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Will Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away? Experts Weigh In

June 8, 2023

Mothballs are a popular choice for homeowners who are trying to keep squirrels away from their property. However, there is some debate over whether or not mothballs are actually an effective deterrent.



The Claim: Mothballs Repel Squirrels


Many people believe that mothballs are a simple solution for keeping squirrels away from their property. The idea is that the strong odor of the mothballs is enough to repel the animals, preventing them from causing damage or making a nest in the area.



The Reality: Mothballs May Not Be Effective


Despite the widespread belief that mothballs are an effective squirrel repellent, many experts question their efficacy. Some studies have found that squirrels are not deterred by the smell of mothballs, and will even ignore them when placed in their path.



Why Mothballs May Not Work


One reason why mothballs may not be effective in repelling squirrels is their active ingredient: naphthalene. While this compound is toxic to many insects, it does not have the same effect on mammals like squirrels.


In addition, the strong odor of mothballs may actually attract squirrels. These animals have a strong sense of smell, and may be drawn to the scent of the mothballs rather than repelled by it.



Alternative Solutions


If mothballs are not an effective solution for keeping squirrels away, homeowners may want to consider some alternative methods. One option is to use natural deterrents like predator urine or chili powder to create an unpleasant environment for squirrels.


Another approach is to make the area less attractive to squirrels. This can include things like removing potential food sources, such as bird feeders, or trimming back overhanging tree branches to reduce squirrel access to the property.





While mothballs may seem like a simple and inexpensive solution for keeping squirrels away, they may not actually be effective. Homeowners who are dealing with a squirrel problem may want to consider alternative methods for controlling these animals and protecting their property.



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