What happens if a dog eats a mothball?

What are mothballs, and how are they used?

Mothballs are solid pesticides that slowly release a vapor to kill and repel moths, their larvae, and other insects from stored clothing and fabric. Mothballs are sometimes also used to repel snakes, mice, and other animals, although this use is not recommended and can be harmful to pets, children, and the environment.

Moth repellant products come in a variety of forms, including balls, cubes, spheres, cakes, scales, powder, and flakes. They may contain the insecticides naphthalene, paradichlorobenzene (PDB), or camphor (rarely). Older mothballs usually contain naphthalene. Most modern mothballs now contain PDB instead because of concern for naphthalene’s flammability and toxicity.

Mothballs are designed to be used in a sealed container, so their vapors are contained. When used and stored properly, they are relatively safe to have in a home with pets.

Why are mothballs toxic to dogs?

Mothballs contain a high concentration of insect repellent. Toxicity most commonly occurs when dogs ingest mothballs. Cats are more sensitive to their toxic effects, but dogs are more likely to ingest mothballs. Long-term exposure to mothball fumes can also harm pets and people.

“Ingestion of naphthalene mothballs can cause anemia, lethargy, vomiting, and sometimes kidney or liver damage.”

“Old-fashioned” naphthalene mothballs are considered the most toxic type of mothball. Ingestion of naphthalene mothballs can cause anemia, lethargy, vomiting, and sometimes damage to the kidneys or liver.

Modern PDB mothballs are less toxic but can still cause illness, especially when ingested. Ingestion of PDB mothballs commonly results in vomiting, nausea, shaking or tremors, and possible kidney or liver damage.

How many mothballs could be toxic to a dog?

As little as just one mothball could poison a dog. The toxic dose depends on the mothball’s size and the concentration of the chemical.

What should I do if my dog eats a mothball?

If you think your dog has eaten a mothball, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline* (800-213-6680) right away. The sooner you seek treatment, the better the chance your dog has of fully recovering.

Do not induce vomiting or give anything orally to your dog unless your veterinarian specifically directs you to do so. When possible, put the mothball package and/or remaining loose mothballs into a sealed plastic bag and take them with you to the veterinary clinic for identification.

What are the clinical signs (symptoms) of mothball poisoning?

Mothballs dissolve slowly when ingested by dogs, and poisoning can be delayed for several days. Signs of poisoning may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Mothball-scented breath
  • Pale or brown gums
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Labored breathing
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

In severe cases, the dog may develop damage to the liver or kidneys.

Is there an antidote for mothball toxicity?

No. There is no antidote for mothball toxicity. However, when dogs are decontaminated and given supportive treatment quickly, most can survive this type of poisoning.

How is mothball poisoning treated?

Fast and aggressive treatment by your veterinarian is essential to effectively reverse any toxic effects and prevent the development of severe problems.

If your dog has just eaten a mothball but has not yet developed any signs of poisoning, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove the mothball from the stomach and prevent absorption of the chemicals. He or she may also recommend administering activated charcoal, which can help with this type of poisoning.

If clinical signs have developed, your veterinarian will treat your pet based on the symptoms. He or she may:

  • Perform blood work to determine whether your dog has anemia or possible damage to the liver and kidneys.
  • Administer IV fluids to protect the kidneys.
  • Give anti-vomiting medication, anti-seizure medication, and/or medication to protect the liver.
  • Take x-rays, which can sometimes show whether any mothballs are present in the stomach or intestines.
  • Perform a blood transfusion, which may be necessary in severe cases.
  • Continue to monitor follow-up blood work to ensure that your dog’s red blood cell count and liver and kidney function remain or return to normal.

What is the prognosis for recovery from mothball poisoning?

The prognosis (expected outcome) is good for dogs who are treated promptly and those who have no pre-existing liver or kidney disease.

How can I prevent mothball poisoning?

Always store mothballs out of reach of children and pets. Only store mothballs in closed, airtight containers to prevent accidental ingestion by pets. Make sure you follow label instructions, and never use mothballs loose in your home, yard, or garden to repel pests. Do not mix types of mothballs or mothballs with other chemicals or insecticides. Many nonchemical methods for storing fabrics are available and are safer alternatives to mothballs if you have pets.

