Do mothballs repel moles?

There’s nothing more annoying than seeing your garden invaded by pests, especially very destructive ones like moles and voles.

These types of pests can completely ruin your garden, hurt your plants, and make you give up on gardening.

While there are a lot of home remedies and chemicals that are touted to repel moles, one that’s very common is mothballs. Many people believe mothballs can effectively get rid of moles once and for all.

But do mothballs work, or are they just another old wives’ tale?

We’re going to take an in-depth look at these pesticides and see if they work against a mole problem or if you would be wasting your time using them.

Table of Contents

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What are mothballs?

Before we go into what mothballs are, let’s look at what they are to understand how they work on moles.

Mothballs are pesticides originally intended for moths. Moths damage clothing with time. So the idea of a simple pest control method was invented.

These insect-repelling balls are made of either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene.

Do mothballs keep away moles?


Mothballs do not keep away moles, but before you give up hope on this pesticide, it can still be helpful for moles.

Moles don’t like the smell of mothballs and would try to avoid them as much as possible.

Mothballs are usually used in enclosed spaces like wardrobes or airtight containers to saturate the air around them quickly.

But in mole tunnels, there is more than enough air to significantly reduce the effect of these mothballs.

What do mothballs do to moles?

You can still use mothballs to chase away moles as they can drive moles out of your garden. For this, you would add to insert the mothballs into mole tunnel systems.

The mole tunnels you use must be active, one used by the mole. If you put the mothballs in an inactive tunnel, it would not be effective as the mole won’t contact it. Later in this article, we will explain how to check for an active tunnel.

It would be best if you had a handful (or two of these mothballs, depending on the extent of mole damage In your garden). By simply placing mothballs at least 7 inches from each other, you make the mothballs more effective.

The smell of mothballs irritate moles, so they abandon that tunnel altogether or leave your garden for good.

However, mothballs do not make your mole problem magically disappear.

Without other control measures, moles would dig up another tunnel and abandon the one with mothballs.

They could also displace the mothballs when digging through, making them ineffective. This is why you shouldn’t depend on mothballs to get rid of moles.

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What can I use as a mole repellent?

If you’re not ready to get some smelly dog poop or fish across your yard, then you can use any of these as a mole repellent:

Noisy devices:

Anything from ultrasonic devices, radios and pinwheels can be used as a mole repellent and a vole repellent. Moles move away from sound much as possible and avoid areas where you set up these devices.

If you prefer to use a radio, make sure it’s an old model so that in case soil gets into it, it would not bother you much. While using ultrasonic devices, cross-check the labels to endure they are intended for outdoor use.


Do you own a cat or dog?

Any of these animals can help you deter moles.
Just place the pet on your flower bed or places with high mole
activity. Get ready for a lot of extra work, though, as your pet could
tear up your garden while looking for the mole.

Wire mesh:

Another way to deter moles is to set up a wire mesh.

To do this, make a hole 4 feet deep and install mesh at the bottom of the hole.

Then, use mesh to line the sides of the mesh when you’re done, spray
it on your plant with a bit of oil and watch it grow without
disturbance. This is an excellent war to deal with a pest problem as pests cannot get to your plant.


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  • There are other methods you can use to control moles without mothballs.

    The mole population on your property should be small since moles are solitary animals.

    It is important to note that not all methods you read online will work.

  • For example, while chewing gum doesn’t solve a pest problem, cayenne pepper does so, even for moles. The methods in this article will help you effectively control moles and keep other wild animals away too!