I am afraid of snakes. Growing up, I saw the movies where snakes swallowed people whole. I have also seen people running away from them because they are so scary. Even if they are harmless, no one wants them near their property or loved ones.

So, people take various steps to keep snakes away from their properties. These precautionary steps increase in summer because snakes come out of their hidden places in this season.

Do you also want to avoid them? Are you also taking different precautionary steps? If yes, then you may have heard about moth balls for snakes. There is a belief that these balls are extremely beneficial in keeping snakes away.

But, is it true? The expert team at Wrecked Home has explored this question. So, I am going to discuss our findings in this article.

Moth Balls For Snakes: What does it mean?

Snake in a Backyard.

First of all, let’s discuss what are moth balls for snakes. These are small balls present in an oval or sphere shape. They are made of chemical insecticides and deodorants. People use them in clothing dressers to protect their fabric from moth larvae damage or mold.

So, their main purpose is to preserve clothes. But, in previous years, people began to spread the word that moth balls for snakes works well as a repellant.

They believed that the smell of chemicals and deodorant on the ball was unpleasant for snakes. So, they will run away to avoid the smell.

But, it is not true. This notion is a fib.

Do Moth Balls for Snakes Work?

Snake on top of a Table, In a house. Some use Moth balls for snakes as a preventative measure
Snake on top of a Table, In a house.

The simple answer to this question is No. Moth balls for snakes do not work. A lot of people have experimented and found that using moth balls for snakes is useless.

It is because snakes don’t smell with their nose. They use their tongue to smell anything. So, strong chemicals that stink will not impact them. People believe that if moth balls can deter molds, they can avoid reptiles too. But, this thinking has no logic.

I am going to tell you an example to prove this point. The herpetologist Terry Vandeventer talked to the Living Reptile Museum. He told them about his experience with moth balls for snakes.

He said that in one experiment, he placed a moth ball on the floor. On one side of it, he put a cottonmouth snake, and on the other side, a rodent.

The snake crawled over the moth ball and reached the rodent without any effort. The ball didn’t do anything. Even so, the snake was not afraid of the ball.

So, investing money in it is simply useless. In fact, you should avoid using moth balls outdoors. Otherwise, they can cause serious injuries to you.

Harmful Side of using Moth Balls for Snakes

There are various risks related to the use of moth balls for snakes. You should know about these risks if you are planning to use balls to deter snakes from your property.

Illegal Use of Moth Balls

It is illegal to use moth balls for those purposes that are not intended for them. A lot of organizations and authorities have restricted the use of moth balls for snakes.

For example, The Clemson University Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) prohibits the use of these balls outdoors. The EPA company agrees with DPR because they have seen different accidents due to the misuse of moth balls. Due to these accidents, they made this law. You should read the label of moth balls, and use them where they are allowed.

And, among those usages, using moth balls for snakes is not included. So, it is illegal to use them to deter snakes.

Swallowed by Someone

The biggest risk of using moth balls outdoors is they can be swallowed by kids or pets. Small kids or your pets don’t know the harmful nature of these balls.

They will see it as an innocent small white ball. So, there are chances that they will touch and swallow it. This action can lead to their deaths or any harmful permanent disease. If you have pets or small children, please do not use moth balls for snakes.

Different environmental toxicologists have warned people about it. They say that only one mothball is enough to kill a child or pet. Even touching it can cause different health issues.

Toxic Smell

Moth balls odor is full of toxic elements that can lead to serious health issues. That’s why, different companies don’t approve of their outdoor use. They received a lot of complaints about the strong and harmful smell of these balls.

Actually, in the market, there are two types of moth balls. One is made of naphthalene and the other has paradichlorobenzene. You can’t find the difference between these two at one glance.

When these balls are exposed to the air, their smell spreads in the neighborhood. The harmful and strong smell can reach your kids, pets, and neighbors. This is another reason not to use moth balls for snakes!