If your dog consumes mothballs, make sure you contact your veterinarian or an emergency clinic immediately, and get your pet prompt decontamination and treatment. As with any poisoning, your pet has the best chance of recovery when treated as quickly as possible.

*Pet Poison Helpline is an animal poison control service available 24 hours, 7 days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at www.petpoisonhelpline.com. Pet Poison Helpline is not directly affiliated with LifeLearn.

Contributors: Charlotte Flint, DVM & Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT, Associate Director of Veterinary Services, Pet Poison Helpline © Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

Stop the Mothball Madness!

Did you know mothballs are poisonous?

What’s pungent, round, and poisonous? No, not your Great Aunt Mildred’s meatballs! Mothballs! Yup, those round, rather innocuous-looking little balls are highly toxic!

And no one can ever forget the smell of a mothball once they’ve encountered it, right? (usually in Grandma’s closet!)

Mothballs are intended to be used to kill clothes moths and their eggs in garment bags, storage closets, and airtight containers—hence the name mothballs—however, people have been known to get creative with their mothballs.

Some individuals believe mothballs are good for repelling mice and spread them throughout their kitchen and attic. They also spread them outside the perimeter of their home as a wildlife repellent. This is not a good idea, and is, in fact, dangerous!

Mothballs are actually considered a pesticide due to the chemicals they contain. Any use of them in a way not specified by the label is illegal and can harm people, pets, or the environment.

Two of the active ingredients in mothballs, naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, both become a gas when exposed to air and cause that pungent moth ball smell. However, it’s these same gases that are highly irritating to the eyes and lungs and may cause headaches, dizziness and nausea. Small children are known to be at risk of eating mothballs, because they look like small candy; one mothball can cause serious harm if eaten by a small child!

The bottom line is to only use them according to their label so you can stay safe! If someone you know has swallowed a mothball, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for emergency medical advice. If you think your pet has eaten one, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Additionally, if you think you might have mice, please don’t reach for the mothballs, call us! We have proven, natural ways to help you get rid of these rodents. Contact us today!

Source: The Facts About Mothballs

What critters does Moth Balls work on?

I found tons of Brown Recluse Spiders. My daughter and I have been bitten many times and it is awfully painful to have to go through. I bought some foggers and put them out yesterday. Afterwards I found many dead Brown Recluse Spiders. My brother n law got bit yesterday by one in the shed. I told him he had better get to the doctor for a shot and meds. He’s stubborn though. I warned him. He won’t be able to use his whole arm before long and could loose it. Depends on how much venom it shot in. My worst one was on my back. The entire lower right side of my back was swollen, and red. Then there was a place about the size of the palm of my hand that was being destroyed by it. The doctor eanted to cut it out but I said no. I spent 3 days in bed because of the pain, but after it started to drain it was better. It still hurt but I could move around slowly. I went back to work after a week and I had to keep it covered for the draining. They are nasty bites and I have never been afraid of spiders but I am now. When I go to bed I check under the covers and pillow. Then I spend about an hour thinking i’m feeling one crawl on me. Everytime I get bit by something and don’t know what it was I almost panic for fear it was one of those horrible spiders.
We are in the process of moving and I have found several so far, behind pictures that are on the wall and in cloths. That’s how I got one of my bites. It was in my shirt. I check the plastic tubs before I pick them up. They are really bad this year.
Everybody look out. Do a search online so you know what to look for. Not all spiders are worth being afraid of but these are. And Black Widows. They are at the new place too. One was on DH in the shed. He didn’t get bitten though, thank goodness. Those are black with a red spot on their backs. Reminds me of the spider from Spiderman the movie. Longer legs though.


