Do Mothballs Repel Rats?

Rats, though a nuisance, are much cleverer than we give them credit for, especially when it comes to sensing and avoiding danger. Once inside your home where it is safe to nest, they will continue to inhabit the space until physically forced out or trapped. There are numerous DIY remedies on the market that are meant to repel rats and other types of rodents, and perhaps the most common is using mothballs. Put simply; mothballs are almost completely ineffective when it comes to repelling rats.

Mothballs contain a chemical called naphthalene, which keeps red blood cells from carrying oxygen when inhaled, so one could naturally assume that it would be an effective measure against rats. However, the opposite is true:

  • The amount of naphthalene found in mothballs is a small dosage. It’s enough to deter moths and other insects when used in a small room or sealed container, but the dosage is not nearly enough to affect rats. Humans and rats have similar tolerances to naphthalene, meaning that the number of mothballs you would need to repel the rodents is not realistic. There have often been cases where rats have walked over the mothballs as if they didn’t even exist.
  • Even if rats and other rodents were bothered by the smell from mothballs near their nest entrance they would soon find another way around. Rats can squeeze through holes as small as ¼”, meaning that finding a new nesting area in your home is not a problem.

Let Us Help

Instead of spending countless hours and dollars on trying to evict rats from your home on your own, enlist the help of Critter Control® of Orlando. Our expert technicians have more than three decades of experience and the tools necessary to get the nuisance rats out efficiently.

For any questions about our rat removal services, or to schedule your free inspection, call us today at 407.295.7194.