Share. I sprinkled mothballs on my lawn to controll the insects but then around sunset the blackbirds, starlings and robins picked them up and actually rubbed them all over their bodies, that was two day ago and I have not seen many birds since. Modern PDB mothballs are less toxic but still can cause illness, especially when ingested. C.L. Both chemicals become a gas when exposed to air and cause the strong mothball smell. Older mothballs consisted primarily of naphthalene, but due to naphthalene's flammability, many modern mothball formulations instead use 1,4-dichlorobenzene.The latter formulation may be somewhat less flammable, although both chemicals have the same NFPA 704 rating for flammability. Using mothballs in gardens also causes significant environmental problems. It is very toxic – especially to children and infants. Learn More, 300 Brickstone Square, Ste 201 Fitchburg, MA 01420 Spray starch is also toxic to birds. They are technically fumigants that give off vapors that can be harmful to people and pets if used improperly. Check all entrances to the home for holes or breaks in seals. One mothball can cause serious harm if eaten by a small child. Mothballs produced in the U.S. contain one of two active ingredient chemicals: naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Luckily for me (although unluckily for homeowners like you), I’m not. Mothballs are a pesticide no ifs, ands or buts! They contain Napthalene which is highly poisonous. That will work and not toxic or harmful. Over time, they dissolve into a toxic gas. Either one of these chemicals can also cause symptoms such as extreme headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and nausea. Bird Droppings (feces) can make an unsightly mess on the sides of buildings, sidewalks, or vehicles. Treatment of the condition involves removal of the exposure and efforts to get the moth ball out of the body. They do not work, and Even more importantly, they are extremely dangerous! Always follow label instructions and take steps to avoid exposure. To realize the inherent dangers involved, you must first understand what you are dealing with when considering the use of these chemicals in a way NOT suggested by the manufacturer. (One part per billion is like a few drops of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool.) Saturdays: 8:00AM to 11:00AM, November through March Whether you are getting your winter clothes ready for upcoming cold weather or storing boxes of mothballs, there are some safety tips to prevent family members and pets from being poisoned. Mothballs are also dangerous because they can be mistaken for candy or food and eaten by children or pets. Most of us appreciate birds living in nature. These mothball hazards … Both of these chemicals are highly toxic and can get into the soil and groundwater. Although you may want to give a young tree some sort of support to reduce the chances of it flopping over, this is only necessary in a few cases. Concentrations high enough to be effective for pest control can be dangerous for anyone exposed to them. Even the popular eHow web site gives instructions for how to use mothballs to rid your home of fleas, snakes, mice, and rats by filling open plastic butter tubs ¾ full of mothballs and placing them around your home–all illegal and dangerous uses. Also, what may be toxic to one bird species may not be to another. As little as one mothball can be toxic when swallowed. Many people don’t even realize that mothballs are pesticides. Out of desperation, you might have even tried any number of the “guaranteed” contraptions on today's market “designed” to keep birds away. Print. The birds they were trying to get rid of were dead. Usually their nesting habits don't interfere with their human neighbors, but there are times when birds take up residence in or near your home and begin to cause problems. Mothball labels direct you to use the product only inside tightly sealed containers where the fumes are contained. They help keep our yards free of bugs, like fleas, ants, and mosquitoes. Now you have birds nesting in your attic or in your walls. There are two types of mothballs on the market. Using mothballs outside to repel snakes or to keep animals out of gardens can harm children, pets, or other wildlife. They can enter your home in a variety of ways toolarge gaps around chimneys and where the roof meets your external walls, in and around vents, soffits, and other up-high spaces that you don’t normally get a good look at. It is important for owners to be aware of which plants are safe to birds. It says so on the packet, and there must be a reason for it… Mothballs Are Toxic. Now, in the second case, you would be committing a grave mistake (even a crime in many parts of the world!) Mothballs must be used in an airtight space, such as a garment bag or well-sealed container, never in an open closet or plastic garbage bag, according to the authors. List of safe plants and branches to use around birds and also a list of toxic plants and household poisons. Most of us appreciate birds living in nature. Mothballs should not be used inside attics, crawl spaces, gardens, trash cans or vehicles. The birds they were trying to get rid of were dead. If used improperly, prolonged exposure to ammonia fumes in the air causes burning of the eyes, nose, and throat. Mothballs can easily be mistaken for candy, or simply tempt young children to touch and play with them. This is less toxic, but the mothballs and fumes can still be irritating or even poisonous. Mothballs are very toxic. Dust cayenne pepper around your home and the property line. However, when cats are