Mothballs are a common household item that is often used to keep pests away. But can mothballs keep squirrels away? Squirrels can be a nuisance, causing damage to gardens, homes, and property. In this article, we will explore whether mothballs are an effective way to ward off squirrels.

What are mothballs?

Mothballs are small balls of chemical pesticides that are used to repel moths and other insects. They are made of either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. These chemicals release a strong odor that is intended to keep pests away.

Do mothballs keep squirrels away?

Mothballs are often used to keep squirrels away from gardens, attics, and other areas of the home. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that mothballs are an effective way to repel squirrels.

Squirrels have a strong sense of smell and can detect the presence of mothballs. However, they may not be deterred by the smell of mothballs. In fact, some squirrels may even be attracted to the smell.

The chemicals in mothballs can be harmful to squirrels and other wildlife. If ingested, they can cause health problems such as liver and kidney damage, anemia, and even death. The chemicals can also contaminate soil and water, causing harm to plants and other animals.

What are the alternatives to mothballs?

If you are looking for a way to repel squirrels, there are several alternatives to mothballs that are safe and effective.

1. Use natural repellents: There are several natural repellents that can be used to keep squirrels away. These include chili powder, peppermint oil, and vinegar. These substances can be applied to areas where squirrels are known to frequent.

2. Install squirrel-proof barriers: Squirrels are skilled climbers and can easily access attics, gardens, and other areas of the home. Installing squirrel-proof barriers such as mesh wire, metal flashing, and PVC piping can help keep squirrels out.

3. Use squirrel-proof feeders: If you enjoy feeding birds, you may find that squirrels are also attracted to the food. Using squirrel-proof feeders can help keep squirrels away from bird feeders.

4. Trim trees and bushes: Squirrels use trees and bushes as a means of access to homes and gardens. Trimming trees and bushes can help make it more difficult for squirrels to access these areas.


In summary, mothballs are not an effective way to repel squirrels. They can be harmful to wildlife and can contaminate soil and water. There are several safe and effective alternatives to mothballs that can be used to keep squirrels away. These include natural repellents, squirrel-proof barriers, squirrel-proof feeders, and trimming trees and bushes. By using these alternatives, you can keep squirrels away from your home and garden without harming them or the environment.