Mothballs are pesticides that slowly release a gas vapor to kill and repel moths (and their larvae) and other insects. Mothballs are also used to repel snakes, mice, and other animals, though this use is not recommended and can be harmful to pets, children, and the environment. Mothballs come in cakes, scales, powder, balls, cubes, spheres, and flakes and may contain the insecticides naphthalene, paradi-chlorobenzene (PDB), or occasionally camphor. Older mothballs most commonly contain naphthalene. Due to concern for naphthalene’s flammability and toxicity, most modern mothballs now contain PDB instead.

The chemicals in mothballs can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin, or absorbed through the stomach and intestines. Cats are more sensitive to the toxic effects of mothballs, but dogs are more likely to ingest mothballs. Naphthalene mothballs, or old-fashioned mothballs, are considered the most toxic type of mothball. Modern PDB mothballs are less toxic but still can cause illness, especially when ingested. Clinical signs of mothball poisoning include vomiting, mothball-scented breath, pale or brown gums, weakness or lethargy, difficulty breathing, tremors, seizures, and organ failure (e.g., liver, kidneys).

If you suspect your dog or cat ingested mothballs, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice.

Content written by: Dr. Charlotte Flint, Pet Poison Helpline

There are alternatives to the dangers of mothballs

“People often use mothballs in inappropriate sites and against incorrect pests,” Stock said. “The only recommendation that counts is the product label, which is a legal document whose instructions must be followed – particularly on where mothballs may be used and which pests they will control.”

Mothballs should not be used inside attics, crawl spaces, gardens, trash cans or vehicles. “Often, mothballs are used in these locations to control pests other than clothes moths,” Stone said.

They include squirrels, skunks, deer, mice, rats, dogs, cats, raccoons, moles, snakes, pigeons and a variety of other animals. Any such use is illegal. “A relatively common mistake is placing mothballs in an attic to repel squirrels. This will almost always result in a persistent and noxious odor throughout the home.”

Alternative ways to control clothes moths are available for those who prefer not to use chemical treatments.

The larvae of two species of clothes moths in the Pacific Northwest, according to Stock, are responsible for damage done to personal belongings: the webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) and the casemaking clothes moth (Tinea pellionella). Clothes moth larvae are shiny white and about a half-inch long.

“Clothes moth larvae do not eat synthetic fibers,” he said. “They feast only on fibers of animal origin such as wool, feathers or felt. They can, however, chew through synthetic fibers to reach dirt or stains of animal origin.” They also can damage clothes that contain both synthetic fibers and wool or other animal fibers, but are active only on garments that are undisturbed for a long period of time.

Mothballs (or cakes, crystals, tablets, bars and flakes) contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene as active ingredients, according to Stone. “Both chemicals are fumigants, meaning that their volatile chemicals will vaporize at lower temperatures, such as room temperature,” Stone said. “Naphthalene has been associated with adverse health effects such as headache, nausea, dizziness and difficulty breathing. Paradichlorobenzene is also a potential hazard, although typically less than naphthalene.”

Following the label instructions will limit exposure to these chemicals and control the moths most effectively. It is also a legal requirement. “Never mix active ingredients, such as naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, when using mothballs,” Stone said.

Mothballs must be used in an airtight space, such as a garment bag or well-sealed container, never in an open closet or plastic garbage bag, according to the authors. “Once vapors enter the home, their odor can be detected at a few parts per billion in the air,” Stone said. (One part per billion is like a few drops of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool.)

The best way to protect your at-risk (animal-fiber) clothing from clothes moths is by keeping moths out. The authors recommend cleaning the clothing according to the manufacturer’s specifications and storing them in airtight containers.

“For existing infestations of clothes moths, you must do more,” Stock said. “Vacuum drawers and closets using a HEPA vacuum cleaner. Also vacuum furniture and other places that provide food sources such as lint, pet hair and human hair. Lint and hair that have been undisturbed for a long time are prime breeding grounds for clothes moths.”

After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag promptly. Boric acid dust can be used to treat cracks and crevices once the infested articles have been removed and cleaned. But the authors caution people to always follow the label requirements when applying boric acid dusts.

“For stored clothing that is not kept in airtight containers, place the clothing in the dryer or in the sun once or twice a month to destroy larvae,” Stock said. “Shake the clothes or brush them before putting them back in the drawer or on the hanger. This will help dislodge remaining eggs and larvae.”

