Do Mothballs Get Rid of Roaches? An Investigative Review

So in trying to get rid of roaches, people with cockroach infestation do ask, “do mothballs get rid of roaches?” Well, in this article, we are going to be looking into details to answer the question, “do mothballs get rid of roaches?” Let’s get a summary of the answer immediately.

Yes, mothballs get rid of roaches. When placed in areas like underneath the stove, sink, furniture, mothballs rapidly vaporize and dispatch naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene to battle cockroaches. Similar to moths, roaches don’t like the smell of mothballs, hence making them avoid environments with such smell.

In this article we will get to learn a couple more things about roaches and the role of mothballs in getting rid of cockroaches.

What You Should Know About Mothballs

do mothballs get rid of cockroaches

Mothballs or palettes are pesticides designed for moths and fiber pests in wool. Many even argue that roaches quickly adapt to the scent of mothballs and do not become irritated. How true is this? This is not true because mothballs contain paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene, which are toxic to pests in their gaseous state. Moreover, mothballs are dangerous to humans. If mothballs are swallowed, the toxic naphthalene chemical can easily damage the red blood cells.

It also works the same way just like trying to get rid of rats with bleach.

Do Mothballs Get Rid of Cockroaches?

Mothballs are part of the things that roaches hate. Over time, mothballs vaporize, and a poisonous vapor containing naphthalene is released on to the air. Roaches are then forced to exit the area or succumb to the chemical, which makes breathing tough for them, leading to death but in rare cases. Mothballs do not primarily kill roaches; they serve as repellants and function best when placed at spots insects may want to use as passages.

How Do Mothballs Work

do mothballs get rid of roaches
Image of Mothballs

When mothballs are placed, they begin to sublimate after a while. The speed of sublimation is dependent on the temperature of the room. During the process, mothballs transit from solid form to gas and toxic chemicals, naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, are being discharged, which irritate roaches. In rare cases, roaches may be killed when they directly come in contact with the toxic discharge. Despite the high chances of mothballs killing cockroaches, the primary function is to serve as repellants.

Is it Safe to Have Mothballs in the room?

In as much as it is safe to have mothballs in the room, it is also toxic to the health of humans and pets. When mothballs sublimate, the poisonous chemicals released become equally hazardous to humans, pets, and pets alike. The most susceptible among humans are young children and adults with outlying health issues such as lungs disorder.

While mothballs lie in the room, you may suffer minimal health problems including but not limited to difficulty in breathing, nausea, headache, and dizziness upon inhalation. Extreme exposure to mothballs can result in kidney damage, liver damage, and may damage the red blood cells. To be on a safe side, and to avoid irritations caused by the chemicals from mothballs, follow the instructions on the label accompanying the product. It is safe to have mothballs in the room when you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

How Many Mothballs Should I Use

You can use the number of mothballs specified by the manufacturer. If you, however, find the need to use more mothballs per room, contact the manufacturer for further instructions and advice. Using more than the prescribed mothballs may lead to a severe health problem upon exposure to the toxic ingredients present in the pesticide.

How Long Do Mothballs Last

Mothballs can last up to 50 days in a room. However, this is dependent on two factors, the size of each mothball and the temperature of the room. When mothballs fully sublimate, the spot where they were placed may be covered with liquid. Clean up the spot and replace it with new mothballs or any other ingredient.

Pets love to sniff around so; you should wash the spots you’re picking the mothballs if you’re not replacing them again. Remember, mothballs are dangerous when inhaled and may be lethal for the health of pets.

Some Best Coackroach Killer
[azonpress_tables id=”2″]

How to Get Rid of Roaches with Mothballs

how to place mothballs to get rid of cockroaches
A single mothball could repel around fifty cockroaches
  1. Find the Roaches Nest

Roaches will nest anywhere in the house, including in your luggage and shoes. All they require is a warm, dark, and temperate environment to nest and breed. They rarely operate by the day which further makes it difficult to get caught and are very good hiders. With their flexible body, they can go through almost anything to nest within. In order to locate their nest, do the following:

  • Get yourself a nose guard and hand gloves.
  • Locate in the room with the strongest smell of their droppings. It will most likely be the kitchen, food store, and any rooms housing edibles.
  • Trace the droppings which are black in color.
  • Check beneath the lockers, kitchen cabinet, and refrigerator.
  • Lift and thoroughly search moveable house items and check between the furniture placed together.

You should locate their nest which would be characterized by droppings.

  1. Sun-Dry Wooden Furniture

Put out wooden furniture for a couple of minutes under the sun. You do not have to take out everything to evade the stress of replacing them. The essence of putting out wooden furniture and any other moveable items is to increase the chances of getting rid of roaches. You may optionally place mothballs in the furniture put out to dry.

  1. Wash the Nesting Spot

A simple wash would be important to help attract clean ventilation to the house. Before then, put open the windows and disinfect the spot with solutions like bleach or cider vinegar. It should help kill the germs present in the droppings and dead roaches. Pack the dirt and tie it up for disposal. Finally, clean the spot thoroughly with water and detergent. You may also apply a recommended quantity of the disinfectant to the water. Extend the cleaning to nearby rooms as well as other rooms with consumables.

Other things/places to clean:

  • Cooking pots
  • Refrigerator
  • The entire kitchen
  • Plates not used in a while
  • Under the sides of the rugs/carpets in rooms with edibles
  1. Replace House Items

Before you replace the items, brush them thoroughly to get rid of roaches dropping. Try not to place items too close by ensuring a good distance between every item.

  1. Placing Mothballs

  • Unpack the mothballs for placements.
  • Leave them underneath and on top of the house furniture.
  • Place mothballs under carpet and rugs.
  • Look out for possible roach passages and place the mothballs.
  • Don’t place mothballs in food plates, cooking pots, shoes, and inside the refrigerator.


Be mindful of the placements to prevent pets and babies from taking in mothballs. As earlier stated, swallowing mothballs can damage red blood cells. Also, you do not require baits to attract roaches to mothballs.

There could be one million ways of repelling roaches but using mothballs is one of the few most effective measures. Endeavor to use The number of mothballs as stated in the product label. If there be a need for adjustments, contact the manufacturer for the best instructions.

Finally, mothballs shouldn’t be considered killer options for roaches because they are repellants. In situations where cockroach infestation is high, combine mothballs with other measures or invite pest exterminators to do the job.

You May Also Like