This is a guest post by Valerie Williams.
Clothes, linens and an array of textiles are often damaged by cloth moths each year. These moths feed on the materials found on fabrics, such as keratin as an energy source. Keratin is a protein that is resistant to digestion, but a few insects such as cloth moths have the ability to digest it. Coincidentally, this protein is found in human tissues such as fingernails, skin and hair. As such, these tissues are often rubbed onto our clothes and other fabrics before we store them away, inviting moths to infest and feed on them. Unfortunately, mothballs are often used to effectively keep these moths away, but they are also poisoning us each day.
Health Concerns Over Mothballs
Mothballs may be convenient and necessary, but they pose a great health risk most especially in the senior population. This is because our elderly have been using mothballs for years and they firmly believe that mothballs can prevent insects from infesting their clothes and other belongings. So they use mothballs in every closet, drawer and box, but they also place them under furniture and everywhere else in the house. The toxic fumes are then inhaled each day thus causing irreversible health problems, especially when these fumes contaminate food.
The Symptoms Of Poisoning By Mothballs
These symptoms are often caused by extensive exposure to mothballs which is primarily living in an environment where mothballs are used constantly especially in open spaces. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must seek medical attention immediately.
- Loss of appetite
- Decrease in red blood cells
- Waxy yellow skin tone
- Stomach cramps
- Liver and kidney damage
- Respiratory problems
- Chronic cough
Getting Rid Of Mothballs
To prevent further health problems triggered by mothballs, it is necessary that you remove them from your home. But before you begin to remove them, you must first protect yourself by wearing safety goggles, rubber gloves and a respirator. Never handle mothballs with your bare hands as their chemical content can be absorbed into your skin. As you begin the task, open all the windows and doors for ventilation. Gather all the mothballs and place them inside a garbage bag before disposing them.
Collect all the linens and clothes and hang them outside to remove the odor, including drapes and curtains, as well as rags. You may want to wash utensils, pots and pans and dishes with warm soapy water to get rid of mothball residue. The walls and ceilings of your home can be washed with white vinegar and a sponge mop, then rinse after. White vinegar can also be used to wash your windows, floors, furniture and carpets.
Keeping Mothballs Out Of Your Home
The best way to stay safe from the toxic fumes of mothballs is by using alternatives. Natural remedies such as rosemary, cloves and cedar can be placed in closets and cupboards to keep insects away from your clothes and linens. Other herbs that you can use are eucalyptus, cinnamon sticks, lavender and bay leaves.
However, if your main concern is to keep pests away from your home and your clothes, you can hire the services of a reliable pest control professional to treat your home. Such treatments are environmentally safe and offer long term benefits. Moreover, you will not have to worry about your health due to toxic mothball fumes.
Author Bio: Valerie Williams is a freelance writer specializing in pest problems in the home and the services provided by Preventive Pest Control. She also provides information about natural pest control methods that can be applied at home and in the garden, and the effects of insect repellants such as mothballs.