Mothballs are effective repellents for ants, but their active ingredients make them unsafe for use, as clear warnings are issued by environment protection agencies.
Can Mothballs Keep Ants Away? Mothballs cannot keep ants away as these contain chemical pesticides that are mainly used to kill mold and their larvae, in addition to other pests in clothes. It was used against ants a few years back due to the acrid odor of ingredients, but it is banned due to safety concerns, as toxic vapors are produced during sublimation. Therefore, it is better to check labels before using the product as a repellent.
Using mothballs to protect clothing is better, as wrapped solid balls can deter fabric pests. These are considered good deterrents and have been sold for almost a hundred years.
The active ingredients can produce fumes on sublimation and kill pests. In addition, the overpowering odor of ingredients helps remove the pests, as they only live in places where they feel comfortable.
Why do mothballs not keep ants away?
Mothballs are circular balls made of chemical pesticides that can help keep pests like moths and their eggs away from clothing.
The traditional ones are made of two active ingredients, including naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, giving them an acrid or unpleasant odor.
The strong smell of ingredients made them good repellents, so people started using products to kill a broad range of pests, as they avoid strong odors.
Accordingly, they were also used widely to get rid of ants from the house due to an acrid odor that seems undesirable to their receptors. These solid balls get converted to vapors slowly.
These vapors are captured by their olfactory receptors and wipe out their pheromone trails leading to the disappearance of insects from the house.
However, the modern ones are based on pyrethroids and are labeled to use only for moths. In addition, this ingredient makes them odorless that cannot attract or repel these creatures.
They can efficiently control the population of moths and kill their eggs when you keep them inside clothes after packing them in airtight packaging.
So, mothballs are not suitable repellent for getting rid of ants and need to be used according to the labels on the packaging.
Is it safe to use mothballs to get rid of ants?
It is not safe to use mothballs against ants due to the toxicity of vapors produced from solid balls of chemical pesticides.
Moths are responsible for damaging the fibers of feathers and wool, and the toxic vapors of sublimed balls can help get rid of these damaging pests.
However, naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene are toxic to inhale by pets and people as they can have serious effects when placed outdoors.
There is a risk of inhaling vapors as their ingredients are not safe to inhale due to undesired outcomes. These colored balls can be mistakenly consumed by children, pet dogs, or cats.
Some of these traditional mothballs are not widely used in different countries due to their potential side effects posing a threat to the survival of living organisms.
Furthermore, these take almost 5 to 6 months or even a year to convert into vapors because it sublimes slowly and imposes a continuous threat to lives.
So, these are banned from being used against ants after knowing their possible toxic side effects and are labeled to use only for getting control of the moth growth.
Many people prefer cedar chips instead of these toxic solid balls, which are natural deterrents and keep pests away from clothing and fibers.
What do mothballs keep away?
The use of mothballs is regulated by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) USA when their harmful impacts are noticed at a large scale.
They are not suitable to use for a broad range of pests as these toxic chemicals are only effective against fiber pests, posing a risk of damage to natural fiber produced from animal origin.
Moreover, you can use them against silverfish and moths as they can efficiently control their eggs and keep them away due to unpleasant odors.
Their use is mentioned on the packaging as they need to be placed in areas like clothes to minimize the effect of vapors as you keep them inside airtight packing.
It is a misconception that you can create a problem for other pests like rats, ants, spiders, and even mice because they are not designed to deal with these indoor pests.
Furthermore, avoid using these mothballs to get rid of bedbugs because the product is not recommended for this purpose.
Do boric acid balls keep ants away?
Boric acid is an effective substance against ants as it has a toxic effect on their internal digestive system and creates problems in the digestion process.
Moreover, it is widely used to prepare baits prepared by mixing the powder with sugar granules, honey, or peanut butter, which can attract these insects.
It is also used in ant-controlling sprays as boric acid is a slow poison because these insects can hold the bait in their stomach for a few days before dying.
You can easily prepare boric acid balls by mixing 3 parts of sugar in one cup of warm water. Then, add 1 part of boric acid powder into the sugar solution and mix them well.
Dip cotton balls into the solution for a few seconds until they soak well. Keep them in the infested areas or the possible hideouts to make these insects come out quickly.
The dominating smell of sugar on the acid can attract them to get food by sucking the juice from cotton balls. It is far better than store-bought chemical pesticides due to their negative impacts.
Can camphor and naphthalene balls keep ants away?
Camphor and naphthalene are insecticides that can naturally keep various pests away from your home. Therefore, Camphor is an ideal substance to get rid of these insects at home.
It is better to put camphor balls to avoid ants than mothballs prepared from harsh chemicals. You can spray the solution directly on the infested area to remove them quickly.
In addition, you can prepare balls by grinding camphor to fine particles and dissolving them in water. Add a few drops of essential oil or even camphor or lavender oil to improve the effect.
Dip small cotton balls in the solution and soak them for a few minutes. Put them at different corners of the room where you have the risk of infestation, as their strong odor repels them.
Furthermore, some people crush naphthalene balls and dissolve them in water to make a spray. It is easy to handle the dissolved balls because there is no risk of consumption mistakenly.
You can spray it on the plants to get rid of these pests, but check the labels carefully and proceed if these are considered safe and suitable to use in this way.