Skip to Content

Do Mothballs Get Rid of Possums? (All You Need to Know)

Mothballs are known to have a wide range of usage in repelling skunks, mice, snakes, squirrels, deer, rats, and other pests. As a result, when possums are creating a nuisance in your garden or around your home, you may think of using mothballs to repel them as well. And that’s where a common query that is whether mothballs help in getting rid of possums or not can raise in your mind.

Therefore, without making any delay let us find out the explanations regarding this query.

Do Mothballs Get Rid Of Possums?

Possums can’t withstand the scent of mothballs because they find it awfully obnoxious. Thereby, the scent of mothballs acts as one of the possum repellents and effectively helps in getting rid of possums. Toss a few mothballs in the yard or around the home, and it will repel possums successfully.

Mothballs being a useful scent-based repellent for many rodents and garden invading animals such as deer and others work incredibly to deter possums as well. As the possums tend to avoid any area nearby them where they can sense the scent of mothballs, so they just flee away and don’t really come back anytime soon.

In fact, the scent of mothballs is considered to be one of the scents that possums find absolutely unpleasant because mothballs contain naphthalene and possums are intolerable to the scent of naphthalene which means they are can’t tolerate the mothballs either. As a result, mothballs work effectively to keep possums away from the garden and around the home.

So if lately possums are invading the garden, destroying young plants, and creating nuisance all over the place, using mothballs in the areas where possums hide would highly irritate their smelling sense and encourage them to leave the area.

Do Possums Like Or Dislike The Smell Of Mothballs?

Possums undoubtedly dislike the odor of mothballs like other animals (squirrels, deer, skunks, etc.), as the scent of mothballs seems irritating to their nose so they can’t stay at places where they can smell mothballs around them.

And due to Possums’ dislike towards the smell of mothballs, it has been regarded as one of the scent repellents that possums truly detest.

How To Use Mothballs For Possums?

Many of you may not know the ways of using mothballs to deter possums, so here 3 different and effective ways of using mothballs for possums.

Toss The Mothballs:

The simplest way of using mothballs to deter possums is tossing some of the mothballs in the places where possums usually invade. Tossing mothballs on the ground will effectively repel possums with their smell.

Cover Their Living Place:

When possums are living in your home’s boundary, they can reside in your garden, under your house, or in the attic. To make them flee from those areas, just take mothballs and cover the opening of any hole where possums can reside or cover their living place under your house or in the attic.

Between Plants:

If possums are destroying plants, you can throw the stinkiest mothballs between the plants but spare the stems, it will keep possums away from plants.   

What Smells Do Opossums Dislike?

Although scent deterrents have always been useful to deter opossums, however, only some certain scents/smells opossums dislike mostly. Below 6 such smells have been described and listed for your knowledge.


Opossums are highly intolerable to the smell of ammonia, in short, opossums absolutely despise the smell of ammonia and don’t dare to go near this scent. Therefore, spraying ammonia is considered a foolproof way to get rid of opossums.


Camphor that is used in making vapor oils or rubs is another scent despised totally by opossums. It’s because the smell of camphor overpowers the senses of an opossum and doesn’t give a sign of food source, which keeps them away. So they don’t like camphor.


The small of garlic is one of the most despised scents by the opossums. Garlic has a pungent smell that basically gives possums the sense of human beings around them and scares them away.  Thereby, opossums tend not to go near a place with a garlic scent as they sense unsafety.


Just the like garlic, opossums dislike and stay away from the smell of onions as well. Onions have a pungent burning smell that nearly burns the senses of opossums, so they avoid places with onion smell.

Hot Pepper/Hot Sauce/Cayenne Pepper:

The burning hot and spicy scent of hot pepper, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper is highly detested by opossums, as this scent severely irritates the nose of opossums.

Predator Urine:

Any kind of predator urine (fox/wolf urine, etc.) is disliked by opossums because it makes them feel like the predator is near them, so they don’t den around the scent.

