Does Moth Balls Keep Roaches Away

Are you dealing with a roach infestation and looking for an effective way to get rid of them or just repel cockroaches? You may have seen recommendations to use mothballs to repel roaches. But do moth balls really keep roaches away?

Mothballs are small balls of chemicals, often naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene used to repel moths, silverfish, and other insects. Many place mothballs in bags and tuck them in closets and drawers of winter clothes made of wool and other natural fiber clothing from being eaten by moths.

The short answer is no; mothballs are not an effective way to get rid of roaches. Although moths and roaches have some similarities in their biology, mothballs for roaches don’t have the same effect as affecting moths.

In our guide, you can learn more about do mothballs keep roaches away and what other home remedies keep these roaches away. By the end, you’ll better understand how to remove roaches from your home or kill cockroaches if needed. (Read Killing Fire Ants With Dawn Dish Soap)

moth balls

Do Mothballs Repel Roaches

A roach infestation is no laughing matter. You need a cockroach repellent or roach killer immediately if you discover cockroach eggs or observe bugs. You’re not the only one who wonders do mothballs repel roaches.

Fortunately, the solutions are simple. Several household products, like mothballs, are good insect repellents. Bleach also drives roaches away. For the sake of your family and pets’ protection, consider your options for pest management. There are simpler and more compassionate ways to deal with the issue, even though you can buy or make glue traps for roaches at home.

Types of Cockroach Infestations

There are about 4,000 cockroach species worldwide, but North America typically has four common home invaders. To properly repel roaches and pests, it’s critical to identify the species. Each roach is unique, varying in size and ability to fly. The German Cockroach, whose egg cases can hold up to 48 eggs, is the most troublesome. One bug might multiply 336 times because females deposit up to seven egg cases per life cycle.

You must understand what draws roaches in the first place if you want to eliminate them. The majority of cockroach species enjoy cracks and small, dark spaces. They are omnivores who consume anything edible, including human food, pet food, waste, and book bindings. The first step to get rid of roaches is to clean behind appliances, furniture, and other hard-to-reach dark places because it may be difficult for households with dogs and young children to keep food sources sparse.

Do Mothballs Repel Cockroaches?

Mothballs are an excellent roach repellent since roaches, and other pests like clothing moths and bed bugs dislike their odor. Natural cockroach repellents include mothballs, which are made of naphthalene. Mothball fumes are unpleasant and make it difficult for roaches and other bugs, such as the moth, to breathe in a closed environment. A common area they are used is around trash cans to keep pests away. However, if any pests smell food, they will bypass mothballs rather than starve.

It’s also essential to remember that mothball fumes are unhealthy for people. Hence, it’s advisable to secure closets and cabinets where mothballs are used to treat a cockroach infestation with kid safety padlocks. (Learn How Long Do Moths Live)

repel cockroach

What Are Other Ways to Get Rid of Roaches?

You may get rid of cockroaches with everyday household items in addition to mothballs, which are moderately successful at keeping roaches out of your home. Try these simple solutions to ensure your home remains roach-free and eliminate other pesky insects.

1. Diatomaceous Earth

As a cheap natural pesticide, diatomaceous earth can be used. To prevent it from drying out and causing skin irritation, make sure to wear gloves before handling it. Also, wear a mask and protective eyewear while sprinkling it. While diatomaceous earth is considered a safer pest management option, getting it in your eyes or breathing it in can irritate you.

Put it there to get rid of the bugs where you see roach activity. Any corners or spaces in your home containing diatomaceous earth are unwelcome to roaches because they dehydrate and destroy their exoskeletons. Check for less roach activity in your home after a few days, and wipe the diatomaceous earth.

2. Boric Acid

Boric acid, typically found in detergent, fertilizer, and hand soap, works well to get rid of roaches. Although it won’t deter them, roaches can become toxic if they eat it. Just spread the boric acid around your house where you’ve observed roach activity, and the roaches will come into touch with it.

Wear a mask when working with boric acid because it might be dangerous to breathe in. Boric acid should be disposed of after a few days and kept away from children, pets, and wildlife.

3. Distilled Vinegar for Roaches

Distilled vinegar is the next-best home treatment for roaches. Vinegar is a versatile, safe, non-toxic cleaning product that is an excellent way to keep roaches away. Sealing access points and carefully cleaning your home are the first measures to get rid of insects. Food sources like crumbs and leftover food attract cockroaches.

To avoid feeding unwanted guests, wipe down your counters, behind your cabinets, inside the pantry, and behind the fridge with vinegar to disinfect and deodorize. Without worrying about traps, it helps roaches go away. (Read What Do Cockroaches Hate)

4. Essential Oils To Get Rid of Roaches

If mothballs don’t work for you, lemon and peppermint essential oils are known for their potent odors and are effective for repelling roaches. These roach-repellents smells work in your favor. One of the most effective all-natural cockroach repellents is made from essential oils. While battling your roach problem, create a chemical-free, pet-safe roach killer that smells great.

Add the essential oils after combining the water with the peppermint or lemon powder. Pour roach repellant into a spray bottle and spray it on cockroach hotspots around your home. The aroma of bay leaves repels cockroaches. To keep household pests away, scatter bay leaves everywhere. Try putting bay leaves in the pantry, closed spaces, and under the refrigerator to get rid of cockroaches in the kitchen.

It isn’t just the mothball smell that is missed using essential oils yet storing unused mothballs. Container choice is vital, and you need to keep mothballs in containers made of non-reactive plastics such as polyethylene or polypropylene.


Do mothballs repel all species of roaches?

Mothballs are most effective against German roaches but may not work as well against different species with different biology and behavior.

Can mothballs be used in kitchen cabinets or food prep areas?

No, mothballs should not be used where food is stored or prepared, as they can contaminate food and pose a health risk. Also, the mothballs smell could taint food.

Do mothballs repel silverfish?

Yes, mothballs can repel silverfish and other bugs, but there are safer and more effective alternatives for pest control.


While mothballs may provide a temporary solution for how to keep roaches away, they are not a safe or effective long-term cockroach infestation control option. In addition to their toxic fumes, mothballs are dangerous for adult humans, children, and pets. Kidney damage and stomach aches could result if a two- or four-legged family member consumed one.

To keep your home free of pests like roaches, it is important to identify and eliminate their food sources, seal entry points, and use natural and non-toxic pest control options. While you might use a local pest control company to kill roaches, their chemicals can harm your family and the environment. (Read Killing Maggots With Bleach)

By taking a proactive approach to removing roaches, you can keep your home pest-free and safe for you and your family.

Does Moth Balls Keep Roaches Away (2)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *