Do Mothballs Repel Spiders? {Are They Safe?}

Would you like as easy solution to keep spiders away? Do Mothballs Repel Spiders?

Is it safe to use mothballs and where should you put them? Why do spiders hate mothballs?

In this article, we’ll discover why, where and if spiders are repelled by mothballs.

Do Mothballs Repel Spiders?

Yes. Mothballs repel spiders the same way that natural alternatives such as essential oils do. Spiders hate the smell of mothballs and the chemicals within it that are also used in common pesticides.

Mothballs are toxic when inhaled and should be used with care while following the instructions on the label. Spiders, moths, rodents and plenty of other animals will keep away from the pungent scent of mothballs.

What Do Moth Balls Repel?

Mothballs can repel more than just moths. They work well to keep rodents or animals away from your property because they emit toxic fumes or pungent odors that repels insects and spiders as well.

The chemicals that mothballs are made of that are also included in some pesticides are naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Here is a short list of animals and insects that mothballs repel:

  • squirrels
  • skunks
  • deer
  • mice
  • rats
  • snakes
  • spiders

Mothballs may look inviting, easy to use and harmless, but they pack a punch and are toxic to pets and humans when inhaled at close distances. Follow the recommendations on the label to stay safe.

Is It Safe to Put Mothballs Inside The House?

Mothballs emit strong gases that can cause respiratory issues. They are are NOT recommended in the following areas:

  • closets
  • attics
  • basements
  • storage chests
  • trunks
  • garment bags
  • tightly closed containers

Mothballs may contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene and are not safe in homes where ventilation or circulation is poor.

Can Mothball Smell Hurt You?

Yes. There are toxic chemicals that are not safe for inhalation in mothballs. Naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene are two such examples that could be found on the packaging label.

They are used in pesticides and considered harmful to humans and pets. Some adverse reaction to the smell of mothballs include:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • eye and nose irritation
  • coughing
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Where Do You Put Mothballs?

The science in inconclusive and opinions vary across the internet or with experts on the question of where to put mothballs. Some say enclosed spaces are best to not let the vapors escape into our home.

Others say that enclosing or trapping mothballs in tight spaces emit poisonous odors that may linger or persist for a very long time. Trapping toxic fumes may not seem wise.

We suggest that mothballs be used outdoors and scattered around the border of your property instead. This way, pest, rodents or animals will capture the scent and go the other way.

They absolutely hate the stench and so do we. This is why we keep them out of our homes.

How To Repel Spiders With Mothballs

Follow the suggested steps below if you wish to use mothballs to repel spiders:

Step 1:

Use mothballs in spaces that are away from children and pets. Ensure that these areas get some ventilation through open windows. Tight spaces or enclosed spaces can trap in toxic fumes.

Step 2:

Use a jar and a nail to hammer in 3-4 holes on the lid. These jars are going to contain the mothballs and you can decide how many jars you would like to use.

Step 3:

Avoid contact with your skin, eyes and mouth. Don’t breathe in or smell the mothballs. Follow the directions on the label.

Step 4:

Use gloves to put 2-3 mothballs in each jar. Then close the lid. Do this for as many jars as you see fit.

Step 5:

Place the jars in strategic locations to keep spiders and other pests away.

How Do Mothballs Keep Spiders Away?

Spiders hate the scent of mothballs. They will go as far away from the smell as possible. This means they will leave any area that you set your mothballs (preferably in jars with open vents pierced on the lids to prevent human or pet contact with it).

Mothballs work quickly because the odor is pungent. They are easy to set up when using gloves and a jar with open holes at the top.

How Can Moth Balls Keep Spiders Away?

It’s very hard to point to a scientific study that proves how mothballs repels spiders because the evidence in inconclusive.

The notion that it works is based on anecdotal human experience. We will not refute this and say that it doesn’t work. We believe it does, but there are toxic repercussion for using a produce laced with poisonous ingredients found in insecticides.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns against products that contain naphthalene. Spiders hate it, but so do our lungs, eyes and skin.

Why Are Moth Balls Thought to Repel Spiders?

Mothballs look like they are easy to use (which they are) but they are deadly and should be treated with caution. It is a pesticide and should be handled as such.

Never touch mothballs with bare hands. The strong odor confuses and repels spiders or other insects as they try not to risk their lives treading in areas with mothballs around.


Mothballs work to repel spiders, but there are safer alternatives like using pungent (and safe) smelling essential oils such as peppermint or citrus oils.

Be careful when using mothballs and try to look at opposing arguments based on its efficacy and safety. We hope we have presented both sides in this article and wish you the best in your efforts to eradicate your property of spiders.


Thanks for visiting for the best information to help you to make the pest control process easy, safe & affordable.