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Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

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Corn snake.

Do mothballs act as a good snake repellent?

By Sharon from Cleveland, TN


Best Answer

This answer has been rated the best for this question.

By Anonymous [848]08/18/2010

Moth balls are highly toxic/poisonous to any living creatures including adult humans and especially so to children and pets not to mention that they poison the soil and ground water! Also, the fumes emitted from them can cause damage to lungs. Use mothballs only for what they are meant for and that is in closed container to keep woolen clothing from being eaten by moths. If you use any pest control product containing naphthalene please do so with extreme caution and follow the directions to a T.

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Nubian10/16/2013

After recently moving into a house out in a more "rural" area, I started seeing a few snakes around the outside of my home. A friend of mine recommended mothballs, and I actually went out and bought a few boxes, but when I looked online, most people were saying that there were ineffective and at best, they repelled the rodents that snakes tend to munch on.

After reading that, I didn't even bother with them. Fast forward to this past weekend when I encountered yet another snake out on my patio (a small ring neck snake) which motivated me to go ahead and try the mothballs. I crushed them into a powder with a hammer and sprinkled the powder around the patio and house foundation...long story short(er), the next day, I found a DEAD ring neck snake out on my patio, and the following day, there was yet another dead snake of a different breed. Neither had any signs of trauma, as might occur if it were attacked by an animal, and both were on the patio near where I sprinkled the moth ball powder.

Say what you wish, but from my experience, moth balls definitely work!

By ksayac05/13/2013

NO. Ask any snake expert. You folks who have had success, it is because of indirect effect. Mothballs repel FIELD MICE (and other critters snakes find delicious). Take away food source, snakes go away. So do they repel snakes, no. Do they work in getting rid of snakes, yes.

By celest05/11/2012

I just bought some snake away 5/11/12 and I hope it works. My neighbors say it does. I know that moth balls work to keep frogs away. As I am late this year putting out my moth balls, I think that's the reason I saw a snake.

By Rodger01/03/2011

Moth balls do in fact work. Same stuff in snake away. But what's remarkable is that it works on moles too! Guaranteed! Just pop through their runs a few places and poke in a ball or two and they are gone in a matter of days. Sometimes immediately.

By Louise B. [4]08/18/2010

I don't know anything about snakes, but I do have some experience with mothballs. They have the most disgusting smell, and I would never use them for anything. I suppose if you were popping them in to snake holes in your yard, it might be alright, but if you are putting them anywhere near your buildings or where you might be sitting outside, the smell of the mothballs is far worse than whatever you are trying to repel.

By LARRY FLUITT08/17/2010

There is a product called Snake Away which the active is Napthalene, which is an ingredient of some moth balls, not sure how a snake would be able to roll away a moth ball.

By Deanj08/15/2010

I don't understand why people think mothballs are a good critter repellent. Mothballs give off an odor and should a critter find that odor unpleasant they either roll the moth balls out of the way or find another route around the mothballs.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

Do mothballs get rid of snakes in the attic?

DBEavers from Beaumont, TX

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent

Some people say they do, but others have complained about trying to get the smell out of their attics. What might be best if you want to try it is to put them in cheesecloth or something so they will be easy to locate when you want to remove them. If you just throw some up there, they will be difficult to locate each mothball. People don't like the smell of mothballs any better than snakes or moths. Susan from ThriftyFun (09/07/2006)

By ThriftyFun

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent

For 2 -3 years there have been snakes, garden, I think in my neighborhood. At the first sight of one I put mothballs around my house and my fenced in yard. I saw one small snake this year, but it was dead. (09/08/2006)

By looklady

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent

Moth balls to repel animals is a myth. If you put them in a burrow the animal just tosses them out. On the ground animals just move around them. Some people use them thinking they are effective. But there is no harm in letting folks believe these stories. Use them if you want, but they are not animal deterrents. (09/08/2006)

By Dean

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent

No, moth balls I know for a fact do not work. When my children were younger we rented and lived in a 100 year old farm house in the western NC area. The house became infested with snakes which (I found out) were after the mice in the walls, yuck. Needless to say after killing a few snakes within the house itself we moved from there and into another state. I have seen "Snake Away" which is a repellent that you use to keep the snakes a bay in the area that you want taken care of. Google "Snake Away" and see what you come up with, good luck. (09/09/2006)

By Paula Jo C.

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent

We live on a creek in SW Georgia and mothballs have proven to me they work. During years 2003 to 2006 we killed 12 to 17 poisonous snakes each year (Cottonmouth, Rattle, and Copperhead) day and night around the house and bushes. Last year (2007) we put out mothballs every other month or when they dissolved and only killed one Rattlesnake and it was nowhere around the mothballs. Don't just put out one or two put them out heavily. (02/18/2008)

By Tommy Y.

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent

Yes, they do work. We started using them in our barn here in Northern Nevada. Our neighbors have all had snakes this year except us. This is our first year using them, but after all the snakes we had last year and the lack of snakes this year; I believe they work. (05/17/2008)

By Loren

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent

Not so sure moth balls work, but it has been proven that lime will get rid snakes. It keeps them away and if they go through the lime it will burn their skin. (06/15/2008)

By Gary

Archive: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

Do mothballs keep snakes away?

By ccbran from Sweeny, TX

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

My mother-in-law swears by it, so I won't say no! She has lots of flower pots around her house, then birds nest in them, and the eggs and babies of course attract snakes. She puts both the moth balls and loose crystals around the perimeter of her house. (07/15/2009)

By fatboyslimsmom

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

Moth balls don't work. Varmits just roll them away, ignore them or find another route. (07/15/2009)

By foxrun41

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

I put moth balls in my barn because I had a bad snake problem. It kept the non poisonous out, but for the cottonmouths, it did not work. I had one curled up in the moth balls. (07/15/2009)

By horsewzl

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

I've never tried mothballs, but I have spread sulphur around the perimeter of my yard and haven't seen any snakes since. I had seen 2 within one week just prior to spreading the sulphur! You can get sulphur at places likes Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. It comes in a bag like fertilizer. Hope it works for you and God bless you and yours. (07/17/2009)

By tedsmom

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

Some people have had good results and others have not. I guess it's just trial and error. "Snake Away" that you can get at feed stores or Lowe's type stores is just another form of moth balls. Read the ingredients. I know you didn't ask about skunks, but I do know for a fact that moth balls do keep skunks away. We found this out after both my dog and my husband got "skunked". LOL!

Margaret from Denton, TX (07/17/2009)

By matjat

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

No! I thought I would "cheap out" and try it. I walked outside only to find a huge black snake slithering right over the mothballs. Snake-a-way is expensive, but it works. Yes, it smells just like mothballs, but it must have other stuff combined with the napthalene (mothballs) that makes it work. I've never tried sulfur so I can't speak for that. When I was growing up my mom put lime around the gardens because we had a lot of garter snakes where we lived. Just so you know, I live in FL, so this is snake territory and I am terrified of them. If I never see another one as long as I live I would be very happy. (07/17/2009)

By lovethosehounds

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

They work where I live. I put them out each year and have never had a snake. Last year I was not able to get around and put them out. My husband found a snake in our yard. (07/17/2009)

By Teresa Kay

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

Mothballs are the same thing as snake repellent. Naphthalene. That is what is in the MSDS on both. (09/06/2009)

By rocketdog11

RE: Do Mothballs Work as a Snake Repellent?

Well I put the moth balls inside the snake holes and that worked. I live on a lake and there's snake holes all around my dock, but I figured just every time I see a hole, put a few mothballs in there. It works. (05/21/2010)

By Sardelayo1988

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