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Will Mothballs Keep Dogs From Pooping In My Yard?: Sniffing out the Truth:

Dogs are man’s best friend, but they can also be a nuisance when they choose to relieve themselves in your yard. Not only is it unsanitary and unpleasant to clean up, but it can also damage your lawn and garden.

If you’ve ever stepped in a pile of dog poop while mowing the lawn or gardening, you know firsthand how frustrating it can be. There are various ways to keep dogs from pooping in your yard.

Some people choose to install fences around their property or use natural repellents like vinegar or citrus fruits. However, if you’re looking for a quick and easy solution that doesn’t require much effort, mothballs may be an option worth considering.

The Solution You Haven’t Considered

Most people associate mothballs with their use in preventing moths from damaging clothes in storage. However, many homeowners have found that the strong scent of mothballs can deter dogs from entering their yards and doing their business there.

Mothballs contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene as active ingredients, which release vapors that create an odor that dogs find unappealing. While this may sound like a simple solution to your dog problems, it’s important to consider the potential downsides before using mothballs as a deterrent.

In the next sections of this article we will explore whether this method really works and if it is safe for pets and children alike. We will also present alternative solutions for keeping unwanted visitors away from your yard.

What are mothballs?

Mothballs are small, white balls that emit a strong, pungent odor. They are typically used to protect clothing and other fabrics from moth damage by keeping moths away. Mothballs work by releasing a toxic gas into the air that kills or repels insects.

How do they work?

Mothballs contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene as their active ingredient. When exposed to air, these chemicals slowly evaporate and release a gas that is toxic to moths and other insects. This gas can penetrate fabrics and repel or kill any insects that come into contact with it.

Active ingredients

Naphthalene is the most common active ingredient in mothballs. It has a distinctive odor that is easily recognizable and has been used for decades as an insecticide.

However, it is also known to be toxic to humans and pets if ingested or inhaled in large amounts. Paradichlorobenzene is another chemical commonly found in mothballs.

While it may not be as well-known as naphthalene, it is just as effective at repelling moths and other pests. However, like naphthalene, paradichlorobenzene can also be harmful if ingested or inhaled in large quantities.

Mothballs are small balls containing either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene that work by slowly releasing a toxic gas into the air that repels or kills moths and other insects. While effective at protecting clothing from insect damage, caution should be taken when using them around pets and small children due to their potentially harmful effects when ingested or inhaled in large amounts.

Will Mothballs Keep Dogs Away?

Anecdotal Evidence

When it comes to using mothballs to deter dogs, there are plenty of anecdotal stories out there. Some people swear by them and claim they have successfully kept dogs out of their yards for years.

Others say they didn’t notice any difference after using them. One woman I spoke with said she used mothballs in her yard and noticed a significant decrease in the amount of dog poop she found.

She placed them around the perimeter of her yard and near the areas where dogs tended to go. However, another person I know tried the same method but said it didn’t seem to make any difference at all.

Scientific Research

There has been some scientific research done on the effectiveness of mothballs as a dog repellent, but it’s somewhat limited. One study published in 1995 found that both paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene (the two active ingredients in most mothballs) were effective at repelling dogs from certain areas. However, the study also noted that dogs became habituated to the smell over time, so using mothballs may not be a long-term solution.

Another study published in 2007 looked specifically at naphthalene and its effects on dogs’ behavior around sheep (which may be seen as prey animals). The study found that naphthalene did have an effect on reducing visits from feral dogs, but it was not effective against owned dogs who were more familiar with human environments.


It’s important to note that while some people may find success using mothballs as a dog repellent, there are risks involved. Mothballs contain chemicals that can be harmful if ingested or even inhaled by pets or humans. If you do decide to use them, be sure to read the label carefully and follow all instructions for safe use.

It’s also worth considering other methods of keeping dogs out of your yard, such as fencing or natural repellents like citrus or vinegar. Ultimately, the decision to use mothballs is up to you, but it’s important to weigh the potential risks and benefits before trying this method.

