WARNING! Do NOT use mothballs to rid your home of pests! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 03-18-2007, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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We threw a few handfuls of mothballs (naphthalene) into our roof space (the crawl space between the ceiling and roof). It's not really an attic as it is filled two feet deep with insulation, so you can only walk up there if you walk on the support beams/studs.

We have been plagued with a pack rat/wood rat/roof rat (whatever you call it in your area!) for the last three months. ((This is not like a common or Norway rat.))

Anyway, we have been doing everything short of poisons to catch it: huge snap traps and sticky traps baited with everything from peanut butter and oats & seeds to sparkly things to fruit to fresh wheat grass.

We heard that throwing mothballs into the area they frequent is a good way to make them leave that area (and, that it is supposed to be good for squirrels, too, though we do not have squirrels), so we decided to try it.

Dh did this yesterday around noon. Within ONE HOUR, the fumes in the entire house were terrible. DH had to go up into the area and collect all that he threw. The smell is still terrible (we couldn't sleep in our bedroom last night and I doubt we will tonight, either). We have the window in our bedroom open and a fan aimed towards it to shoot the inside air out (at 40 degrees outside!). All the exhaust fans in the house are going (both bathrooms, the laundry room & above the stove). All the windows are open. We are wearing jackets inside. We may sleep at my fil's empty vacant condo tonight (he's a snowbird and is down in Florida right now).

Stupid that we were, we checked on the internet this morning about this (duh, hindsight...). Found out how incredibly highly toxic this stuff is! I know, what were we thinking? We were thinking that we have had this damned wood rat in the ceiling space chewing everything all night, everynight, and we didn't want to poison it because of the concerns of it dying and smelling up the house! It would have been better and safer than THIS smell!!

If the smell does not go away, we may have to have the insulation in that part of the house removed and new put in. The cost will be in the hundreds, if not more. Thank goodness we only put them in one area up there!!

I know 99% of the folks here are trying to use natural products and, sometimes, you get desperate enough to use other things. Well, do NOT use this stuff!

On top of all this, the damned rat was chewing, again, in that area!! Ugh..................

Consider this a PSA. I wish we'd thought before doing................
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#2 of 4 Old 03-19-2007, 06:52 PM
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The smell will dissipate eventually. My parents used mothballs and the smell is really strong in the beginning and then it's gets less strong as the monthballs disintegrate.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#3 of 4 Old 03-19-2007, 08:03 PM
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you might want to call www.crittercontrol.com if there's one in your area. not sure if they handle those guys or not...

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#4 of 4 Old 03-20-2007, 01:45 PM
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yes besides the smell... the toxicity, associated medical problems, etc.
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