Is Naphthalene Toxic to Cockroaches?

Cockroaches, notorious for their resilience and ability to adapt, pose a significant challenge for homeowners and pest control professionals alike. When roaches come into contact with naphthalene, particularly in it’s concentrated form, their respiratory systems become compromised, impeded by the overpowering scent. This impairment causes these persistent pests to experience difficulty breathing, leading most cockroaches to instinctually move away from areas impacted by the offensive odor.

Does Naphthalene Kill Insects?

Naphthalene, a commonly used ingredient in mothballs and other pest control products, has the potential to kill insects and repel animals due to it’s toxic properties. This gas acts as a potent insecticide, effectively eliminating pests such as cockroaches, moths, and other unwanted bugs.

Upon exposure to the gas, insects may experience damage to their respiratory systems, leading to respiratory failure and eventual death. Additionally, naphthalene can also disrupt the nervous systems of insects, causing paralysis and affecting their ability to perform essential functions.

The strong odor emitted as the solid transitions to gas can be unpleasant for animals, leading them to avoid the treated areas. This property has been exploited in various pest control strategies, especially for deterring small mammals, such as rats, mice, and squirrels.

However, it’s crucial to exercise caution when using naphthalene-based products, as they can also pose risks to human health. These products should be used strictly according to the manufacturers instructions, ensuring proper ventilation to avoid excessive exposure to the toxic gas. Ingesting or inhaling naphthalene can have harmful effects on humans, including potential damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.

Additionally, the strong odor emitted by naphthalene gas may repel animals, making it useful in deterring certain pests. However, it’s important to handle these products with care and follow safety guidelines to minimize potential risks to human health.

However, when it comes to naphthalene balls, the story is quite different. Contrary to popular belief, naphthalene balls don’t actually attract cockroaches. In fact, they may have little to no effect on keeping these pesky insects away. So, if you’re looking for a way to repel cockroaches, it might be best to explore other options.

Do Naphthalene Balls Attract Cockroaches?

However, it’s important to note that naphthalene balls and mothballs are two different things. Naphthalene is a chemical compound used in the production of mothballs, but it’s also used in other products such as air fresheners and pesticides.

There’s some anecdotal evidence to suggest that naphthalene balls can attract cockroaches. However, there’s no scientific evidence to support this claim.

In fact, most research on the toxicity of naphthalene to cockroaches focuses on it’s ability to kill or repel them, rather than attract them. It acts as a respiratory irritant, causing damage to their respiratory system and ultimately leading to their death.

However, it’s worth noting that cockroaches are highly adaptable creatures and can develop resistance to certain chemicals over time.

Naphthalene is more commonly used as a repellent or pesticide against cockroaches, rather than an attractant. It’s always best to consult a professional pest control service if you’ve a cockroach infestation.

The Different Uses of Naphthalene in Household Products

Naphthalene is commonly used in household products for various purposes. One of it’s most well-known uses is as an ingredient in mothballs. Mothballs are used to repel and kill moths, as well as other fabric-damaging insects. Naphthalene’s strong odor is effective in warding off these pests and protecting clothing and textiles.

In addition to mothballs, naphthalene is also used in some air fresheners and deodorizers. It’s distinct smell helps mask unpleasant odors and freshen up indoor spaces.

Furthermore, naphthalene can be found in certain toilet bowl cleaners. It’s chemical properties make it effective in breaking down stains and disinfecting toilet bowls.

While naphthalene can be effective in it’s intended uses, it’s important to handle and store products containing this compound with care. Proper ventilation is crucial when using naphthalene-based products to avoid inhaling excessive amounts. Although naphthalene is toxic to certain insects, such as cockroaches, it’s effects on humans and pets can be harmful if ingested or inhaled in large quantities. It’s always advisable to follow product instructions and take necessary precautions to minimize any potential risks.


The powerful odor emitted from naphthalene interferes with their respiratory system, leaving them struggling to breathe.

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