Rinse woolens for storage
Of course it is a good idea to store woolens with mothballs to ward off moths. To give your favorite sweaters even more protection, dissolve a few mothballs in the final rinse when you wash them before storage.

Kill bugs on potted plants
To exterminate bugs on a potted plant, put the plant in a clear plastic bag, such as a cleaning bag, add a few mothballs, and seal for a week. When you take the plant out of the bag, your plant will be bug-free. It will also keep moths away for a while.

Repel mice from garage or shed
Don’t let mice spend their winter vacation in your garage. Place a few mothballs around the garage, and the mice will seek other quarters. To keep mice out of your potting shed, put the mothballs around the base of wrapped or covered plants.

Keep dogs and cats away from garden
Don’t throw out old mothballs. Scatter them around your gardens and flowerbeds to keep cats, dogs, and rodents away. Animals hate the smell!

Keep bats at bay
Bats won’t invade your belfry (or attic) if you scatter a few mothballs around. Add some mothballs to the boxes you store in the attic and silverfish will stay away too.

POINCIANA — Dennis and Jackie Farmer’s well-manicured lawn looks like a battlefield, ripped to shreds by a pack of wild silverback boars that are terrorizing the neighborhood.

“It looks like World War III hit between our house and our neighbors’,” Jackie Farmer said of the boar wars she and her neighbors are waging. A dozen or so boars have been acting, well, like pigs, while foraging for delicacies such as grubs and worms as they roam the massive Poinciana development, turning the soil with their snouts as easily as a power tiller and leaving behind a field of mangled sod.

There’s not much government can do to help the Farmers, except point them to people who catch the wild animals for food.

“We don’t have a way to remove them,” said James L. Radebaugh, who heads Osceola County’s animal-control agency. “It’s a major issue as urban areas encroach on wildlife areas. You just can’t expect the neighbors to just go away.”

State wildlife managers can’t make the animals go away, either. But they keep a list of trappers who can.

“When they are on private property, the boars are considered trespass livestock,” said Gary Morse, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s regional office in Lakeland. “It’s real common.”

He said trappers catch the boars for fun, to sell or to eat.

“You have people coming out of the woodwork to trap hogs,” he said. He described the meat of wild boars as “far superior to domestic pork.”

Dave Alexander of Winter Haven, who is on the state’s list of approved trappers, said because the hogs smell bad, “A lot of people think it’s going to be a strong taste.” Not true. With a little seasoning, the pork is excellent. Or it can be made into a tasty sausage.

The Farmers, however, aren’t interested in discussing such culinary pros and cons. They just want their weeklong ordeal to be over. Besides being pockmarked, their lawn now reeks of mothballs. A neighbor suggested mothballs to deter the boars. It didn’t work.

This is not what the Farmers envisioned when they moved to Poinciana from the Seattle-Tacoma area nearly five years ago. Dennis Farmer, 63, is a retired tugboat cook. His 61-year-old wife retired from Boeing. They’ve enjoyed the wildlife in their bustling community southwest of metro Orlando — until now.

“We get nice deer and ‘coons and armadillo, cute critters,” Farmer said. “But this is the first time we’ve had this.”

It’s not a first in Poinciana, where other neighborhoods in the community were ravaged by wild boars about a year ago, said Bryan L. Andrews, a sales manager at Avatar Realty Inc. in Poinciana. Avatar is the developer of Poinciana, which straddles the Osceola-Polk county line.

“There were a whole family of them,” he said. “Those things are mean.”

Jeanette R. Coughenour, manager of the Association of Poinciana Villages, the community’s homeowners organization, said her staff isn’t equipped to confront aggressive boars.

“They can be dangerous, and I wouldn’t recommend it,” she said.

Besides, most people living in Poinciana enjoy having the wildlife around them. The development sits along Reedy Creek and contains The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve, 12,000 acres of unspoiled land off Pleasant Hill Road.

