Purpose of Moth Balls

Mothballs are used as a chemical pesticide and are manufactured in a white pellet form. Two active chemical ingredients are used to produce mothballs: naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene.

Wool Clothing Protector

Mothballs can be added to containers that contain wool garments to kill moth larvae that can ruin clothes.

Wood Burning Stove Cleaner

A few mothball pellets can be added to a wood-burning stove to clean soot residue. Mothballs also clear away creosote residue that may be left over in wood burning stove pipes.

Pest Repellant

A few mothballs can be placed in and outside of a home to ward off rodents and snakes.


Mothballs should be put in a plastic bag and stored in a dry, airtight container where children and pets will not have access to them. Mothballs need to be disposed of by taking them to a facility that handles hazardous waste and should never be thrown away in residential or commercial garbage.


Mothballs are poisonous if ingested and may cause seizures. Prolonged exposure to mothball vapors can cause skin and respiratory irritations. According to Purdue University, mothballs that are made up of naphthalene are considered more toxic to humans, because they can cause anemia.