Killing Fleas With Mothballs?

I have recently discovered fleas in my house. I am treating my pets and house at the same time. I have 3 cats that sleep wherever they want. I need to find something to kill the fleas in my closets because there are too many places for them to hide where I might not be able to get them all, ie. my suitcases, shoes, and laundry baskets.


If I put mothballs in them up off the floor where my cats won't get them will they still kill the fleas? Would this work under my beds also? My cats cannot get under my beds to the moth balls. Also, if I use mothballs how many do I need to use?

Please help. I have had cats all my life and never ever had fleas in my house, or fleas on my pets, that one flea bath didn't take care of. I'm going on the 3rd week of flea baths and they are also wearing flea collars and nothing is helping there either.

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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
October 2, 20160 found this helpful

Unfortunately, the only effective way to avoid fleas in the home is to either not have pets or have only inside pets; humans can bring fleas inside also. Cats and dogs carry fleas from the outside-other animals, yards, etc., and then bring fleas and flea eggs into the house. You can kill the existing live fleas but the eggs survive easily and a female flea can lay 50-60 eggs per day!


If you find live fleas in your house, you will also find flea eggs in the thousands in your house, as well. Flea eggs are very hard to kill as they are tiny and do not stick to anything; even an insect bomb is useless against the eggs.
So, essentially, you are always fighting an uphill battle against fleas. You can spray a chair or sofa and kill some fleas, however, in minutes or hours, new flea babies are born on a sofa or your pet climbs on the chair and leaves new live fleas and flea eggs.
The best flea guard you can achieve with pets is to maintain them inside only, keep up with prescription flea medication, if needed, and spray the furniture, etc., when you see fleas. The only way you can win (mostly) a flea battle is: no pets.

My husband is an entomologist so I speak with first hand knowledge and experience.
The first and very important step is to take your pet to your veterinarian to make certain the only problem is fleas. There are many other medical problems that could be affecting your pet in addition to a flea infestation.


The humble cat (cat, dog, etc.) flea is one of the most abundant and widespread species on Earth. You may have noticed that your dog and cat often choose different places to sleep in your house and outside. Your cat may have five or six favorite inside spots (usually in the sun) and outside even more. Many animals choose several places to sleep to avoid fleas. They might sleep in one spot for a few days and then another for a day or two. This sleep pattern breaks the flea life cycle and does reduce the effectiveness of flea attacks as adult fleas only live for a few days. However, some can live up to one hundred days in a good food environment. As you will see, the flea has a complicated life and you and your pet are invited!
Flea eggs do not stay on your pet, they quickly drop or roll off as they do not stick to anything. The fleas you find in your house hatched from the flea eggs that fell off of your pet. Flea eggs are tiny and opaque white or almost colorless. The fleas you may see on your cat or dog are immature fleas from eggs on the floor or outside that hatched into fleas and jumped back onto your dog. You will also see (many!) small black dots on your dog but these are only flea feces.

The flea eggs in your home and outside are the real problem. Just one female flea can produce 40-50 eggs per day. The eggs fall off into your house and outside so, either way, your dog or cat will then again attract the immature and adult fleas both inside and outside which are the children from flea parents that may still be living on your cat or dog.
Any dish detergent bath may wash away or possibly kill some fleas on your pet, however, not all fleas are killed. In a bath many migrate up to the head and ear area and then, once the bath is over, travel back to their favorite spots, usually on the back. If you use dish detergent, you can seriously dry the animals skin and may cause skin rashes, an allergic reaction, etc., and you are not addressing the real problem. The thousands of flea eggs that exist all the time in your house and outside hatch and then jump back onto your dog or cat (and you!). So, you and your pets are locked into the everlasting cycle in the life of fleas.

