Storing old clothes and books with mothballs

Abell Pest Control

As the seasons change, it's the ideal time to think about how you store your clothes. If you keep them in a little-used closet or attic, your possessions may be at risk of being eaten by moths. To prevent this from happening, consider storing your items with moth balls. Keep reading to learn how mothballs work and what kind of pests they deter:

What are mothballs?
In essence, mothballs are a form of solid pesticide that transitions directly into a gas. According to How Stuff Works, mothballs are generally composed of naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Each of these is harmful to moths in gas form. When breathed in, moths and their larvae die. The fumes from mothballs are quite strong and often unpleasant to people. While handling mothballs isn't necessarily harmful, you'll still want to limit your exposure and wash your hands afterwards.

Why use mothballs?
Mothballs are a great way to prevent moths from eating your clothes. The same insects can also devour paper products such as books. The chemicals contained in the balls can even keep other kinds of insects at bay, such as mosquitos and cockroaches. If you intend to store clothing or paper products for long periods of time, consider using mothballs for an extra layer of protection.

How to use mothballs
Follow these steps to properly use mothballs to protect your possessions:

  1. Assemble everything you're going to store for a long period of time.
  2. As the National Pesticide Information Center noted, you should use airtight containers for the best results.
  3. Wash and dry your clothing and dust the outer covers of paper materials.
  4. Fold your clothes and stack them in the containers.
  5. Distribute the mothballs around the clothing or books, then seal the containers.
  6. Keep your belongings in a cool, dry location with limited or no exposure to sunlight.
  7. Wash your hands after touching the mothballs.

Other considerations
Mothballs can be harmful to pets and children, so make sure that you store them in out of reach places. Similarly, when you remove your items from storage, wash your clothing again and air them out until you can no longer smell the pesticide. If your moth problem isn't solved with mothballs, you may have to call a professional pest control company.

About the author:

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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