homes or gardens. The idea behind this is that the strong smell of mothballs will deter squirrels from approaching the treated areas.

However, it is important to note that using mothballs for squirrel control is not recommended or proven to be effective. Mothballs are intended for use in enclosed spaces and can pose health risks when used in open areas. Additionally, squirrels may not be as deterred by the scent of mothballs as fabric pests are.

Moreover, mothballs are toxic and should never be used in a way that exposes humans, pets, or wildlife to their fumes or direct contact. These chemicals can be harmful if ingested or inhaled, causing various health issues.

If you are dealing with a squirrel problem, it is best to explore alternative methods that are both safe and effective in deterring them from your property.

In the following section, we will delve into the effectiveness of mothballs as a squirrel repellent and discuss alternative methods to keep squirrels away.

Effectiveness of Mothballs as a Squirrel Repellent

Effectiveness of Mothballs as a Squirrel Repellent

When it comes to dealing with squirrel infestations, homeowners often seek out various methods to deter these furry creatures from wreaking havoc on their property. One popular suggestion that frequently arises is the use of mothballs as a squirrel repellent. But do mothballs actually repel squirrels? And more importantly, are they safe for these critters?

Do Mothballs Repel Squirrels?

Mothballs, typically made from naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, are commonly used to repel insects and pests due to their strong odor. However, when it comes to deterring squirrels, the effectiveness of mothballs is questionable. While some people claim that they have had success using mothballs to repel squirrels, there is limited scientific evidence to support this notion.

Squirrels are highly adaptable creatures and can quickly become accustomed to certain scents or repellents over time. This adaptability makes it challenging for mothballs to provide a long-term solution against squirrel infestations. Additionally, the volatile chemicals present in mothballs can be harmful to both humans and animals if ingested or inhaled in large quantities.

Are Mothballs Safe for Squirrels?

Although mothballs are not specifically intended for use as a squirrel repellent, some individuals may still wonder if they pose any harm to these furry creatures. The truth is, mothballs can be toxic to squirrels and other wildlife. The chemicals found in mothballs can potentially cause damage to a squirrel’s respiratory system, liver, and kidneys if ingested or exposed to for a prolonged period.

Furthermore, if squirrels come into direct contact with mothballs, they may experience skin irritation or chemical burns. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of squirrels when considering any form of pest control method.

Exploring Alternative Methods

Given the potential risks associated with using mothballs as a squirrel repellent, it is advisable to explore alternative methods that are both effective and safe for the squirrels and the environment. Here are a few alternatives worth considering:

  1. Natural Squirrel Repellents: Certain scents, such as peppermint oil or predator urine, can act as natural deterrents to squirrels. These options are not harmful to the squirrels and can be used without causing any adverse effects.

  2. Physical Barriers: Installing fences or netting around vulnerable areas can prevent squirrels from accessing your property in the first place. This method is highly effective but requires careful planning and installation.

  3. Habitat Modification: By making your property less attractive to squirrels, you can discourage them from frequenting your premises. This can include trimming tree branches, removing food sources, or sealing off entry points to prevent their access.

By implementing these alternative methods, you can address squirrel infestations in a more humane and environmentally friendly manner.

In conclusion, while mothballs may provide short-term relief from squirrel problems, they are not a foolproof or safe solution. It is crucial to prioritize the well-being of both humans and wildlife when considering pest control methods. Exploring alternative and more sustainable approaches will ultimately yield better results in deterring squirrels and maintaining a harmonious living environment for all.

Alternative Methods to Keep Squirrels Away

Alternative Methods to Keep Squirrels Away

When it comes to keeping squirrels away from your property, mothballs are often considered as a potential solution. However, there are other alternative methods that can effectively deter these furry creatures without the need for harmful chemicals. Let’s explore some natural squirrel repellents, physical barriers, and habitat modifications that you can implement.

Natural Squirrel Repellents

  1. Spicy Sprays: Squirrels have a strong aversion to spicy substances. You can create a homemade squirrel repellent spray by combining water, cayenne pepper, and a few drops of dish soap. Spray this mixture on areas frequented by squirrels, such as bird feeders or garden plants. The spicy scent will repel them and discourage their return.

  2. Predator Urine: Another natural repellent is predator urine, which can be purchased at garden centers. Squirrels perceive the scent of predators like foxes or coyotes as a threat and will avoid the area. Apply the urine around your property’s perimeter or near entry points to keep squirrels at bay.

  3. Mint Plants: Squirrels dislike the strong smell of mint. Planting mint around your garden or placing mint sachets in problematic areas can act as a deterrent. Consider using pennyroyal, spearmint, or peppermint, as they have the strongest odor.

