Will Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away?

As cute and adorable as the squirrels are as a creature, they are not the most innocent ones. Squirrels can become a nightmare for a farm or a garden even for a storehouse containing grains. They are master thieves and are quite hard to get rid of. So, will mothballs keep squirrels away? 

Mothballs are little ball-shaped hard tablets made of Naphthalene and Paradichlorobenzene. They have a nostalgic scent that reminds us of our grandmothers’ attics. But the smell is very repelling for creatures like snakes, rodents, bats, and squirrels. So, mothballs can repulse and get rid of squirrels.  

Though mothballs will keep away the squirrels, they are toxic. If not paid attention, little babies can swallow them which can be pretty serious. So, these balls should be used carefully in the presence of babies. But it’s true that mothballs can keep squirrels away. 

Will Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away?

Will Mothballs Keep Squirrels Away?

Made of Naphthalene and Paradichlorobenzene the white little chemical balls that are known as mothballs are used to keep squirrels away. And they work. The reasons why they can keep squirrels away are…

Squirrels strong sense of smell

Squirrels have really sharp olfactory capabilities. They can smell a hint of scent from a good distance. So, the squirrels can smell the mothballs from far and they don’t go near where they have been put.

Repelling odor of the mothballs

Mothballs diffuse a smell that is repelling to the squirrels. As a result, squirrels don’t go near the area that is covered by the odor of mothballs.

Mothballs creates a toxic fume

As the components of the mothballs turn into gas directly from solid, the mothballs create a fume around itself that is toxic enough to repel the squirrels. 

How to keep squirrels away from your garden?

There are a variety of ways through which you can keep squirrels away from your garden. Some useful methods are listed below. 

Remove food sources

Squirrels are master thieves. They return to the place again and again if they can find food there. So, take away the food sources present in your garden. Secure the trash can, cover the plants, collect food scraps and bury them in a compost pile. This will leave the squirrels no reason to return to your garden.

Keep your garden clean

Complementary to the previous method, this will also make the squirrels uninterested in coming back. Keeping your garden clean is extremely important. It helps you keep away all the invaders like snakes, rodents, squirrels. Don’t leave trash or food waste in your garden. And don’t let the grass grow as much as they want.


As discussed earlier this is a practical way of repelling squirrels so that they leave your garden. Put enough mothballs near the plants and trees in your garden. You can also put them by the fence. The odor of mothballs is unbearable for squirrels. So, they will keep away from your garden. 

Apple cider vinegar spray

Another natural repellent agent for squirrels. The pungent smell of apple cider vinegar is also unbearable to squirrels. Apple cider vinegar is readily available everywhere and can be easily sprayed over plants, fences, even fruit trees. And the smell will discourage the squirrels from coming any closer. 


Squirrels can hear ultrasonic sounds. Ultrasonic squirrel repellent takes advantage of this fact. It creates different pitches of ultrasonic sounds to repel and scare away the squirrels. We humans can’t hear ultrasonic sounds. 


Squirrels love to dig. So, if you don’t want them to do so, then try mulching. With the mulch added to the soil, squirrels won’t want to dig anymore. If the problem still exists then put some stone for decoration purposes on the mulch that the squirrels cannot lift. It will work.


The most faithful animal friend to mankind, dogs, can help in this situation. Leaving the dog in the garden for some time will scare away the squirrels, rodents or even hunt them down. Squirrels are afraid of dogs. So, they won’t play this game anymore and will quit. 

Pepper spray

Because of their extraordinary sense of smell, squirrels are sensitive to any strong smell. They don’t like the strong pepper smell. So, you can spray some pepper on the seeds or even on the plants to keep squirrels away. Use cayenne pepper for the job. 

Animal urine 

Using spray that smells like animal urine, particularly fox or other hunting animals is a very effective way you can keep squirrels away. These types of sprays are available in the market. Squirrels suspect one deadly predator is hiding somewhere nearby so they leave the place. 

A fence 

A traditional solution to the problem. Put a fence around the plants or seeds you want to protect. Build the fence with a net and plant it 8-12 inches under the ground or squirrels will dig under the fence to get into your garden. 


Got more questions to ask? Then have a look at these questions below.

What do squirrels hate the most?

Squirrels hate strong smells that are not pleasant to them the most. As really smell detectors they can identify any scent from a distance. They absolutely hate smelling agents like vinegar, mothballs, garlic, pepper, urine that repel them strongly. 

Can I use mothballs to deter squirrels?

Yes, you can. Mothballs will deter squirrels with their repelling odor. Squirrels don’t like the toxic smell and fumes created by the mothballs. You can put them everywhere in your garden or yard and it will highly discourage the squirrels from getting in. 

What smells do squirrels hate the most?

They absolutely hate the smell of peppers, garlic, peppermint, and anything with a strong unpleasant smell like them. They also hate the smell of urine and mothballs. Squirrels have an acute sense of smelling and they can smell a scent even if it is very weak. And they hate strong smells. 

What is the best squirrel repellent?

There are a lot of ways to repel the squirrels. But anything with a strong smell is generally the best repellent for squirrels. And for this purpose, hot pepper spray might be the best thing to use. A lot of other options have been discussed above. Anything that works for you is the best method.

How do I rid my yard of squirrels?

You can use different kinds of repellent like pepper, vinegar or urine spray. You can build a fence around the garden or part of the garden you need to protect from squirrels. You can use mothballs. Releasing a dog in the garden and mulching are effective too. 

More squirrel related article at rocwildlife

What do Squirrels Eat in the Winter?

How Long Can a Squirrel Live Without Food and Water

Do Squirrels Eat Mealworms?

How Far Do Squirrels Travel

What Does Squirrel Poop Look Like?

Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate?


Squirrels are surely adorable creatures but at the same time, they can cause enough harm to your garden that you start searching for ways to keep them away. One of the ways to scare them away is using mothballs. But the question remains, will mothballs keep squirrels away?

Well, it’s one of many ways to deter squirrels. It might not be able to succeed to scare them all forever, but it works pretty well as a repellent. For a hundred percent success rate you may have to use a few methods together if one or two is not being enough.

Mothballs are toxic and can cause harm to the human body. So, they must be used carefully if there are children in the house who can accidentally put one in their mouth. In that case, other methods like pepper spray, fencing, or dogs can be used. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.