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Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

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Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

Post  mollyhespra on 5/24/2015, 12:09 am

I've recently come across a number of articles encouraging the use of mothballs as pest-deterrents in the garden, a fact which concerns me to no end.

Mothballs contain powerful and highly toxic chemicals whose intended purpose is to kill fabric-eating moths.  They are, in essence, non-discriminating insecticides/poisons.  The compounds in mothballs are known to be associated with the development of cancer and are highly toxic to our pets and other wildlife, let alone the poor bees that are having a hard enough time as it is.

Also, when it rains or we water our plants, the chemicals will seep into the ground, where the roots of the plants being grown for food (in the case of us SFG-ers) will soak them up.  I don't know about any of you, but I don't fancy the idea of eating plants that have been watered with naphthalene.

I know I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but in case there are some that hadn't heard, or just didn't think it through, and have put mothballs outside in the garden, please reconsider and get rid of them--safely.  We have hazardous waste pick-up days in our town, which would be an ideal time to dispose of them, since just throwing them away in the regular garbage isn't ideal, either.

I'm going to get off my soap-box now, but in the meantime, please help me spread the word.  If you have any info about the dangers of mothballs that can be added to this thread, do post it.  This forum is a popular one, and the more exposure that this topic gets, the better.

Thanks and safe gardening, all!

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Re: Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

Post  sanderson on 5/24/2015, 3:50 am

http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/naphthal.html

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002477.htm

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Re: Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/24/2015, 7:02 am

Wait a minute... Sanderson's second link says that naphthalene is also found in toilet bowl deodorizers. Are those the tablets we put in the toilet tanks, some turn the water blue?

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Re: Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

Post  cpl100 on 5/25/2015, 3:31 pm

I did not know that; thanks for the information.

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Re: Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

Post  sanderson on 5/25/2015, 3:47 pm

Some toilet tank tablets are just stabilized chlorine for continuous disinfection. Others, like in men's urinals or that are hooked on the bowl under the lid, contain naphthalene.

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Mothballs in the garden

Post  DeborahC on 5/25/2015, 10:22 pm

I've been using mothballs for years.  I throw them under the shed and put them around (not in) the square foot garden in mesh bags to discourage the squirrels and groundhogs.  After reading your forum, I am going to change my evil ways and use coyote urine.

Thanks for the info.

Okay, after reading about coyote urine it sounds like an old wives' tale.  Do you think eucalyptus oil would be stinky enough to keep the critters away?  The mothballs worked so well.  Last year my son saw a squirrel run up to the garden, do a flip and start rubbing his nose on the grass.  It was pretty funny to watch.

I have 1/2 acre of woods full of choke cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and violets that I am happy to let them dine on, they just have to stay out of the garden.

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Re: Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

Post  vortex on 5/26/2015, 12:31 pm

I've used moth crystals around the house to keep scorpions away when I lived in scorpion territory. Sprinkle around the entire foundation every 2-3 months and not a scorpion in the house.

I haven't ever used it around the garden, though.

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Re: Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/26/2015, 3:17 pm

@DeborahC wrote:Do you think eucalyptus oil would be stinky enough to keep the critters away? 

The problem is that whether it does or not, you may find your garden overrun by koalas.

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Re: Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

Post  sanderson on 5/26/2015, 8:49 pm

Razz

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Re: Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

Post  Tilth on 5/27/2015, 12:34 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:
@DeborahC wrote:Do you think eucalyptus oil would be stinky enough to keep the critters away? 

The problem is that whether it does or not, you may find your garden overrun by koalas.

            funny post

Good one Marc Iverson!

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Re: Mothballs in the garden? :evil:

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