“It’s part of us cohabitating with the environment,” Coughenour said. “It’s not unusual that people spot deer and bobcat. I’m sure that those animals are getting squeezed.”

Alexander agreed that growth is causing the confrontation between people and wildlife. And that’s OK with him. When someone calls Fish and Wildlife for help with boars, he comes to the rescue.

“The bad thing about the wild hogs is they can have two to three litters a year,” he said. “It’s amazing how few there could be and how much damage there can be. It doesn’t take many to look like a rototiller came.”

Is poisonous ‘nasty salt’ the cure for South Carolina’s wild hog problem? | Charlotte Observer

Feral pig roams Congaree National Park near Columbia, S.C. Wild hogs are chewing up the southern landscape, wildlife managers say Courtesy John Grego, Friends of Congaree Swamp

Hunters in Richland County were abuzz recently upon hearing about federal plans to poison wild pigs that are chewing up the countryside from California to the Carolinas.

Under development by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, so-called “nasty salt” is being tested in Alabama and Texas. If the poison meets federal guidelines, it could be available for use in South Carolina within three years, the agency says.

But while the poison could be an effective weapon in the nation’s war on feral hogs, concerns are surfacing about threats it may pose to native animals that share the landscape with nuisance swine.

Wild pigs already threaten native wildlife, but putting out hog poison could make things worse if the government isn’t careful, some hunters and state wildlife officials say. The poison can be lethal to other animals, such as bears, raccoons and wild turkeys, as well as to hogs.

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Chip Salak, who heads the Midlands Quality Deer Management Association, said he has plenty of questions after attending a meeting two weeks ago in which the USDA spoke about the hog poison.

“There was a lot of interest in something that would be effective” in killing hogs, he said. “It sounds potent and good, but how safe can it be?”

The poison, sodium nitrite, kills pigs within hours after they eat large concentrations of it, federal researchers say. Swine become lethargic, lie down and die, usually after falling into a coma. By reducing oxygen being carried in blood to tissues, sodium nitrite kills in a way similar to carbon monoxide poisoning. The USDA says hogs don’t feel pain, making it a humane way to eliminate them.

Kurt VerCauteren, a government scientist who is working to perfect the pig poison, said sodium nitrite is commonly used as a meat preservative and is not toxic to people or wildlife in limited amounts. But when eaten by pigs in large quantities, it is lethal. He said the poison can be used safely.

“This is essentially a big overdose,” VerCauteren said. “Nasty salt is exactly what it is.”

The key question is whether other animals can be kept away from sodium nitrite feeders that are intended to attract hogs.

“If it sounds too good to be true, sometimes it is,” said Ben Gregg, director of the S.C. Wildlife Federation. “I’m all for getting rid of as many hogs as possible, but you need to be careful.”

In Texas, concerns rose this year about the use of warfarin – a blood thinner used originally as a rat poison – to kill pigs. Critics say it caused cruel deaths and was a threat to other wildlife.

Charles Ruth, big game coordinator for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, said his agency would be interested in using sodium nitrite to kill pigs, but only if the USDA can show that other animals won’t be affected.

“There are still a ways to go with this,” Ruth said.

Guns and hogs

Resolving the hog problem in South Carolina is important to protect other animals and plants that lure visitors to the outdoors, many agree. South Carolina’s outdoor recreation industry is estimated to have a $2.7 billion impact on the state’s economy, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Wild pigs, the descendants of domestic animals that either escaped or were released, have become a problem in more than three dozen states, mostly across the southern half of the country, research shows. All told, the nation’s 6 million feral hogs cause nearly $200 million in crop damage every year, the agriculture department says.

Because hogs root for food and will eat almost anything, the damage they can cause to the landscape is significant. Many people liken the mess hogs leave to that of a tractor plowing through a field. Row crops, sensitive wetlands and the floor of many forests have been chewed up by hogs as the voracious porkers look for their next meals. Wild pigs also eat acorns that popular game animals feed on and they have been known to devour rare sea turtle eggs.

