Our apartments are next to a field. Fields have mice, and mice attract snakes. When they mow the field, the mice flee and so do the snakes. Well two weeks ago when they mowed the field a tiny little cornsnake about 6 inches long managed to slither its way through the busted door frame of my neighbors apartment. You would think it was an anaconda they way they behaved about it!!!! This type of snake is totally harmless, and in fact are sold as pets at many pet stores. Anyway, they killed it, and then I cleaned it up because they were terrified of it. I didn't want it rotting, stinking, and attracting more critters overnight. A couple of other snakes were sighted around the apartment complex the next day. One was in a tree and another was just passing through.

So it's been two weeks now, and my neighbors and the people across the way thought it would be a GREAT idea to put out moth balls to fend off the evil snakes (that haven't been seen in weeks!!!). The neighbors across the way are right next to the playground. Nice. I get to smell moth balls while I push my baby on the swing. MY neighbors took the liberty of putting moth balls all in front of my apartment and the one next to me, and all around all four of our cluster of doors! To make things worse, they crushed some of them. The smell was putrid! Our entire apartment started stinking in a matter of 5 minutes. I was furious and wanted to just sweep them away, but being good neighbors we asked if we could get rid of them because of the stench in our apartment. They said sure and that they didn't know they stunk that bad. Whatever.

So I get the fun job of cleaning them up. I had to pick up the balls individually and bag them, and then I had to sweep up the dust with a broom and dust pan and bag that also. Then, to get rid of the dust that was ground into the sidewalk I had to use water and scrub it with a brush. After all that, it's still a little smelly.

Cleaning up the moth balls was hard and I kept having to take breaks from the smell. It gave me a headache and sore throat immediately, and I felt a little sick on my stomach. Later that night though, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I kept smelling the moth balls, like the stench was trapped in my nose!!! I couldn't fall asleep. My heart was skipping beats, and I got really really cold and shivered uncontrollably. It was really strange, and I just felt awful. So I got up and looked it up and found this:

Mothballs contain naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene - naphthalene is the most dangerous.Try to determine whether a person or pet has been in contact with mothballs. If you suspect that a child or pet has eaten mothballs, do not wait for symptoms. Seek medical help immediately.

1 Watch for signs of eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, respiratory problems, vertigo, confusion, headache, nausea, vomiting and/or fatigue.
2 Look for convulsions within an hour of when mothballs are ingested.
3 Investigate any liver or kidney problems, or be suspicious if hemolytic anemia develops.
4 Call the national Poison Control Center, 1-800-222-1222, or a local center, if you suspect mothball poisoning.
5 Keep in mind that long-term exposure to mothball vapors can cause adverse effects. If an elderly person or her house reeks of mothballs, warn her of the risks of mothball poisoning.  
  • Store mothballs in a well-ventilated area away from children and pets.
  • Do not store baby clothes in mothballs. The naphthalene can be absorbed through the skin when the child is dressed in the clothes.
  • Signs of mothball poisoning in the elderly may be mistaken for dementia.
  • Mothballs are hazardous waste and should be disposed of at a licensed hazardous waste facility.
  • Do not handle mothballs with your bare hands. Always wear gloves.
  • Mothball ingestion or repeated exposure to fumes can be fatal.
  • So Ladies, please do not use mothballs!!!!! They are too dangerous and not worth the risk. I can't imagine what could have happened if we had tracked moth ball dust all over our house with our crawling baby moving around in it. She could have gotten really sick. Say no to moth balls!

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    May. 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    I had bad exprerience yesterday with this. I was at a storage unit for flea market and the person who had the storage unit next to my booth had ton of mothballs. It was hot and we got over come by the smell. Don't use them. I was so sick and so was my friend.

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