Skip to Content

Will Mothballs Keep Dogs Away? (Quick Answers)

Mothballs have various usage in our day-to-day lives. From getting rid of bugs in clothes to keeping unwanted guests in your backyard.

Mothballs could be the perfect solution to any unwanted animals or insects near you.  We’ll answer whether mothballs are a good solution to keep away dogs, ways to use them, and make other homemade repellents.

Will mothballs keep dogs away?

Mothballs will help to keep the dogs away. Mothballs have a distinctly strong scent that keeps the dogs away. But commercial mothballs might come as fatal for dogs. They are made of either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, making their fumes also toxic if consumed for longer.

Mothballs are tiny balls of pesticides used to keep away bugs from clothes or the garden. Its strong smell would drive away any animals or pets nearby, including dogs.

But unfortunately, they are made of harmful toxins called naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene. It may cause severe damage such as brain injury, fatal stomach problems, etc. if consumed directly.

The fumes could also be dangerous if they smell it for long enough. They sublime through the air. The gas of naphthalene might cause gastrointestinal problems in animals.

The newer PDB (paradichlorobenzene) is less toxic but still could cause severe damage if digested. 

What can mothballs help to keep away the dog from?

Mothballs can help you keep the dog away from your garden or your house. Any part of the backyard you place the mothballs will have a distinct hard smell almost of ethanol. 

Some of the places that would be safe from the dogs and any other animals are:

Pooping in your yard:

The smell of a mothball containing naphthalene or PDB lasts about 2 feet or so; it is also highly insect repellent. It might spread faster in the open air; thus, the dogs won’t come near your yard from the smell. Keeping your garden free from dog dung. 

Peeing on Plants:  

Many dogs have a bad habit of peeing on others’ property while going on a morning walk with their owners, and no one pays heed to it. But the smell will drive the dog away from your yard. Place non-toxic mothballs close to plants, and the scent would take them away. 

Enoz para Moth Balls for Moths and Carpet Beetles, 80-mothballs, 3-Pack (240 Count)


Some dogs are more playful than others and need more physical activity. These breeds might create havoc in the back garden, and tiny mothballs would distract their attention. Maybe have other activities with the dog would lead them to drive off much of the nervous energy and digging. 

Stay out of flower beds: 

The flower beds are a crucial part of keeping the garden’s beauty. It comes as a playful act to jump onto them if you have a small puppy. Hindering them would cause a great loss to the gardener. Mothballs would keep the dogs and other pets at home away from ruining the flower beds. 

Stay out of lawn:

Keeping the lawn clean is essential for a neat and tidy house. But if there’s a small dog, that could be a hassle. Place the mothballs at the corners or sides of the lawn. You can also add them by the flowers. This would keep the lawn fresh for the children and elders to hang out there.  

How to use mothballs to keep dogs away?

Mothballs keep the dogs away because they don’t like the smell of them. But proper uses of mothballs should be considered because they can cause unwanted hazards around the house. 

We are mentioning some of the ways to avoid any dangers while using the mothballs:

Scattering mothballs in the lawn:

 Looking at the packaging, make sure it has the minimum toxins in it and scattering them across the yard to keep the dogs away from there. They don’t prefer its distinct smell. 

Planting them inside the plant pots: 

 Looking at the packaging, make sure it has the minimum toxins in it and scattering them across the yard to keep the dogs away from there. They don’t prefer its distinct smell. 

Planting them inside the plant pots: 

Place the mothballs inside the pots of the plants around the garden. It would keep the bugs and insects as well as the pets away from the pots. 

Crushing them into smaller pieces: 

As the mothballs come as pretty hazardous, you could crush them into small pieces so the dogs won’t be able to swallow them whole and sprinkle them across the yard. 

Plucking them out of the yard:

 Naphthalene spread to air through sublimation. They spread very quickly in the open air.

You could keep the mothballs in the yard for a while and then pluck them out. It would still leave the smell, and it would be removed before the dogs could get a hold of it and ingest or get directly in contact with it. 

You could follow all the instructions mentioned above but do keep in mind to read the pamphlet or set of instructions that come with the certain type of mothballs you bought. 

How do you make homemade dog repellent?

Homemade dog repellent is the best solution if you don’t want to hurt any of your pets or your neighbors’ pets.

There are many ways to make an organic repellent that would be harmful to the environment or the animals. Mothballs can come out as harmful even for the plants in the garden. 

We want to mention the most effective ones. You could come across them easily across your house. 


Dogs are not big fans of the smell of citrus. They have very sharp senses, and the scent of citrus bothers them a lot. Few ways you could use citrus as a repellent: 

Slices of citrus fruits: 

Make small slices of oranges, limes and other citrus fruits and scatter them by your flower pots and across the lawn. The dogs won’t go near them and also it’s safe. 

Lemon Water:

 Mix some lemon in a glass of water and keep them beside your flower pots or spray them over the pots. This technique could also be used over pieces of furniture. 

Essential oils:

 You could extract some essential oils from the dried slices of citrus fruits at home. Spray them across the yard or over the furniture to keep the dogs away.

Cayenne Pepper:

Any kind of pepper, especially cayenne pepper, creates a sensation of itchiness in dogs. Just like humans, they feel irritable from the particles, and they burn their eyes and noses. Procedure to prepare cayenne pepper as a repellent: 

Blend the pepper:

Take the cayenne pepper and crush them or blend them until it becomes more of a powdery substance. 

Mix it up: 

Mix the powder up with other herbs or pastes and keep them in the corner of the garden. It would be enough to drive the dogs away.

Make a Spray:

 Mix up with water or some kind of a liquid and make a pepper spray as a dog repellent. They would be enough to irritate their eyes and skin but not harmful enough to cause any severe damage. 

But you must be careful while using cayenne pepper as using it more than needed could be hazardous for the dogs. 

Is the smell of mothballs harmful to dogs?

Yes, the smell of mothballs is harmful to dogs to some extent. The smell of mothballs contains naphthalene or PDB, both of them are toxic materials, and long exposure to them or, if digested, could cause them serious health risks.

Dogs are more prone to swallowing a mothball than cats. They are also not very environmentally friendly. One mothball is enough to take a small-sized canine. The amount varies on the size of the animal. 

What can I do if my neighbor’s dog keeps coming in my yard?

You can use organic dog repellants as a resort to keep the dogs of your neighbor’s away from your yard. Use apple cider vinegar, chili pepper or citrus. Dogs are easily distracted by these repellents.

 Dog poop is also another resort. Dogs like to clean up an area after they have finished their deed. Ammonia is also another good solution. Use it to spray among the yard. Dogs repel the smell of their own urine. Dog urine is high in ammonia. 

What scent will keep dogs away?

The scent of mothball works exceptionally well to keep the dogs away. Pets, including dogs, like to stay away from such and nose-pinching smell. Dogs also hate the smell of citronella oil.

Trainers often use them on their collars to repress barking behaviors and calm them down.

You can use coffee grounds in the yard. Dogs don’t like the smell of coffee grounds, and they are a good fertilizer for the soil too. You could sprinkle them in the garden over the flowering beds. 

Final Thoughts

Mothballs are a good resort to keep the dogs away from your neighborhood. In total, it might be risky to use mothballs instead of a more organic repellant. An animal’s safety is also a concern. Many options are available. In that case, citrus and cayenne are the best options for homemade repellant.