If you are plagued by a bird infestation, chances are, you are willing to try anything to get rid of them. Two products in moth balls make them toxic. Out of desperation, you might have even tried any number of the “guaranteed” contraptions on today's market “designed” to keep birds away. Get some of those sticky fly paper things you hang up that stick flying insects to them when they are attracted to the sticky stuff on 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. Always read labels on cleaning products to see if there are any safety warnings regarding birds. I hope not, I love to watch thier poopy pant walk and hear them singing These possible side effects are definitely too serious a risk to take just to be rid of a few birds. As little as one mothball can be toxic when swallowed. At least one bird died as a result. However, birds have been seen rubbing more than 40 other items over their feathers, including lemons, walnuts, apple peels — and mothballs. There are two types of mothballs on the market. Mothballs can also be dangerous if they are chewed or eaten. While it is true that landfills get covered over in most instances, you are still releasing residual toxic materials into the environment. Long-term exposure to mothball fumes can also harm pets and people. Remove large trees where chipmunks or squirrels would live. However, birds have been seen rubbing more than 40 other items over their feathers, including lemons, walnuts, apple peels — and mothballs. Mothballs are a pesticide product that contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene as active ingredients. So yes, mothballs are toxic when breathed in. This pesticide most often contains the ingredients naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Mothballs (composed of either 100% naphthalene or 99% paradichlorobenzene, with naphthalene twice as toxic) Pennies (contain high amount of zinc also found in screws, bolts, nuts, etc) Potpourri (essential oils and cationic detergents) - Fumes or smells which are dangerous to birds 1. Be sure that loose mothballs and boxes of mothballs are kept where children cannot find them. Mothballs contain a high concentration of insect repellent. You don't want to use anything as deadly as these reactionary chemicals anywhere around your house or loved ones. However, when cats are decontaminated and given supportive treatment quickly, most can survive this type of poisoning. What is the best bird deterrent? 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. Using mothballs outside to repel snakes or to keep animals out of gardens can harm children, pets, or other wildlife. They look identical, but some are made with the chemical naphthalene, while others are made with paradichlorobenzene. Both of these are hazardous chemicals that can become a toxic gas when exposed to air. You need to get them to leave and then block their entrance, one way exclusion funnels often do the trick. Many have colorful plumage and sing lilting songs. Mothballs contain toxic chemicals, namely naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, which are unsafe for people, pets and wildlife. Simple, if you scatter poison around, you have … When mothballs are used inside airtight containers, as the label requires, the vapors released by the mothballs build up and kill, or at least repel, clothes moths. Illegal naphthalene moth repellent products-- mothballs-- are hazardous to young children. When you smell mothballs, you are inhaling the pesticide. Mothballs can help control a mice infestation, but there are some disadvantages to using mothballs. Cats are more sensitive to their toxic effects, but dogs are more likely to ingest mothballs. These skilled experts will identify your particular problem, and formulate a simple plan to be rid of the birds. As someone who has been trying to get rid of pigeons for many years, I can tell you that if either ammonia or moth balls worked, I would be out of a job. Do mothballs or ammonia help repel birds? But even if they aren’t eaten, mothballs are fumigants. '; [19] Live trees are often coated with chemicals such as fertilizer or insecticide. Recent studies link naphthalene to illnesses, including nasal cancer. Several safe alternatives exist to the use of mothballs, including cedar blocks or 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. Mothballs slowly turn from solids to toxic vapor. Mothballs are very toxic. Nashua, NH 03063 The birds have moved in and are setting up housekeeping. Don’t risk your family’s health by trying to drive animals out with mothballs. Using them outdoors will not only harm beneficial critters, but can easily contaminate plants, soil, and groundwater. Both are used in high concentrations in the making of mothball products. Soon they will hatch a nest full of noisy young. If you smell mothballs, you are being exposed to these chemicals. Mothballs are classified as pesticides and are an effective insecticide. (978) 342-4240, April through October Mothballs Are Toxic. Mothballs used outdoors can also harm the environment by contaminating soil, plants, and water. Many have colorful plumage and sing lilting songs. They usually contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. They include squirrels, skunks, deer, mice, rats, dogs, cats, raccoons, moles, snakes, pigeons and a variety of other animals. Mothballs are also dangerous because they can be mistaken for candy or food and eaten by children or pets. Naphthalene is made from crude oil or coal tar. Any such use is illegal. We’ve said it before but