Physical Barriers

  1. Wire Mesh: If you have specific areas you want to protect, such as attics or gardens, installing wire mesh can be an effective solution. Ensure that the mesh has small enough openings to prevent squirrels from squeezing through. Cover openings like chimneys or vents with mesh as well.

  2. Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders: Squirrels are notorious for raiding bird feeders. Invest in squirrel-proof feeders equipped with mechanisms that close off access to the seeds when a squirrel’s weight triggers it. These feeders often have adjustable settings to accommodate different bird sizes while keeping squirrels out.

  3. Pruning Trees and Branches: Squirrels are skilled climbers and can access your property by using overhanging tree branches. Trim back branches that provide easy access to your home, especially those near rooftops or utility lines.

Habitat Modification

  1. Remove Food Sources: Squirrels are attracted to easily accessible food sources. Make sure to clean up fallen fruits, nuts, or seeds from your yard promptly. Secure garbage cans with tight-fitting lids to prevent squirrels from rummaging through them.

  2. Install Squirrel Baffles: Squirrel baffles are cone-shaped devices that can be attached to poles or trees to deter squirrels from climbing up. They create a physical barrier that squirrels find difficult to navigate.

  3. Use Noise or Motion-Activated Devices: Squirrels are wary of unfamiliar sounds or sudden movements. Utilize noise or motion-activated devices like ultrasonic repellents or sprinkler systems to startle squirrels and discourage them from frequenting your property.

By implementing these alternative methods, you can effectively keep squirrels away from your home and garden without resorting to mothballs or other potentially harmful substances. Choose the methods that suit your specific situation and enjoy a squirrel-free environment.

Remember, it may take some trial and error to find the most effective combination of methods for deterring squirrels. Stay persistent and adjust your approach based on the results you observe.



In conclusion, while mothballs may seem like a convenient solution to keep squirrels away, they are not an effective deterrent for these critters. Despite claims that the strong odor of mothballs can repel squirrels, there is no scientific evidence to support this notion.

It is important to understand that squirrels are highly adaptable and resourceful creatures. They can easily tolerate and overcome the scent of mothballs. Moreover, using mothballs as a squirrel repellent can pose potential health hazards to both humans and animals.

Instead of relying on mothballs, it is advisable to explore alternative methods to keep squirrels away from your property. Natural squirrel repellents such as peppermint oil, predator urine, or homemade hot pepper sprays have shown some level of success in deterring squirrels.

Physical barriers like wire mesh or fences can also be effective in keeping squirrels out of specific areas. By blocking their access points and creating obstacles, you can prevent them from causing damage to your garden or home.

Habitat modification is another approach to consider. By removing potential food sources and making your property less appealing to squirrels, you can reduce the likelihood of infestation. Trim tree branches that provide easy access to your roof, secure garbage cans, and seal any openings where squirrels can enter your home.

Remember, preventing squirrel infestations requires a combination of strategies and persistence. It is crucial to address the problem promptly to minimize damage and avoid potential health risks.

By understanding squirrel behavior, being aware of the limitations of mothballs, and implementing effective squirrel control techniques, you can successfully keep these furry intruders at bay.

If you’re facing persistent squirrel issues, it is recommended to seek professional help from pest control experts who specialize in humane removal and prevention methods.

Stay vigilant, implement appropriate measures, and enjoy a squirrel-free environment!

Note: The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. Always consult with experts for personalized solutions.
Squirrels can be a nuisance when they invade our property, causing damage and creating a mess. In this blog post, we explored the question of whether mothballs can effectively keep squirrels away. While mothballs may seem like a quick and easy solution, it is important to understand their limitations.

Firstly, squirrels are highly adaptable creatures with persistent behavior patterns. They may become accustomed to the smell of mothballs over time, rendering them ineffective as a long-term deterrent. Additionally, mothballs contain toxic chemicals that can pose risks to both humans and animals, including squirrels.

We also discussed alternative methods to keep squirrels away. Natural squirrel repellents such as spicy sprays or predator urine can be effective in deterring these critters. Physical barriers like wire mesh or fencing can create a more permanent solution by preventing squirrels from accessing your property. Finally, modifying their habitat by removing food sources and trimming trees near your home can discourage squirrels from settling in.

In conclusion, while mothballs may provide temporary relief from squirrel infestations, they are not the most reliable or humane solution. By understanding squirrel behavior and exploring alternative methods, you can find more effective ways to keep these furry intruders at bay. So, if you’re dealing with a squirrel problem, consider the long-term impact and opt for safer and more sustainable approaches.

Remember, maintaining a squirrel-free environment requires persistence and a combination of strategies. Don’t let these playful creatures take over your space; take action today and reclaim your property from their tiny paws.

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