Fast Help 1-800-222-1222

Mothballs can create opportunities for poisoning when scattered around the house for use as pest control or as a deodorizer.

  • Mothballs usually contain NAPHTHALENE or PARADICHLOROBENZENE and some may contain CAMPHOR. All types can be toxic if enough is ingested.
  • For some types, as little as half of one mothball can be dangerous if swallowed.
  • Infants wearing clothes or swaddled in blankets that have been stored with mothballs can even absorb the toxins through their skin.
  • Mothballs should not be scattered in basements and crawl spaces as the fumes can drift throughout the home through heating and air ducts.
  • Mothballs are NOT effective at keeping snakes away.

Ingestion of mothballs may cause:

  • vomiting
  • drowsiness
  • tremors
  • blood in the urine
  • anemia
  • kidney damage

Inhalation of mothballs may cause:

  • headaches
  • eye irritation
  • breathing problems
  • nausea


Call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or chat from this site for further treatment advice.

Last Updated on 07/16/2019