Saturday, October 10, 2020

Note about mothballs

Use Pesticides Responsibly, Read the Label! Every year, DEC’s Bureaus of Pesticide Management and Law Enforcement receive dozens of complaints regarding the use of mothballs to repel domestic animals and wildlife in urban settings. Label directions state mothballs are to be used in tightly closed containers to kill clothes moths and other fabric pests. Mothballs are not effective in keeping “unwanted visitors” out of vegetable and flower gardens, interior walls of buildings and/or drop ceilings. Besides, the use of mothballs in any manner other than what is listed on the pesticide label is illegal and dangerous!

Why Should I Be Concerned?
  • Mothball active ingredients are either paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene.
  • The vapors from mothballs are toxic.
  • Incorrect use and long-term exposure may cause health problems, harm children, and contaminate soil, water, and plants

To learn more about mothballs, visit the National Pesticide Information Center. Questions? We’re here: [email protected] or 518-402-8748.  

Related Stories


Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

7 Responses

  1. Tim-Brunswick says:

    Is anything safe anymore!!

    For crying out loud when you get in your car and drive down the road it’s “Unsafe”…Thank God we have NYSDEC to protect us from the everyday hazards and dangers that our parents and their parents managed to survive without constant over-sight by Government agencies!!

  2. Susan Weber says:

    I like information, myself. There are exponentially (very many) more chemicals in our environment today than our parents grew up exposed to. Today, we are way more aware of the dangers of chemical exposure. I for one will be very careful of mothballs from now on. Thanks, DEC and the Explorer

    • Zephyr says:

      I suppose there are probably more chemicals today than when I was a child, but it seems we have also become much more aware of their dangers. I can vividly remember spraying DDT around to get rid of insects and I believe they even drove trucks around town spraying it in the air. In other parts of the world they still use it regularly. Leaded gasoline was all the rage for a long time, and we were driving inefficient cars that spewed pollutants into the same air we were driving through. Lead paint was used in homes. My mother always dumped mothballs in with our stored clothing–to me it is the smell of a basement or an attic.

      • Boreas says:

        The corporations that manufacture and sell these high-profit chemicals rely on the fact that it takes decades for INDEPENDENT study to identify the toxic and environmental effects of each and every chemical they produce. Federal and state governments around the world are in the pockets of these corporations, and are more than willing to accept the biased research the corporation presents as safety data.

        Tobacco, DDT, dioxins, etc. are an infinitesimally small fraction of chemicals that have been determined to have terrible long-term effects – and it took DECADES of independent research and litigation to get legislation enacted to control them! Yet hundreds of new, “safe” chemicals are released into the environment annually without INDEPENDENT research into those absurd and misleading safety claims. This is not by mistake, it is governmental corruption that allows this. Roll-back those job-killing regulations – allow the free market to keep us safe!

  3. Smitty says:

    NYSDEC also advises, if you are going to smell mothballs please hold them gently by the wings

  4. Charlie S says:

    Good one Smitty! We need humor if but for to stray us away from all of the soul toxins!

  5. Jeep says:

    I tried that smitty, can you tell me how you get your nose between their legs??

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!