How to get rid of Groundhogs Mothballs- Does it Work?

Surely mothballs are not enough for killing rats because rats do not live inside a hole in the yard! But groundhogs- you can simply trap them inside their holes!

No, we are not telling you to kill groundhogs with mothballs, because you actually can’t! But throwing them away with mothballs is possible. Will mothballs keep groundhogs away-sure, it will!

Will mothballs keep groundhogs away

The Truth and Misconception

A common conception of people around the globe is using mothballs for killing groundhogs. This comes from the idea of killing rats and mice with the help of mothballs-which is equally a misconception! Rats or mice are from the same rodent family as groundhogs.

So, is it possible to kill woodchucks with mothballs? The truth is, mothballs are not enough effective in killing groundhogs or rats. People have generated this idea from a simple mind that mothballs include naphthalene and naphthalene is effective for insects.

And so, it will affect the groundhogs or rats too. But no, you can’t kill the groundhogs with these pieces of balls! However, you can try killing groundhogs with gum instead, it works just fine!

How to get rid of Groundhogs Mothballs?

Everything has a fine line, and so does this! As we said, if you are not talking about killing groundhogs, we can make peace with it! Yes, you can get rid of groundhogs for some days with the help of mothballs. Are mothballs good enough for killing groundhogs, no! But can you keep them away? A big YES!

If you have researched enough about the groundhogs, you already know that the groundhogs have good smelling power. And with that, comes the smells that they hate! They hate the smell of mint, garlic, hot peppers, onion.

And what else! Yes, you guessed right. Naphthalene! The chemical odors are something any rodent cannot stand. And that takes us to use mothballs as our shield to protect your lawn. You can use the odor of mothballs and get them run the way they came in! Also, if you are interested to learn what smells do groundhogs hate, check this out, there is a list of what you want. 

How to get rid of Groundhogs Mothballs?

Applying Mothballs against Groundhogs

Now you know that you can use mothballs against the little cuties and save your veggies! But how to do it! We have it all figured out. Let’s learn how to keep away groundhogs from your yard by using mothballs.

Step 1: Search for the Holes

First of all, your job is to find the groundhog holes. The burrows have entrances and exits. While searching, make sure you check underneath the vegetation. They often loosely cover their holes up with sticks and leaves so that you cannot find the holes.

Or else, if you see a large mountain of some excavated soil on your property, that’s the hole! They have an opening about 10-12 inches or so. There is not a single hole, find the others too. Once you find it, step to the next step.

Step 2: Add Mothballs

In this step, all you need to do is to get the mothballs inside the holes. Go through the holes and start adding mothballs one by one. Make sure you are using more than three to four mothballs in each hole. Keep in mind that the holes are bigger and so, they won’t smell it if you do is add a little more. Check all the holes and add three to four mothballs there.

Step 3: Search for New Holes

A mothball will last 3-6 months depending on where you are putting it. Yes, they can last more than one year if you are keeping them under your clothes but no, they won’t last inside the hole that longer. When you put the mothballs inside the holes, the entrances will be blocked.

As a result, the groundhogs won’t be able to get out. And as we have mentioned, they hate the smell of naphthalene. They won’t like to stay inside either if you are using a large number of mothballs.

Well, don’t think that they will die for food because they are the Hibernators, remember? Also, they are pro when it comes to digging holes. All you need to do is let them go for another hole.

Step 4: Keep Repeating

After some days, you have to search for the holes once again. Wait more or less 5-6 days and then search for the new holes. If you find any new holes, go through them and add some mothballs there too. When they will see mothball smell once again, as they hate the odor.

They will try to leave your property. In this case, keep in mind that you have to continue the process of searching new holes and adding mothballs once every week because otherwise, the groundhogs will keep coming back. After a month or two, the same groundhog will not come back any more!

Why Groundhogs can’t be killed with Mothballs?  

Often we confuse between mothballs and naphthalene because they smell close. Well yes, if you take a look at the ingredients of mothballs, naphthalene is used. Mothballs are constructed with para-dichlorobenzene or in easier words naphthalene.

These are toxic to humans. And as you know, these are equally toxic to insects. Made to use at room temperature, these come as solid balls. And then they slowly will change into a gas form. And finally, gets mixed into the air.

What we are trying to say mothballs are toxic and human beings should not inhale them. And it is quite effective when it comes to insects, as we have mentioned before. But no, these won’t kill you! The amount of naphthalene used in mothballs is small. For insects, it is tough to bear that amount of intoxicated air. But for larger animals, it is not much effective.

So, when it comes to killing woodchucks of your garden, if you are completely relying on mothballs, you are not going to win it! It is almost impossible to kill groundhogs with mothballs. It doesn’t work! But killing groundhogs with antifreeze surely works! Do you want to try?

Large Quantities of Mothballs

So, we can’t kill groundhogs with so little naphthalene in the mothballs. Is it possible to kill mothballs if we are using a lot of mothballs? Well, that’s a good idea but unfortunately, it doesn’t work too! Mothballs have naphthalene and this keeps away the red blood cells from carrying oxygen when they are inhaling oxygen.

So, it’s easy for us to think that it will eventually kill the rats and groundhogs. But no, it’s doesn’t. Inhaling mothballs can be toxic for you but you don’t get killed by them. So, in short, the groundhogs won’t too! But if you are not talking about killing them, there’s a way to use mothballs!

Mothball Hazard

With mothballs, comes mothball hazard! Are you sure you want to use this method?

  • However, the first thing you need to care about when it comes to using mothballs to keep away the groundhogs is the state law. Yes, most of the states have several laws that will restrict you from using mothballs in open places.

– After all, these are constructed for use in closed areas like the closet. Get a look at the state law and learn if it is illegal to use it or not.

  • Another factor regarding the environment is important here. Mothballs are the case of significant environmental troubles. As this one is highly toxic, it can get into the soil of your yard or garden.

– And eventually, it can harm the plants that you are planning to protect! Also, not to forget, mothballs can get mixed with groundwater.

Wrap Up

Now you know that though you cannot kill groundhogs with the help of mothballs, you can keep them away! The process we have mentioned can help you keep the garden safe. But to be safer, check the state law beforehand. And don’t forget to think about the environmental issue mothballs can bring. Otherwise, it is as effective as the other ways, trust us!

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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