In addition to those concerns, swine carry diseases that can threaten livestock and people. About one-third of 119 hogs trapped at Congaree National Park from 2006-2010 carried pseudorabies and brucellosis, the latter of which can be transmitted to humans and cause what’s known as undulant fever.

Hogs are such a nuisance across the country that federal and state officials often encourage landowners to kill as many of the wild animals as they can. At the same time, the USDA has active programs to hunt, trap and shoot pigs. Among those is a program to gun down pigs from helicopters as the swine scurry through open marshes and fields.

But to make a dent in the population, the government or private landowners must kill 70 percent of the hogs in an area each year, according to the agriculture department.

And that isn’t always possible using guns and knives.

In South Carolina, hunters kill about 30,000 wild hogs annually, but more than 150,000 feral pigs still live in the Palmetto State, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

Poison would allow state and federal officials to kill more pigs, according to the agriculture department’s wildlife services division.

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved more testing on how pigs react to exposure to sodium nitrite. The USDA has authorization to track feral hogs that have been exposed to bait in Texas and Alabama. If the agency receives final approval, estimated in the next three years, sodium nitrite would be available for use by federal and state wildlife managers on public or private land, VerCauteren said.

“Perfect” poison

VerCauteren said research shows that the poison could work with few impacts on other wildlife or the environment.

Most notably, the material hasn’t proven lethal to scavengers that have eaten poisoned hogs, VerCauteren said of tests the USDA has conducted.

The USDA says the poison mostly affects internal organs and does not show up in meat in amounts that would be dangerous to scavengers. It also breaks down quickly after the animal dies, the agency says. Coyotes that were fed meat from poisoned pigs were not affected, he said.

““It is a perfect, modern-day toxicant,” VerCauteren said, noting that the material acts relatively quickly to kill hogs painlessly. In contrast, warfarin like that used in Texas can take days to kill animals, according to a 2017 story in The New York Times. That raised questions about whether it was a humane way to attack the pig problem.

A big challenge to protecting other wildlife is in making sure only pigs eat the sodium nitrite out of the feeders. Wildlife managers mix sodium nitrate with grain and peanut butter to make it appealing to hogs, which are particularly sensitive to high doses. But other animals also are attracted to the poisonous paste federal officials put inside feeder boxes.

Some feeder boxes contain lids that can be pushed up by a pig but not by raccoons and weaker animals, VerCauteren said.

Bigger animals – notably bears – are a different story. The powerful bruins are strong enough to open feeder boxes and get into the poisoned bait. In an effort to resolve that problem, the government is trying to develop a feeder box that would only open in the presence of pigs, VerCauteren said.

“We are working on that,” he said.

Resolving that concern would be welcome news to people like Steve Bennett, a retired DNR biologist who said he has seen firsthand how pigs wreck the environment.

Feral hogs eat most anything and are destructive in foraging for food. Hogs can devour entire stretches of corn fields and are adept at finding and snacking on food left out by hunters to attract deer to their land. Bennett, an expert on snakes and frogs, once saw fragile coastal wetland plowed up by hogs that he suspects also ate reptiles and amphibians that lived there.

“These pigs are destroying southeastern ecosystems so fast I wonder if some of these places will be able to recover” for generations, he said. “If I could snap my fingers and make every feral pig in the Southeast dead, I’d do it in a heartbeat.”


Posted by John McAdams

Since feral hogs are so intelligent and are such prolific breeders, it’s tough to get rid of them once they get established, but here are four ways to eradicate the hogs on your land.

It is a pretty well-known fact that feral hogs can be extremely destructive to the environment: they root up fields, spread disease, and will eat nearly anything that they encounter and can catch, including newborn fawns. Many landowners across the United States wish that they could wash their hands of the feral hogs on their property and all of the problems that come along with them.

Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. Feral hogs are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet and will quickly learn to adapt to human activity in a particular area.

Normal hog hunting methods may result in shooting a few hogs, but the rest will become much more difficult to hunt. Additionally, they are extremely prolific breeders: a sow becomes sexually mature at six months and can produce two litters of six to eight piglets each year.