How To Get Rid Of Possums In Your Yard, Under The House, Or In The Attic?

Except for using mothballs, there are several other methods that you can attempt to deter possums from your yard, under the home, or in the attic. And for your convenience, the methods are separately explained and listed below for each place.

Yard And Home

Remove Any Food Source:

Possums raid into the yard or create nuisance around your home only when they find a palatable food source in those areas. Removing the possible food sources from your garden or under the house would be an effective method to deter possums.

So, throw out your trash outside the home boundary or use sealable trash bags and keep the trash bin closed. Also, don’t leave any pet food or dropped fruits on the yard’s ground. When there will be no food source, possums will leave the yard or the home on their on.

Apply Possum Repellents:

You can both apply natural and store-bought repellent to get rid of possums.

Possums can’t withstand the smell of garlic and onion. You can either plant garlic and onion or you can use garlic and onion oil together which is more effective in repelling possums. Sprinkling hot pepper or cayenne pepper also would keep possums away from the garden by irritating the sinus.

Ammonia and predator urine are the two very effective commercial possum repellents. Placing ammonia-soaked cloth or spraying predator urine also deter possums.

Bonide BND2361 - Repels-All Animal Repellent, Granules 3 Lb

Install Fence:

Installing steel mesh wire or an electronic fence around your garden can be a good way of keeping possums away from the garden. But make sure that the fence is 4 feet or higher from the ground level and the top foot should be facing outward creating an overhang.

Ohuhu Garden Fence Animal Barrier, 4' x 100' Reusable Netting Plastic Safety Fence Roll, Temporary Pool Fence Snow Fence Economy Construction Fencing Poultry Fence for Deer, Rabbits, Chicken, Dogs

Trap The Possums:

A cage with an automatic door lock and a sweet bait such as honey buns, overripe fruits, and bread with jam are a useful trap to attract and catch possums under your home. It’s because possums can’t hold themselves back from eating such sweet and delicious food. Thereby, they will enter into the cage and the door will be locked automatically afterward. However, remember to relocate the possum immediately.


Scare Them Away:

Creating a loud sound or installing an electronic motion-activated water sprinkler will scare the possums away from inside the attic.

GARDEN SECRETS 3-in-1 Professional ULTRASONIC ANIMAL REPELLENT, Deer Raccoon Rabbit Skunk Possum Bear etc. deterrent, Keep the pests away from your property within 2-4 weeks, whole year full warranty!

Seal The Access Points:

Sealing the access points in the attic is a useful method of getting rid of possums. You can install chicken or mesh wires on the access points and block the way for possums to stay in the attic.

Install Motion-Activated Light:

Possums are nocturnal animals and don’t like lights. So you can install motion-activated light in the attic that will flash as soon as it will detect the movement of possums. This light will discourage possums from staying in the attic.

Fox Urine:

Fox urine or any other predator urine will work effectively in getting rid of possums from the attic as well. As the smell will scare them away by giving a sense of predator around them.

Are Mothballs Harmful To Humans?

Mothballs are actually harmful to humans because they are made by using many toxic chemicals that are good for repelling bugs but not good when exposed to humans. Naphthalene being the main ingredient and paradichlorobenzene releases harmful gas upon dissolving which badly can irritate skin, lungs, mucous membranes, and eyes causing server headaches, coughing, and nausea.

And prolonged exposure to mothballs can also cause a person hemolytic anemia that can destroy the red blood cells of our body.

What Animals Do Mothballs Keep Away?

Mothballs are better known for keeping away squirrels, deer, raccoons, rats, skunks, mice, pigeons, and some other certain animals. However, before using mothballs to keep animals away from your yard and home, make sure to check whether it is considered legal or not to use mothballs around the home’s premises.

Final Thoughts

Mothballs do help in getting rid of possums because they have naphthalene in them and possums can not tolerate the smell of naphthalene. As a result, if they can smell mothballs in areas around them, they avoid invading those places or evacuate those places immediately.