Do Mothballs Keep Roaches Away? How To Use Mothballs To Repel Cockroaches

Ever pondered if mothballs can deter roaches? Known for their resilience and the headache they cause homeowners trying to eliminate them, roaches are tough adversaries. People frequently turn to household items like mothballs in their battle against these bothersome bugs. But, do mothballs actually stand a chance against a roach problem? In today’s blog entry, we’re diving into the relationship between mothballs and roaches, assessing how effective mothballs are in dealing with roaches, and we’ll talk about other ways to control roach populations.

Key Takeaways Of Using Mothballs For Roaches

  • Mothballs may offer temporary relief from roaches, but alternative methods should be explored for long-term pest management.
  • When using mothballs as a repellent, they must be strategically placed in hotspots and regularly monitored and replaced.
  • Natural repellents, chemical killers, professional services or preventive measures can help control cockroach populations effectively.

Do Mothballs Keep Roaches Away?

Yes, mothballs can help keep roaches away from you and your home, but they shouldn’t be considered a solution for a severe cockroach infestation.

Do mothballs keep roaches away

These cost-effective and readily accessible items may seem like a convenient solution to keep roaches at bay. However, the effectiveness of mothballs in repelling cockroaches may vary depending on the severity of the infestation. Additionally, using mothballs exclusively for roach control might not be the best long-term solution, as these insects have a different biology and are more resilient than moths. In other words, while mothballs repel roaches to some extent, they may not be the most effective method for long-term control.

Though mothballs can serve as a temporary measure to repel roaches, exploring alternative roach control methods is necessary for a comprehensive approach to managing these pests. In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into:

  • Understanding mothballs
  • Their effectiveness against roaches
  • Safety concerns
  • Proper use
  • Alternative roach control methods

What Are Moth Balls?

Mothballs are small balls pesticides and deodorant designed to release toxic gases that deter pests and inhibit mold growth in clothing. While they can repel roaches, their primary purpose is to protect natural fiber clothing from moths in your closet or a clothing chest. Mothballs should not be used in close proximity to heat sources, food preparation areas, or open-air spaces due to the strong and potentially harmful mothball smell.


It is advised to only use mothballs in closed containers or tightly sealed spaces, especially when storing natural fiber clothing. Although mothballs can repel cockroaches, their effectiveness is limited and may not be sufficient in addressing a severe roach infestation. Hence, it’s worthwhile to consider other roach repellents and control methods that will be discussed later.

Effectiveness of Mothballs Against Roaches

Mothballs may temporarily repel roaches due to their odor and toxic fumes. However, roaches can adapt to the smell, reducing the effectiveness of mothballs over time. As a result, mothballs are not an effective long-term solution to get rid of cockroaches permanently.

While mothballs can deter roaches for up to a year or two, they are not the best solution to kill roaches in the long run, especially if you’re dealing with a serious roach infestation. Instead, considering alternative methods for controlling roach populations, such as natural repellents, chemical roach killers, or professional pest control services, is advisable.

Other Methods of Roach Treatments:

Safety Concerns with Mothballs

Using mothballs can pose health risks to humans and pets, so it’s essential to handle them with caution and follow safety guidelines. The chemicals in mothballs can be hazardous, and consuming them can lead to serious adverse effects, such as kidney damage and abdominal discomfort.

It’s important when using mothballs to:

  • Read the product instructions
  • Wear disposable gloves and masks during handling
  • Keep mothballs away from open flames, high heat areas, food, children, and pets
  • Store mothballs in non-reactive plastics.

If any signs of exposure occur, such as skin irritation or difficulty breathing, medical attention should be sought promptly. If you’a re’re worried about the chemicals, we recommend you take a look at our guide for a roach killer safe for pets!

How To Use Mothballs For Roaches

For effective use of mothballs as a roach repellent, one must locate roach hotspots, strategically place mothballs, and monitor and replace them as required.

In the following subsections, we will discuss each of these steps in detail.

how to use mothballs for roaches

1. Locating Roach Hotspots

Roaches are known to inhabit.

  • Dark, damp, and warm areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and attics
  • Behind appliances, in crevices and cracks, and in drawers and cabinets
  • Drains, beneath sinks, and within wall cavities

Indications of a cockroach infestation, also known as a roach infestation, may include:

  • Sightings of roaches
  • Droppings
  • Egg cases
  • A musty odor

Identifying these hotspots is essential for placing mothballs strategically to repel roaches and implementing alternative roach control methods, such as baits, traps, or insecticides.