A search online for how to kill fleas brings up many ideas for bathing, applying natural and awful sprays, etc., but these only address the fleas on your pet. Rarely do they address the bigger problem as a whole. You can check this site for answers that address your pet, your home and the outside. As you will see, flea prevention is a much larger problem than just giving your dog a bath.
The only way you will become flea free is to treat the cats/dogs and your home with flea killers. It will take time for the flea treatments to work and money for the medications. I strongly suggest having the cats/dogs checked for fleas and any other medical problems and then treat them with prescription medication. Over the counter flea products are not strong enough to deal with the uncontrolled flea infestation in the house.

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September 19, 20183 found this helpful

No one ever answered her question whether moth balls would kill the fleas. Simple question and an extremely complicated answer that NEVER answered the question. Will moth balls kill the fleas?

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June 5, 20190 found this helpful

Mothballs give off toxic fumes and are illegal to use in open spaces per instructions on the container. People also use them outdoors thinking theyll repel snakes. If caught, most states carry a hefty fine fine ranging from $1,00.00 to $10,000.00.

Theyll may also cause neighbors with breathing problems, allergies, COPD, allergies and chemically induced allergies a hospital visit when the wind blows the fumes around around. FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth is the safest route to go, IMO.

Youll need to wear a respirator/dust mask (dust mask, Walmart sells them in lakes of 2 or 3 in their paint department). Be careful to not make big clouds when applying it. Work in into carpeting, upholstered items, stripped bedding & between the mattresses & box springs.

Leave the DE down for a minimum of 2 days and change and wash the filter on your vacuum frequently.

Youll need to retreat about every other week and yes, its a PITA. The every other week schedule follows the fleas life cycle.

Its the safest indoor method Ive used with my 4 cats. I leave them in my room while treating other rooms. When Ive finished those rooms, I let them out and shut them out of my room to treat it.

Cover the edges & corners of the room especially well.

I apologize for such a long reply but I wanted to be as thorough as possible.

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August 7, 20190 found this helpful

I lived in the same townhouse for 25 years. The entire time I always had a dog and one or two cats. In the third year we got a flea infestation. I sprinkled Borax everywhere followed up a week later by thorough vacuuming and treated the house perimeter with 7 dust once a year. . For the next 22 years I never saw a single flea again. The cats were in and out of the backyard I walked the dog regularly. I never used flea collars and only used flea killer treatment on the animals for 2 months when it happened. So basically your claim is not true that it will remain a battle. Also I lived in Virginia Beach where others have flea problems regularly. Btw My Veterinarian was always amazed that my dog never had fleas.

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August 13, 20181 found this helpful

Baking soda and salt

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
September 20, 20181 found this helpful

To answer the question to do moth balls kill fleas. In my experience, NO. To make matters worse, they stink up your house, and are dangerous to pets and humans. Avoid using them whenever possible especially if you have health issues.

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June 17, 20190 found this helpful

Put salt down on the floor . And give your cats. Capstar or a generic Capstar . Asl the vet if they carry Capstar. . You can get generic at the Walmart or I found this generic to Capstar. At price is good . 100 for $35.00 my cats use it no problem . See the cat or dog brings them in every time he goes out so to kill them in carpet not enough cat needs treated. Maybe yard too. And salt the carpet . Sprinkle salt on carpet let sit for a day or two vaccum it up if not sure do it again. Read in mortin salt book. And if need be put it in your shoes.

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February 8, 20210 found this helpful

we live in Thailand, soi dogs that is street dogs in abundance, fleas ticks mites roaches etc etc, our cat is out and about, not a house cat, she needs to be free. she had as a stray kitten all the above except roaches. she's treated, loves a bath every now and then and is ok. she did bring an infestation with her. the house cleaned and rugs treated with diatomous earth. for bedding hover and place moth balls under mattresses , you can get flower scented ones, so smell is ok. it will kill , deter fleas 100% As a test I placed a few in a jar and a tiny piece of mothball. the fleas died.
luckily here in thailand we live freer then other places and moth balls are still available, and people live long, with very few dementia cases very few.
and pets live a wonderful life too.

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