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Home » Why Don’t People Use Mothballs Anymore?

Why Don’t People Use Mothballs Anymore?

For many people, the smell of mothballs immediately brings to mind an older relative’s closet or heirloom cedar chest. For many decades, people throughout the U.S. utilized these tiny pesticide balls to keep moths, silverfish, and other clothing-chewing insects at bay. This mothball storage and exposure could leave clothing and bedding fragrant with the unmistakable scent of bug repellent.

But while mothballs are still available for purchase, you’re far less likely to find anyone who actually admits to using them to preserve their clothes or prevent an insect problem. How can such a popular pest control method go from ubiquitous to outdated over just a few decades? Read on for three of the primary factors behind the increasing irrelevance of the mothball.

Central Heat and Air Conditioning

Until the late 1900s, most homes lacked central heating and cooling systems. Even window air conditioner units didn’t boom in popularity until the Baby Boomer generation had all gone off to high school and college. For most households, this meant long, hot summer nights spent with the windows open.

Those living in homes that lacked window screens, which was fairly common during that period in history, would often find themselves battling staggering numbers of insects from flies to moths to mosquitoes. Using mothballs to prevent damage to clothing was a far more palatable option than sweltering with closed windows to avoid insect exposure.

Today, most homes have central heating and cooling, portable window units or space heaters, or windows with screens to keep insects out. Even if a few stray moths make it into your home through an open door or hole in your window screen, they’re unlikely to be able to reproduce quickly or effectively enough to do any damage, and will probably be dead within a few days.

Increased Use of Synthetic Fabrics

Moths love natural fibers, particularly wool and cotton; a cotton-wool blend sweater that doesn’t contain any added spandex or polyester is just about any hungry moth’s favorite treat.

However, adding even just a percent or two of artificial fabric to a piece of clothing that utilizes natural fibers is often enough to repel moths. Not only are artificial fabrics totally lacking in nutritional value, they can disrupt moths’ reproductive cycle and sometimes even impede their ability to lay and fertilize eggs. Unless your closet is filled with pure wool, pure cotton, or a blend of the two, you’re unlikely to find yourself facing any moth-generated holes in your clothing.

Improved Home Pest Control

While climate control and fabric blends mean moths are less likely to make their way inside your home and far less likely to find a suitable meal while there, improved pest control services have also played a part in the decline of demand for mothballs. Communities of individuals who are all committed to reducing the insect populations inside their homes can contribute to lower insect numbers throughout the neighborhood.

Whether you utilize a pest control company to treat your home, yard, or both, your commitment to keeping your home insect-free can easily extend to moths. This is true even if you don’t specifically seek out moth eradication services.

Clegg’s Pest Control offers both residential and commercial termite and pest control services throughout North and South Carolina. Contact Clegg’s pest management professionals today at (888) 672-5344.

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Clegg's Locations

Asheville
276-B Haywood Rd.
Asheville, NC 28806
Charlotte
1520 Industrial Center Cir.
Charlotte, NC 28213
Clinton
205 Wall St.
Clinton, NC 28328
Durham
2401 Reichard St.
Durham, NC 27705
Fayetteville
500 S. Eastern Blvd.
Fayetteville, NC 28301
Greenville
864 Rivit St.
Greenville, NC 27834
Kernersville
740 Indeneer Dr.
Kernersville, NC 27284
Morehead City
2700 Bridges St.
Morehead City, NC 28557
New Bern
218 Kale Rd.
New Bern, NC 28562
Raleigh
3751 Bastion Ln.
Raleigh, NC 27604
Smithfield
1520 S. Brightleaf Blvd.
Smithfield, NC 27577
Southport
4075 Old Bridge Rd. SE
Southport, NC 28461
Wilmington
3417 Enterprise Dr.
Wilmington, NC 28405

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One coupon per customer. Some restrictions may apply and cannot be combined with any other offers. Limit one per household. Applies to new initial termite services only. Does not include termite reports for closings or termite pretreatment services. No cash value. Must be 18 or older to redeem

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Are you a current or former member of our nation’s military? We would like to show our thanks and appreciation for your service in the form of a special discount on Clegg’s Pest Control services.

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All Locations

Click on a location below to learn more about services, solutions, and pests in your area.

276-B Haywood Rd.
Asheville, NC 28806
1520 Industrial Center Cir.
Charlotte, NC 28213
205 Wall St.
Clinton, NC 28328
2401 Reichard St.
Durham, NC 27705
500 S. Eastern Blvd.
Fayetteville, NC 28301
864 Rivit St.
Greenville, NC 27834
740 Indeneer Dr.
Kernersville, NC 27284
2700 Bridges St.
Morehead City, NC 28557
218 Kale Rd.
New Bern, NC 28562
3751 Bastion Ln.
Raleigh, NC 27604
1520 S. Brightleaf Blvd.
Smithfield, NC 27577
4075 Old Bridge Rd. SE
Southport, NC 28461
3417 Enterprise Dr.
Wilmington, NC 28405

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