They reproduce so quickly that some studies suggest as many as 70 percent of the hogs in a given population must be removed each year just to prevent their numbers from increasing. That’s right: you must remove seven out of ten hogs just to keep their numbers stable, never mind decreasing their population.

Something’s got to give

There is a saying that there are two types of land in the United States: places that have hogs and places that are going to have hogs. We’ll probably never completely eradicate all of the feral hogs in the United States, but if you do it right, it is absolutely possible to eradicate the hogs on your land (at least temporarily). Doing so will probably require a very focused and dedicated effort for a significant period of time and potentially a good investment of money, but nothing worthwhile was ever achieved without a little effort, right?

1. Hunt the Hogs at Night

Hunting hogs at night is probably the first logical step that most landowners take when trying to eradicate the hogs on their land. It makes sense: especially when it is hot, hogs aren’t normally inclined to be very active during the daytime anyway. If you add some hunting pressure to the equation, they will quickly become 100 percent nocturnal.

In many states, it is legal to hunt hogs at night and there are lots of (relatively) reasonably priced night vision and/or thermal optics devices available on the market these days. You can either pay a professional hunter to do the dirty work, or do some night hog hunting yourself.


Either way, you will probably kill many more hogs at night than you would during the day. You may even convince the hogs that your land isn’t nearly as great of a place to live as they originally thought, and drive them off into greener pastures. However, night hog hunting by itself is probably not enough to solve your hog problem. You’ve got to apply pressure to the hog population in other ways as well

2. Shoot Them from a Helicopter

In addition to hunting them at night, it is also legal in some states (such as Texas) to hunt hogs from a helicopter. This can be an extremely effective method of really mowing the grass really short on a hog populations. For example, I hunted on a game ranch in South Texas many years ago that was having a really bad problem with feral hogs. During the two days we were there, the four of us shot 14 hogs. The next week, a professional hunter came out in a helicopter and shot 97 hogs in eight hours.


Obviously, the big disadvantage of trying to eradicate hogs using a helicopter is that it can be extremely expensive. However, using a helicopter can be especially effective if you have a very large piece of property, as it allows you to rapidly check out a number of likely locations that hogs could be hanging out in. Since helicopter hog hunting is best done during the day, this can be a great way to complement night hog hunting by keeping them under pressure 24 hours a day.

Their numbers will quickly wither under a sustained assault like that and the remaining hogs will probably leave your property for the sanctuary of other properties where they aren’t constantly harassed.

3. Hunt the Hogs with Dogs

Though using a helicopter is a really great way to trim down your hog population, it is expensive and it will not result in the eradication of 100% of the hogs on your property. On the other hand, using hounds can result in almost total eradication of the hog population if used skillfully and in consistent and constant attack on the hog population.

The last few hogs on a large piece of property can be the most difficult ones to catch. However, if there is even one single hog remaining, a good dog pack run by an experienced dog handler can find it. It may take a while, but if you given them enough time, that remaining hog is as good as dead.

National Lacey Dog Association

The downside of hunting hogs with dogs is that of all the methods mentioned here, eradicating hogs with dogs is probably the slowest, the most work, and potentially the most dangerous. That being said, if used in conjunction with one or more of the other methods described here, this can be an extremely successful way to eradicate the hogs on your land.

Symptoms of Mothball Poisoning in Dogs

The amount of toxicity that your dog will experience will depend until the amount of the ingredients consumed. Obviously, a smaller dog will be affected more than a larger dog that has consumed the same amount. If your dog already has an underlying or ongoing problem with their kidney or liver this can cause serious complications

Dogs may experience discomfort such as.
Irritation of the eyes and nose from vapors
Burning sensation on the skin from dermal exposure

Your dog may exhibit the following signs of poison.
Loss of appetite
Irritation of eyes and nose from vapors
Burning sensation on the skin from dermal exposure

Severe cases will see anemia and possible vomiting of blood Dogs with extensive poisoning may have brown mucous membranes.

If there is a suspicion that your dog has eaten, inhaled or licked mothballs, contact your vet as soon as possible. You may smell a slight odor of mothballs on your dog which is a sign of the poisoning. If you have the package take it with you to the vet so they can determine the active ingredient.

