That is a headline that stunned me, "Moth Balls Are Toxic and Can Be Illegal."  Guess I never really thought about it, but moth balls are a pesticide. And that means regulated by the EPA.

The Department of Environmental Conservation reports getting hundreds of complaints each year about improper use of moth balls. That's where the illegal part comes in. Using them in any fashion beyond package directions makes it against the law. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, there's only one "proper use."

place mothballs in a tightly closed container that will prevent the pesticide fumes from accumulating in living spaces where people and pets can breathe them in for long periods of time. Inside airtight containers, the vapors released by the mothballs build up and kill the clothes moths.

Many us use moth balls in drastically different ways. Some scatter them in the garden thinking it will keep snakes and other pests away. (it won't). And what I'm and many others are guilty of, scattering throughout the storage shed just before winter rolls in. These kind of uses is what prompts the most complaints, because it ends up affecting neighborhood pets, especially cats. Small children are at risk as well.

Get more information on the regulations and proper use of moth balls at The Pesticide Information Center's website.


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