Are Mothballs Safe for Dogs?

The Potential Dangers of Using Mothballs Around Pets

While mothballs may be effective at keeping dogs out of your yard, they can also pose a serious danger to your furry friends. The main active ingredients in mothballs are naphthalene and/or paradichlorobenzene, both of which can be toxic when ingested or inhaled by dogs.

Ingestion or inhalation of these chemicals can result in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. Another potential danger is that dogs may mistake the mothball scent for food or a toy and accidentally ingest them.

This is especially true for puppies or dogs who have a tendency to chew on anything they find lying around. Ingestion of even one mothball can cause serious damage to a dog’s liver and kidneys.

Tips for Safely Using Mothballs in Your Yard

If you do decide to use mothballs in your yard to keep dogs away, it’s important to take necessary precautions to ensure your pets’ safety. First and foremost, always store mothballs out of reach from pets and children. Place them in a sealed container or cabinet where they cannot be accessed by curious paws.

When placing the mothballs around your yard, make sure they are not easily accessible to your pets. Keep them out of areas where dogs frequently play or lay down as this increases the likelihood of ingestion or inhalation.

If you notice any signs that your pet has ingested or come into contact with mothballs (such as vomiting), seek immediate veterinary attention. Early treatment can mean the difference between life and death for your beloved pet.

While the idea of using mothballs to deter dogs from pooping in your yard may seem appealing at first glance, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits. When it comes to your pet’s safety, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Alternative Methods for Keeping Dogs Out of Your Yard


If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to keep dogs out of your yard, investing in a fence may be a good option. Fences not only deter dogs from entering your yard, but they also provide privacy and enhance the look of your property. Depending on your needs and budget, there are many different types of fencing available: wood, vinyl, chain-link, and wrought iron are just a few examples.

When selecting a fence for dog deterring purposes, consider adding features like pointed tops or electric fences to make it less appealing and difficult for dogs to climb over or dig under. And remember to check with local ordinances and homeowners’ association guidelines before installing any type of fence.

Natural Repellents

If you prefer non-toxic alternatives to keep dogs out of your yard, natural repellents like citrus or vinegar may do the trick. Dogs have sensitive noses and don’t like strong smells such as these.

Citrus peels or essential oils can be placed around the perimeter of your yard or directly on plants that dogs tend to avoid. Additionally, spraying vinegar mixed with water onto areas where dogs frequent can also deter them from coming back.

However, it’s important to note that these methods may not work as effectively as physical barriers like fences. Furthermore, some natural repellents can harm certain plants or attract unwanted pests.

Dog Repellent Sprays

Another option is using commercially available dog repellent sprays available at pet stores or online retailers. These sprays contain ingredients like citronella oil or bitter apple extract that discourage dogs from entering certain areas. To use these sprays effectively, identify the areas where dogs commonly relieve themselves in your yard and apply the spray generously in those spots.

However, keep in mind that some sprays may contain harmful chemicals, so read the label carefully and follow instructions for safe use. Ultimately, the best approach to keeping dogs out of your yard will depend on your specific situation and preferences.

Some solutions may work better than others, or a combination of methods may be necessary. Whatever you choose, remember to prioritize safety for both humans and animals.


Mothballs are not a guaranteed solution

Using mothballs to deter dogs from pooping in your yard is not a foolproof solution. While some people swear by this method, there is little scientific evidence to back up its effectiveness. Additionally, the risks of using naphthalene and/or paradichlorobenzene around pets are significant, so it’s important to weigh the potential benefits against the possible harm.

Consider other solutions

If you’re struggling with dogs pooping in your yard, there are many other solutions that may be more effective and safer than mothballs. For example, installing a fence or using natural repellents like citrus or vinegar can help keep dogs at bay without putting your pets or family members in danger.

About Author

Skyler Day is a dedicated garden enthusiast who finds joy in all things related to planting and gardening. With a green thumb and a wealth of knowledge about plants and gardening techniques, she loves to share her tips and tricks with fellow enthusiasts. When she’s not in the garden, she enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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