decontaminated and given supportive treatment quickly, most can survive this type of poisoning. It has been found to cause severe irritation of upper and lower respiratory tract and can even result in more serious conditions including: blindness, damage to your lungs, irritation to soft skin and mucous membranes, birth defects, brain damage, difficulty breathing, or even death. Some people suggest scattering hot pepper sauce, or cinnamon around your space. It's possible. Still the lure of a wonder product that has the reputation of chasing away pests and is not some sort of toxic spray must be comforting to some people. Many experts say that mothballs are really not very effective against clothes moths anyway. Those containing paradichlorobenzene are safer than mothballs containing naphthalene. Kids and pets are not entirely safe around mothballs. (603) 880-7900, 3 Executive Park Drive, Ste 9 When they revert to their gaseous form they become irritants to the eyes, lungs, skin, and mucous membranes. Unsurprisingly enough these modern day miracles didn't work, no matter how many flashing lights or high pitched emitters they have. Using them outdoors will not only harm beneficial critters, but can easily contaminate plants, soil, and groundwater. According to this published review titled, Naphthalene Mothballs: Emerging and Recurring Issues and their Relevance to Environmental Health, majority of exposure to naphthalene happens through inhalation. Mothballs are deeply ingrained in garden folklore as an extremely effective pest repellent in the garden and within structures. These reactions have not only been seen in humans, but can affect other animals as well. Two of the most tried household chemicals are moth balls and ammonia. 1 0. Privacy Policy. Myth 10: Support newly planted trees or shrubs with a stake. Because naphthalene is highly flammable, mothballs are also fashioned from the synthetic chemical paradichlorobenzene, which has an unpleasant smell but is cheaper to make. When exposed to the elements, a mothball will generally last for between four and six weeks. (508) 485-6006, 344 Main Street Monday through Friday: 7:00AM to 5:00PM, Please click here or call for Holiday Hours, 20 Trafalgar Square, Ste 423 The thing you need to remember is that these birds will go where we humans do not regularly go. Instead of wasting your time on heading to the store and buying either ammonia (dangerous) or mothballs (pointless), you should spend the time having a cheeky look around your home (properly) and making a list of things that you should probably get repaired. Although prevention is the best pest solution, if you find yourself victim of a bird invasion, do yourself a favor and call a professional animal removal service. In the past, mothballs were made from plant-based camphor and, later, naphthalene, a derivative of coal tar. Naphthalene mothballs, or old-fashioned mothballs, are considered the most toxic type of mothball. Furthermore, there have been extensive studies conducted that show that either of these gases can alter DNA in children, cause birth defects, and cause cancer. One mothball can cause serious harm if eaten by a child. Mothballs can be hazardous to your health, do whatever you use them for, ensure that you read the label. Mothballs slowly turn from solids to toxic vapor. The Segals spent a night in a hotel to get away from the vapors in their house, but when they returned they discovered how dangerous mothballs can be. says: Mothballs are toxic, and who wants to be spreading toxins in the garden? As an avian veterinarian, I treat birds every week for getting into toxic substances. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Any such use is illegal. If you smell mothballs, you are being exposed to these chemicals. Birds in your attic have nests noisy squawking young, and, can leave an unsightly mess and smell. Ooh, thats scary even as I think of. One thing is placing a small toxic substance in a protected and contained space to deter moth larvae; another thing altogether is to scatter them around to try to scare small animals or even risk poisoning them. Widespread sale of illegal mothball products is a particular concern. So many are absolutely convinced that mothballs are the answer to almost every pest control situation and are even less concerned about any hazards. It is used as an insecticide and pest repellent. Mothballs are toxic to birds. Still, you might want to be cautious, as the smell might bother people as well. Mothballs can also be dangerous to people and pets. (603) 436-6000, Copyright © 2020 Colonial Pest Control, Inc. All Rights Reserved. "Once vapors enter the home, their odor can be detected at a few parts per billion in the air," Stone said. Older mothballs usually contain naphthalene. Just like children, when pet birds are out unsupervised, this habit of tasting things can get them into trouble. They are pesticides that come in a solid form and then volatilize, slowly changing to a gas. How the Toxic Ingredients in Mothballs Can Affect Your Health. Mothballs used outdoors can also harm the environment by contaminating soil, plants, and water. One mothball can cause serious harm if eaten by a child. Mothballs slowly turn from solids to toxic vapor. You need to get them to leave and then block their entrance, one way exclusion funnels often do the trick. Mothballs are meant to kill moths, eggs and larvae in airtight containers so that none of the harmful vapors are released. How Long do Mothballs Last? Locations to control pests other than clothes moths anyway containers so that none the. 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