Mothballs are pesticides that release a gas vapor to get rid of moths, their larvae, and other insects. They come in a variety of forms including cakes, powder, balls, scales, spheres, and flakes. Mothballs have a strong pungent smell and when the smell fills the air, one must find out how to get rid of mothball smell. However, young children and pets may easily mistake mothballs for sweets or food and ingest them leading to serious health effects. Their form is the exact reason they are bad for children. It is not easy for children to tell that it is not candy by just looking. The use of mothballs in either the garden or around the home not only affects children and pets but also the water and the soil.
Mothballs contain an active ingredient called naphthalene. When one swallows this ingredient or has prolonged exposure, it can cause kidney damage, liver damage, and damage to the red blood cells. This ailment is called hemolytic anemia. Some symptoms of hemolytic anemia are pale skin, fatigue, restlessness, and a lack of appetite. Signs of mothball poisoning in pets include mothball-scented breath, breathing difficulties, organ failure, seizures, brown gums, or tremors. On the other hand, the symptoms of exposure include blood in the urine, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, yellow color to the skin, and difficulty breathing.
How one can be poisoned
Although it is infrequent, some children have been poisoned by wearing clothes that were stored with mothballs. The chemicals present in mothballs can be absorbed through the skin, stomach, or intestines and can be inhaled. For pets, cats are most sensitive to the poisonous effects of mothballs, unlike dogs who most probably would eat the mothballs. The use of mothballs outside is illegal as it can harm pets and children. Similarly, it can pollute the water, plants, and soil.
The mothballs can damage the air quality indoors. Its fumes accumulate easily on floors because they are heavier than air. This poses a direct danger to both pets and young children. If you suspect this is the case, you need to find yourself the best air purifier with washable filter to refresh your air and get rid of the fumes.
Furthermore, mothballs are intended to be used in tightly sealed containers to be able to contain their vapors. One should never be store mothballs in open closets or any plastic bags. When you use and store the mothballs correctly, they are quite harmless to have in a home with children or pets. For any stored clothing not kept in sealed containers, make sure you place it in the sun up to twice a month to get rid of any remaining larvae.
How to properly use Mothballs
In conclusion, always read the product label beforehand. This helps you to understand where it is usable, what pests the product will control, and how to use it correctly. Mothball containers usually direct users to place the mothballs in tightly closed containers. This helps to prevent the mothball fumes from accumulating where children and pets can be exposed for long periods. In addition, do not use mothballs in daycare centers, schools, and other public buildings. In the case you suspect your child or pet has ingested a mothball, seek immediate treatment from either the hospital or a vet.
How do I prevent mothball poisoning?
- Make sure to store mothballs in inaccessible places for children and pets. Preferably under lock and key.
- Always make sure that you store mothballs in closed sealed containers to avoid accidental ingestion by the children or pets
- Get rid of mothballs with other dangerous waste
- Follow the label instructions, and at no time use mothballs loosely indoors or even outdoors to repel pests. It is illegal to use mothballs outside.
- Do not mix mothballs with any other chemicals or insecticides.
- Find other non-chemical means for storing fabrics that are safer and available
- Always wash and air dries any clothing that has been stored in mothballs before wearing it.