The naphthalene smell is the most dangerous. It can cause different health issues. These include headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and fatigue. You can feel irritation in your eyes and lungs too.

This smell can badly impact your kids and pets. They can have diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lack of appetite.

The long exposure to this smell can be more dangerous. Because it can cause hemolytic anemia. In this medical condition, red blood cells break down.

The breakage of red blood cells can cause different issues. Oxygen will not reach different parts of your body. So, you can face exhaustion and shortness of breath. Some people can also face liver and kidney issues.

That’s why you should only use moth balls in airtight containers. Put them in the containers so that their fumes don’t spread into the surroundings.

The vapors and smell of it will remain in the container, leading to the deaths of molds of clothes.

But, how will you open this container? For this, you need to go to an open area. In this way, you can avoid the exposure of these harmful fumes.

Toxic For Environment

Mothballs are pesticides that have strong chemicals. So, they are harmful to the environment too.

The chemicals of this ball can seep into your soil. This can cause different kinds of harm to it. Moreover, the smell of this ball is full of toxicity. So, it can upset the air quality of your area too.

It means that moth balls for snakes are dangerous to use in various ways. I have seen a lot of people misguide others about their usage. On the internet, people are misleading others by approving the use of mothballs for snakes.

But, it is not an appropriate way to get rid of snakes. You should contact N.C. Cooperative Extension Services to know about the effective chemicals for killing snakes. They will give you all the necessary information.

But, chemicals are not only the solution. There are different plants and natural ways to get rid of snakes. Let’s see what these are.

Natural Snake Repellents

You can use a few plants as natural snake repellents. You should plant them in your yard to prevent snakes from coming into your property.

West Indian Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a beautiful plant that can keep snakes away from your yard. With snakes, they also keep mosquitoes and bugs away from your house. Moreover, you can plant them without any difficulty.

You should plant the lemongrass on the boundary of your yard. You can also plant it in the pot. In this way, snakes will never enter your place.

Mother in Law’s Tongue

Mother-in-law’s tongue is also famous as a snake plant. It is an effective plant against the snake. You can easily plant it in your yard.

The snake plant doesn’t have any odor. It has sharp leaves that impact the snake’s senses. So, it will avoid coming into your yard.


You can use onions as a natural snake repellent too. It has sulfonic acid which has a strong odor. You weep during the peeling of onions due to this chemical.

So, this chemical can cause a strong smell. It will keep your snakes away from your yard.

Clove and Cinnamon Oil

The mixture of these two oils can also be beneficial for you. You should mix them in equal amounts in a spray bottle.

You can spray this mixture directly on the snake. But, there are chances that it will attack you. So, you should be alert while spraying it.

If you don’t want to do this, you can spray the mixture around your yard too. You can sprinkle it on any porous structure. You can also spray the mixture on a Microfiber Cloth and wipe it on different surfaces, Here, you should remember that this spray is harmless on hardwood. So, don’t use it on the wood.

But, you need to reapply it around your yard now and then. If there is a heavy pour in the night, you should reapply it immediately after rain. Otherwise, do this task after every few weeks.

These are a few natural snake repellents. I recommend you use them in place of moth balls for snakes.

If you are still uncomfortable around snakes, we advise you to hire a professional. Find A Pro Near You Here!

Frequently Asked Questions (Moth Balls For Snakes)

Which are the Effective Smells against Snakes?

Snakes hate strong, foul, and bitter smells. These include the odor of sulfur, cinnamon, vinegar, smoke, spice, and ammonia. They also hate citrus smells such as oranges and lemons.

What Kills Snakes Faster?

Snake traps are the fastest way to kill snakes. These are the lethal traps that trap the snakes from their head and snap it. So, it gives a quick and decent death to this reptile.

Does Lime Keep Snakes Away?

No, it will not deter the snakes. Lime can be irritating for this reptile, but will not cause any harm to it.