2. Placing Mothballs Strategically

After identifying roach hotspots, strategically placing mothballs in these areas becomes critical for effective roach repulsion. It is suggested to place two to three mothballs as close as possible to the area where roaches are present.

Mothballs should be positioned in areas such as behind appliances, in cupboards, and in darker corners. However, it is essential to ensure they are kept away from children and pets and should not be used in areas where food is prepared or stored.

3. Monitoring and Replacing Mothballs

To maintain their effectiveness in repelling roaches, it’s important to monitor and replace mothballs regularly. Mothballs should be replaced every three to six months, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

When inspecting mothballs, if the scent has diminished, it is an indication that they should be replaced. Proper disposal of mothballs is crucial, and they should be disposed of in accordance with local regulations.

Alternative Roach Control Methods

As mentioned earlier, mothballs might not be the ultimate solution for roach control. Therefore, considering alternatives such as natural repellents, chemical roach killers, or professional pest control services becomes crucial.

In the following subsections, we will discuss each of these alternatives in detail.

Natural Roach Repellents

Natural roach repellents can be a safer and more effective alternative to mothballs. Options include diatomaceous earth, essential oils (such as citrus, lemongrass, and peppermint), and neem oil. Diatomaceous earth is a reliable and non-toxic approach for pest control and can be applied around the home’s exterior and interior where ants or other crawling insects are visible. But caution is needed during its use as it can cause eye and lung irritation if inhaled. Using a cockroach repellent like diatomaceous earth can help keep your home pest-free.

cockroach treatments

Essential oils can be used to repel roaches by applying them in lamp burners or placing a few drops on cotton balls and retaining them in cupboards or other areas where roaches have been observed. Rosemary and neem oil are also effective natural repellents that can be blended with water and applied to areas where roach activity is observed.

Chemical Roach Killers

Chemical roach killers, such as boric acid, can effectively eliminate roaches, but should be used with caution. Boric acid is a powerful roach killer, but it must be kept out of reach of children and pets due to its toxicity. Exercising caution when using chemical roach killers and following the product instructions are vital for ensuring safety.

Aside from boric acid, other chemical roach killers include insecticides, baits, and gels. Placing these chemicals strategically in areas where roaches are likely to be found can help control roach populations.

The most effective roach killer is the Advion Roach Gel Bait Treatment, which is rather safe for kids and pets, while extremely effective.

Preventing Future Roach Infestations

Prevention of future roach infestations is key to maintain a clean and healthy living environment. Here are some measures that can be taken to inhibit roaches from entering one’s home:

Preventing Future Roach Infestations
  • Regular deep cleaning to remove food residues and clutter
  • Sealing cracks and crevices
  • Eliminating clutter
  • Storing food in airtight containers

By following these steps, you can help kill cockroaches, keep roaches at bay, and maintain a clean living space.

Other preventive measures include regular cleaning and vacuuming, sealing gaps with caulk, and installing screens on windows and doors. Implementing these practices will help maintain a roach-free home, eliminating the need for mothballs or other roach control methods.

Final Thoughts On Mothballs For Roaches

In conclusion, while mothballs can repel roaches to some extent, they are not a long-term solution for roach control and pose safety risks. Understanding the limitations of mothballs and exploring alternative roach control methods, such as natural repellents, chemical roach killers, or professional pest control services, can help ensure a comprehensive approach to dealing with these pesky insects.

Preventing future roach infestations is essential for maintaining a clean and healthy living environment. By implementing preventive measures and considering alternative roach control methods, you can keep your home roach-free and avoid the need for mothballs or other less effective solutions. It’s time to take control of your living space and keep those unwanted guests at bay!


Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you put mothballs for roaches?

To repel roaches, place mothballs in cupboards or put two to three of them near the roach-frequented site. Take care to avoid placing them near food and food prep areas as they are not safe for humans.

Alternatively, you can place them in net pouches.

Can mothball kill roaches?

Mothballs mostly repel roaches, and in rare cases can lead to their death due to difficulty breathing, but generally won’t kill cockroaches.

What are some safety concerns when using mothballs?

Mothballs can pose a health hazard due to the chemicals inside, so it’s important to handle them with care and follow safety guidelines.

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