Do Mothballs repel Bed Bugs?

mothballs to get rid of bed bugs

In this article, we will answer the question: Do mothballs repel bed bugs?
If you’ve ever encountered bed bugs, you know how frustrating and bothersome they can be. In the search for ways to deal with these pesky pests, you may have come across mothballs as a possible solution. Mothballs are small balls or tablets containing chemicals that repel moths and fabric pests. But can they also help with bed bugs?

In this article, we will explore the connection between mothballs and bed bugs, examining their effectiveness and important considerations for their use. So, let’s check in detail naphthalene balls and their potential role in dealing with bed bug infestations.

What are Mothballs?

Mothballs are small, solid balls or tablets that contain a chemical called naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. They are commonly used to repel and deter moths and other insects that damage clothing, fabrics, and stored items. Mothballs release a strong odor that is intended to discourage pests from infesting the treated areas. They are also called naphthalene balls.

Mothballs are typically placed in storage containers, closets, or drawers. Which is close to clothing or other susceptible items. The strong odor emitted by mothballs can create a barrier that insects find unpleasant, thereby deterring them from infesting the treated area.

It is important to note that mothballs are toxic. You should use them with caution. They can release harmful fumes if not used properly or in poorly ventilated areas. You should never use naphthalene balls in food storage areas or where children or pets can access them. We recommend you to carefully follow the instructions provided on the product label.


Do Mothballs kill Bed bugs?

Mothballs are not effective in killing bed bugs. While mothballs contain chemicals that repel certain insects, such as moths, they are not specifically designed or proven to eliminate bed bug infestations.
Relying solely on mothballs to kill these insects is unlikely to be effective and may result in a prolonged infestation.


Do Mothballs repel Bed Bugs?

Mothballs may not be effective in repelling bed bugs. While mothballs contain chemicals that produce a strong odor intended to deter certain insects. Their effectiveness against bed bugs is however limited.

They can tolerate a wide range of conditions, including the presence of certain odors, such as naphthalene balls.


What smell do bed bugs hate the most?

They are notorious for their dislike of certain odors. Here are several scents known as potential bed bug repellents:

  • Peppermint: The powerful and invigorating scent of peppermint could be a deterrent for bed bugs. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of peppermint oil or products with peppermint fragrance in repelling bed bugs may vary.
  • Lavender: The soothing and floral aroma of lavender is believed to be unpleasant to them. While lavender has a pleasant scent. Its ability to independently ward off bed bugs is somewhat limited.
  • Tea Tree Oil: The strong and distinct fragrance of tea tree oil can have a repulsive effect on them. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to exercise caution when using undiluted tea tree oil, as it can potentially cause skin irritation.
  • Eucalyptus: The refreshing and aromatic scent of eucalyptus oil is known to deter them to some extent. For optimal results, you should use eucalyptus oil alongside other pest control techniques.


Another oil that has been talked about to repel bed bugs is olive oil. If you are interested, you can check our article on Olive Oil and Bed Bugs.


Can I put mothballs under my mattress for Bed Bugs?

We do not recommend putting mothballs under your mattress to get rid of bed bugs. Mothballs contain chemicals such as naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, which are toxic and primarily intended for deterring clothes moths and fabric pests. Additionally, they are not specifically designed or proven to be effective against these insects.

To effectively deal with a bed bug infestation, we recommend you to use proven methods such as thorough cleaning, vacuuming, steam treatments, and the application of appropriate insecticides. (source)


Can you sleep in the same room with mothballs?

It is generally not recommended to sleep in the same room with mothballs due to the potential health risks associated with their use.

Exposure to these fumes for extended periods or in poorly ventilated areas can cause respiratory irritation, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and other health issues. It is important to prioritize your health and safety by avoiding prolonged exposure to mothball fumes.



In this article, we answered the question: Do mothballs repel bed bugs?
While mothballs have been used for many years to repel moths and fabric pests, their effectiveness in dealing with these bloodsuckers is questionable. The chemicals in naphthalene balls are not specifically designed to target bed bugs. You should not rely solely on them. Because it may not provide effective control or elimination of bed bug infestations.

To effectively address bed bug problems, we recommend you to implement reliable and proven methods. Thorough cleaning, regular vacuuming, utilizing steam treatments, and applying appropriate insecticides are reliable approaches that can help tackle infestations successfully. By following these established strategies, you can increase the chances of effectively resolving bed bug issues and regaining a pest-free home.

If you want to know the best insecticide designed for bed bugs on the market. Then, you can check our Buying Guide for Bed Bugs Insecticides.