it’s time to say it again—you cannot legally use mothballs as repellents for animals like mice, squirrels, raccoons, or snakes. The wind chime can help by the way, but exclusion doors are the only way you’ll really get rid of these flappy nuisances. Do Mothballs Repel Roaches? (Suddenly having a squirrel eat a bit of birdseed doesn’t seem so bad, does it?) Mothballs are deeply ingrained in garden folklore as an extremely effective pest repellent in the garden and within structures. It is also produced when things burn, so naphthalene is found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and smoke from forest fires. Due to the strong odor of mothballs, squirrels will not go near the areas where you put them. Other folks would have you throw firecrackers or rocks at the birds regularly. Despite some variability in species susceptibility to certain toxins, as well as a lack of scientific studies proving the toxicity of certain substances in birds that are definitely toxic to mammals, there are some items to which birds should never have access. Just about monthly we get reports of new items that are toxic to our pets. Mothballs are meant to kill moths, eggs and larvae, but are also used to keep rats, mice and squirrels away. "Ingestion of naphthalene mothballs can cause anemia, lethargy, vomiting, and sometimes kidney or liver damage." Toxicity most commonly occurs when cats or dogs ingest mothballs. It is an excellent cleaner, reliable laundry additive, and perfectly safe when used correctly. That will work and not toxic or harmful. There are two types of mothballs on the market. Concentrations high enough to be effective for pest control can be dangerous for anyone exposed to them. Operating 24/7/365. Get some of those sticky fly paper things you hang up that stick flying insects to them when they are attracted to the sticky stuff on them. Follow. Plastic tubs with tight lids are good choices for storing woolens and clothing. We are proud to provide bird removal services nationwide, with an operator within 30 minutes of 95% of the US population. Widespread sale of illegal mothball products is a particular concern. That’s why they head for the atticit reminds them of their tree-roosts and you don’t go up there very often. Privacy Policy. (603) 880-7900, 3 Executive Park Drive, Ste 9 How the Toxic Ingredients in Mothballs Can Affect Your Health. 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. Pesticides and other insect-control methods are known to kill and be harmful to birds and other unintended wildlife as victims. Cats are more sensitive to their toxic effects, but dogs are more likely to ingest mothballs. A licensed service will also have the proper credentials and know all local laws concerning the birds in your area. Moth balls often make their way to landfills after people get tired of them. When misused, the chemical agents can be hazardous to you, other animals, and the Earth. Spray starch is also toxic to birds. They contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. 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. Mothballs Are Toxic. Because naphthalene is highly flammable, mothballs are also fashioned from the synthetic chemical paradichlorobenzene, which has an unpleasant smell but is cheaper to make. Mothballs as Squirrel Repellents. Some plants will just make a bird sick and some can kill. It says so on the packet, and there must be a reason for it… Mothballs Are Toxic. 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. This is less toxic, but the mothballs and fumes can still be irritating or even poisonous. Also, what may be toxic to one bird species may not be to another. “Often, mothballs are used in these locations to control pests other than clothes moths,” Stone said. The labels do not allow their use as animal repellents. Mothballs & Landscaping. Fitchburg, MA 01420 You can even buy bird food with pepper already added. Other thoughts on whethr ammonia and mothballs repel pigeons: You would have better luck with a noisy metal wind chime in your back yard than you would using mothballs or ammonia to try and repel pigeons. says: Mothballs are toxic, and who wants to be spreading toxins in the garden? Pet birds have also been poisoned by moth balls when inhaling the fumes. They are technically fumigants that give off vapors that can be harmful to people and pets if used improperly. Still, you might want to be cautious, as the smell might bother people as well. Additionally, do moth balls bother birds? Some people suggest scattering hot pepper sauce, or cinnamon around your space. For example, veterinarians have reported several instances of birds developing symptoms like lethargy, weakness, and difficulty breathing after inhaling fumes from mothballs. 1-800-525-8084, We’re not satisfied until you are. Sources: Gasses like carbon monoxide, smoke from tobacco products, and fumes from new carpets and furniture, air fresheners, scented candles, paints, glues, household cleaning products, mothballs, hair spray, and nail polish can all be harmful when they are in close proximity to birds. Moth balls are good for keeping any types of unwanted animals away from certain areas. Mothballs are meant to kill moths, eggs and larvae in airtight containers so that none of the harmful vapors are released. If you use mothballs to repel clothes moths from woolens, use them carefully. The problem with ammonia and mothballs is that the birds do not find the repellent so unpleasant or irritating that they will decide to go to another place. ';Organic compounds and solvents, such as those found in nail polish remover, mineral spirits, gasoline, glues, paints, and mothballs are hazardous to birds. The active ingredient in other mothballs is paradichlorobenzene. Mothballs slowly turn from solids to toxic vapor. Mothballs are also dangerous because they can be mistaken for candy or food and eaten by children or pets. When you smell mothballs, you are inhaling the insecticide. People are exposed to the chemicals in mothballs by inhaling the fumes. 