Cedar Wood Moth Balls: Everything You Need to Know

All your questions answered about natural eco-friendly cedar wood moth balls - how they work, placement tips, effectiveness, safety, and more.

February 8, 2024
min read
Subscribe to our blog and get a FREE Red Cedar Sachet.
a piece of cedar wood on top of cedar chippings
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Shipping rates apply. £1.95 UK, £4.95 Other
In this article:

Moth infestations can be a real nuisance, ruining clothing, upholstery, and other prized possessions. For many decades, people have turned to traditional mothballs made from hazardous chemicals to fend off these pesky insects. However, there is a natural, eco-friendly alternative – red cedar moth balls.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into every question you may have about using red cedar moth balls, so you can make an informed decision for your home.

What Are Red Cedar Moth Balls?

Red cedar moth balls are small spheres or blocks crafted from natural red cedarwood. Red cedar contains unique compounds and oils that act as a natural insect repellent. When these compounds vaporize into the air, they disrupt the pheromones that moths rely on to mate and nest.

The pleasant, woodsy aroma is soothing to humans but moths find it confusing and repulsive.

How Do Red Cedar Moth Balls Work?

The natural oils found in red cedarwood are the key to its effectiveness at deterring moths. These oils diffuse into the surrounding air, creating an aroma that moths hate but we find pleasant. This aroma overpowers the pheromone signals moths use to communicate with each other. Female moths won’t be able to attract males to lay eggs, disrupting the mating cycle. Any existing moths will also be confused and repelled, so they leave your clothing and home.

Are Red Cedar Moth Balls Safe for People and Pets?

One of the biggest perks of red cedar moth balls is that they are completely non-toxic for humans and animals. Traditional mothballs usually contain nasty chemicals like naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Exposure to these can cause issues ranging from headaches and nausea to liver and kidney damage. Red cedar moth balls contain none of these worrisome substances.

Their pleasant, natural scent is harmless.

Do Red Cedar Moth Balls Have an Expiration Date?

The red cedar itself does not have an expiration date. However, the natural oils that give it moth-repelling abilities can dissipate over time. Frequent handling can accelerate this process. To refresh moth balls that are a few years old, gently sand the surface to reveal fresh cedar underneath. This will release more of the precious oils.

You can also give them a quick rub with a natural oil like jojoba or almond to recharge the scent.

How Many Red Cedar Moth Balls Are Needed?

The amount needed depends on how much storage space you want to protect. As a general guideline, use one moth ball per cubic foot of space. Strategically placing moth balls around your closets and storage containers allows the scent to disperse effectively.

For a standard closet about 3 feet wide and deep and 6 feet high, you would need about 18 cedar balls or pieces for full coverage.

Where Can Red Cedar Moth Balls Be Used?

These versatile moth balls can be used in drawers, chests, wardrobes, garment bags, trunks, and any other enclosed space where you store clothing, linens, or textiles prone to moth damage.

They are great for furniture with cushions or upholstery as well.

Protecting out-of-season clothes is another smart use for red cedar balls.

How Long Are Cedar Balls Effective?

With proper occasional refreshment, red cedar moth balls can remain effective for several years. Sanding or rubbing the exterior with oil helps maintain the integrity of the wood and its aromatic compounds. Place them in breathable containers, as airflow helps the scent diffuse.

Avoid excessive handling and make sure to distribute them evenly around storage spaces.

cedar blocks as moth balls on a sweater
Wood Blocks Red Cedar Mothballs

Can They Be Used on Delicate Fabrics?

Unlike traditional moth balls, red cedar will not stain or damage delicate fabrics like silk, wool, or fine linens. There are no harsh chemicals that can leave behind unsightly residues. The balls can be placed right next to these prized clothes and textiles with no worries.

As an added precaution, store delicate items in breathable fabric sleeves or bags.

Do They Deter Other Pests?

The aroma of red cedar is known to repel other insects besides just clothing moths. These include pantry pests like meal moths, carpet beetles, silverfish, and more. Some claim cedar also drives away cockroaches and ants.

Scattering a few balls around baseboards and windows can help create a pest-free perimeter.

Can They Be Used Outdoors?

Red cedar moth balls can also be used in outdoor sheds, garages, and other storage spaces. However, the elements may cause the oils to dissipate more rapidly than indoor use. Refreshing the balls more frequently by sanding or rubbing with oil will help maintain effectiveness. Make sure to check outdoor stores at least once a season.

In summary, red cedar moth balls give you a natural and non-toxic way to keep moths at bay. Their pleasant aroma brings peace of mind without risky chemicals. By understanding proper usage and placement, red cedar balls can protect precious belongings for years without harming you, your family, or pets.

Give mothballs a fresh new look with eco-friendly red cedar by browsing our selection.

Back to blog
Share this article

About Wood Blocks

Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge to curate a wardrobe that not only reflects your personal style but also aligns with environmentally friendly practices. From exploring the wonders of natural mothballs and sustainable garment storage to diving deep into DIY solutions and green living, we're here to guide you on a journey towards a more eco-conscious, stylish, and intentional lifestyle.

Other articles you might like

Shop Natural Red Cedar Mothballs

Pick your bundle based on your home size. You can always add extra blocks, rings and sachets.