The best alternative to mothballs for clothes moths

The best alternative to mothballs for clothes moths

There are indeed better alternatives to mothballs. If you're looking to keep those pesky clothing moths at bay, allow me to introduce you to Dr. Killigan's Cedar Planks. Here I will share five compelling reasons why you should steer clear of mothballs and opt for Dr. Killigan's Cedar Planks instead.

Mothballs are pure pesticides


Mothballs are pure pesticides, as they contain high concentrations of chemicals that are designed to kill or repel insects. These chemicals are either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, which are classified as pesticides by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Pesticides can damage crops and cause harm to humans or animals. As a natural pest control expert, I always recommend using natural alternatives to pesticides whenever possible to protect both people and the planet.

Mothballs are harmful to human health

Several studies have shown that the chemicals in mothballs, particularly naphthalene, can be harmful to human health. An article published by the Louisiana Department of Health writes that exposure to naphthalene can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Another study, published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency found that naphthalene exposure can lead to cataracts and damage to the retina. Not only are they harmful, but an article written by the EPA tells us that they are often sold illegally and can easily be “mistaken for candy, or simply tempt young children to touch and play with them.” The CDC writes, in bold letters, that Naphthalene is “IMMEDIATELY DANGEROUS TO LIFE OR HEALTH CONCENTRATIONS.”

'Naphthalene balls' are harmful to the environment


The chemicals used in mothballs can have negative impacts on soil, water and air quality, can harm wildlife and are commonly not effective in driving problem animals away. These naphthalene-filled chemical balls can leach into the soil and groundwater, and can also evaporate into the air, where they can contribute to air pollution.

In addition, when mothballs are discarded improperly, they can end up in landfills or waterways, where they can continue to release toxic chemicals and harm the environment. Wildlife can also be affected by these chemicals, as they can be ingested or absorbed through their skin, causing damage to their organs and other bodily systems.

It’s important that we consider the impact of our actions on the environment, and choose safer alternatives like cedar to protect our clothing and homes from moths. Remember, friend, we must take care of our planet, as it is the only one we have.

Mothballs contribute to pesticide resistance

When mothballs are used repeatedly over time, the insects they target can become resistant to the chemicals they contain, rendering them ineffective. This is because the insects that survive the exposure to the pesticide carry a genetic mutation that allows them to resist the toxic effects of the chemical. These resistant insects can then pass on their genetic resistance to future generations, making the population more resistant to the pesticide.

The overuse of pesticides, including mothballs, can also contribute to the development of pesticide-resistant insects on a larger scale. This is because it creates a selection pressure that favors the survival of insects that are resistant to the chemicals. Over time, this can lead to the development of entire populations of insects that are resistant to multiple types of pesticides, making them difficult to control.

Pesticide resistance is a growing problem in the agricultural industry and in pest control, and it is a serious threat to food security and human health. By reducing the use of mothballs and other pesticides, and adopting more sustainable pest management practices, we can help slow the development of pesticide-resistant insects and promote a healthier and more sustainable environment. 

Mothballs release toxic fumes


According to the National Institute of Health, "The majority of exposure to naphthalene in the environment occurs through inhalation." When mothballs are used, they release toxic fumes into the air, chemicals that can accumulate in the confined spaces where mothballs are used, such as closets or storage areas. The effects of these chemicals do not easily dissipate. In fact, according to the above mentioned article, incidents of serious medical outcomes have been reported in association with dermal exposure (or exposure through the skin) in newborns to diapers and blankets that have been stored in mothballs. Prolonged exposure to these toxic fumes can lead to a range of health issues in both people and pets. 

Smelling and inhaling these toxic fumes can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, as well as headaches, dizziness and nausea. In severe cases, such as the case with this Illinois family, prolonged exposure to these fumes can lead to liver and kidney damage. Pets, especially cats, can be particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of mothballs, and exposure can even be fatal for them.

It is important to note that the toxic fumes released by mothballs can linger in the air for a long time, even after the mothballs have been removed. This means that people and pets can continue to be exposed to these toxic fumes even after the mothballs have been removed from the area.

In contrast, using cedar for moth prevention does not pose any health risks to people or pets. The natural scent of cedar is non-toxic and non-harmful, making it a safe alternative to mothballs.

Cedar is the better alternative to mothballs

If you're looking for a safer and healthier option for moth prevention, let me introduce you to our very own Cedar Planks. Dr. Killigan’s Cedar Planks are a natural insect repellent that emit a pleasant, delightfully woody scent. The cedar planks are (unlike mothballs) non-toxic, non-poisonous and non-harmful to humans and pets, making them an effective, safe and environmentally-friendly choice. Additionally, our Cedar Planks work against web-spinning moths and case-making moths, and provide four-season protection for your wool, fur, leather and other precious keratin-rich fabrics.


Cedar contains natural oils that act as a deterrent to moths and other insects, without the need for harmful chemicals. These oils emit a pleasant aroma that naturally repels moths and other insects, making cedar a natural and non-toxic alternative to mothballs. Cedar has been used for centuries for its insect-repelling properties, and cedarwood oil is a common ingredient in natural insect repellents. Studies, including one published by ResearchGate, have shown that cedar is effective in repelling clothes moths, flour beetles, cockroaches and ants. A further study by CedarSafe showed that cedarwood was significantly repellent to firebrats, (a type of silverfish).

In addition to its effectiveness, cedar is also a sustainable and renewable resource, as cedar wood can be grown and harvested in a responsible manner. Our Cedar Planks are sustainably sourced from renewable eastern red cedar tree forests in the USA. The planks can be hung in your closet (by attaching the included hangers) or placed in your drawers (no need to attach the provided hanger). The natural scent of cedar is safe and non-toxic, and does not pose any health risks to humans or pets.

So, if you're concerned about the health risks associated with mothballs and want to keep those pesky clothing moths (and other insects) at bay, consider the use of Cedar Planks. It's a far better option for moth prevention as it is natural, effective, safe and sustainable. And, unlike mothballs, it won't pose any health risks to you or your furry friends.

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