1 decade ago. Saturdays: 8:00AM to 11:00AM, November through March Long-term exposure to mothball fumes can also harm pets and people. The thing you need to remember is that these birds will go where we humans do not regularly go. read more 7. They contain Napthalene which is highly poisonous. Using mothballs outside to repel snakes or to keep animals out of gardens can harm children, pets, or other wildlife. As the fumes are toxic and can cause physical and neurological damage with over-exposure, it’s best to get rid of the smell, when possible. Many people who make this huge mistake then spend thousands of dollars to get the moth ball smell out of their house. It does keep moths away and many other pests but is also bad for us, our pets (dogs, cats, and birds) and wildlife. Naphthalene is an active ingredient that is commonly used in mothballs and paradichlorobenzene is the other. Composition. Kids and pets are not entirely safe around mothballs. Ooh, thats scary even as I think of. Why are mothballs toxic to cats? Older mothballs usually contain naphthalene. Luckily for me (although unluckily for homeowners like you), I’m not. Birds are unable to clear toxic particles by exhaling or coughing and are therefore more susceptible to this type poisoning. Are mothballs toxic? In earlier times, mothballs were commonly added to storage bins, boxes and trunks to prevent clothing made from natural fibers from becoming infested with moth larvae. Most of us appreciate birds living in nature. Any such use is illegal. Watch out: because mothballs are a registered pesticide and because of the toxicity of their chemicals, it is illegal to use mothballs or moth crystals, cakes, etc. When exposed to the elements, a mothball will generally last for between four and six weeks. They are pesticides that come in a solid form and then volatilize, slowly changing to a gas. 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. Cats are more sensitive to the toxic effects of mothballs, but dogs are more likely to ingest mothballs. They will also give you tips to avoid a re-infestation. Always follow label instructions and take steps to avoid exposure. Mothballs are toxic to birds. This chemical reaction is enhanced if chemical become even slightly heated. They help keep our yards free of bugs, like fleas, ants, and mosquitoes. Mothballs and other products containing naphthalene are solids that turn into toxic gas. Bedford, NH 03110 Dust cayenne pepper around your home and the property line. Both chemicals become a gas when exposed to air and cause the strong mothball smell. Each active ingredient can cause different health effects if the exposure is high enough. Mothballs can also be dangerous to people and pets. Do mothballs get rid of birds like pigeons or sparrows? Using mothballs outside to repel snakes or to keep animals out of gardens can harm children, pets, or other wildlife. Mothballs slowly turn from solids to toxic vapor. They do not work, and Even more importantly, they are extremely dangerous! When you smell mothballs, you are inhaling the insecticide. Either one of these chemicals can also cause symptoms such as extreme headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and nausea. It is important for owners to be aware of which plants are safe to birds. Exposure to large quantities of either of these chemicals can lead to headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or eye and nose irritation and coughing. Alternatives to mothballs are trapping the rodents, keeping your house clean, removing bird feeders from your yard, and moving wood or brush piles away from your home. Over time, they dissolve into a toxic gas. Print. One mothball can cause serious harm if eaten by a child. If one is exposed to too much of these chemicals or if the mothballs are left out for too long, they can slowly turn from solids to toxic vapor.The smell emitted from them are actually insecticides. Mothballs are nearly 100% active ingredient, and the active ingredient may be either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. (603) 472-1083, 155 Fleet Street They contain Napthalene which is highly poisonous. C.L. As an avian veterinarian, I treat birds every week for getting into toxic substances. Naphthalene mothballs, or old-fashioned mothballs, are considered the most toxic type of mothball. (see – Toxic Plants handout) If used improperly, prolonged exposure to ammonia fumes in the air causes burning of the eyes, nose, and throat. (One part per billion is like a few drops of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool.) Clinical signs of mothball poisoning include vomiting, mothball-scented breath, pale or brown gums, weakness or lethargy, difficulty breathing, tremors, seizures, and organ failure (e.g., liver, kidneys). The animals do not like the smell of moth balls. Prolonged exposure to either of the dangerous chemicals found in mothballs can also cause hemolytic anemia. Both chemicals become a gas when exposed to air and cause the strong mothball smell. 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