Do not induce vomiting unless you have been instructed to do so by your vet.

Should dog noses be wet

Will dogs starve themselves

Will dogs eat Rat Poison

Toxicology Brief: Moth repellent toxicosis

Between 2002 and 2004, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) staff members consulted on 158 cases of moth repellent ingestion. In most instances, the exposure was oral, but dermal and inhalation exposures were also reported. Naphthalene was the active ingredient in 83% of the cases, and paradichlorobenzene was the active ingredient in 17%. Naphthalene, a bicyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, is a natural component of fossil fuels, such as petroleum and coal. It is also produced when wood and tobacco are burned.1 Paradichlorobenzene, an organochlorine insecticide, is considered to be half as toxic as naphthalene.2 Many moth repellent products contain nearly 100% naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. The products can be formulated into balls, crystals, or flakes.


Naphthalene evaporates easily and has a strong odor that repels moths. People can detect it in the air at concentrations of 84 ppb.1 Naphthalene can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed transdermally. It is soluble in oils and fats, so dermal absorption is increased if oils have been previously applied to the skin. Similarly, oral absorption increases when naphthalene is coadministered with a fatty product such as corn oil.1,3 Paradichlorobenzene also has a characteristic penetrating odor and is well-absorbed orally and by inhalation.4 As with naphthalene, drinking milk or eating a fatty meal after oral exposure to paradichlorobenzene increases its absorption.4,5 Mothballs of either type may take several days to dissolve in the gastrointestinal tract, so prolonged absorption is possible.2

Naphthalene is carried to other organs once it enters the bloodstream, regardless of the absorption route. After a single dose of naphthalene in pigs, the highest concentration of naphthalene was found in adipose tissue. The kidneys, liver, and lungs contained the next highest concentrations, respectively. But pigs given multiple doses of naphthalene had the highest concentrations in the lungs with little in adipose tissue.1 The highest tissue concentrations of paradichlorobenzene are found in adipose tissue.4 Both naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene are found in milk and are able to cross the placenta.3,5

The metabolism of naphthalene is complex. The initial metabolite, a 1,2-oxide, is produced in the liver by the monooxygenase enzymes (P450). Naphthalene 1,2-oxide can then form epoxides or quinones that may cause cellular damage, or it can be conjugated with glutathione to nontoxic metabolites.6 Additionally, some metabolites are conjugated with sulfate or glucuronic or mercapturic acid.1,3 Paradichlorobenzene is oxidized to phenolic compounds and then undergoes rapid conjugation with sulfate and glucuronide.5 The metabolites of both naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene are excreted primarily through urine, but some metabolites are excreted in bile.1,3-5


Paradichlorobenzene is considered less toxic than naphthalene. In rats, the oral LD50 of naphthalene is 1.8 g/kg,7 whereas the oral LD50 of paradichlorobenzene is 3.8 g/kg.5 Dogs ingesting 1.5 g/kg of paradichlorobenzene did not develop clinical signs of toxicosis,4 but hemolytic anemia was reported in a dog that received a single 1,525-mg/kg dose of naphthalene and in another dog that received about 263 mg/kg/day naphthalene for seven days.1 One mothball of either type weighs about 5 g. Less than one naphthalene mothball may cause clinical signs of toxicosis in children, but accidentally ingesting up to one paradichlorobenzene mothball is generally well-tolerated.3,4



Hematologic effects have been reported in dogs after naphthalene ingestion,1,8 and cataracts have developed in laboratory animals.1 In the ASPCA APCC database, the most commonly reported clinical signs after ingesting naphthalene-containing moth repellent products were vomiting, lethargy, and anorexia (ASPCA APCC Database: Unpublished data, 2004). Seizures and methemoglobinemia were also reported.

In people, oral exposure to naphthalene can cause gastrointestinal signs, including vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Hemolytic anemia and cataract formation have also been reported.1 An association exists between glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and the hematologic effects of naphthalene. Inhaling naphthalene can also cause hemolysis and gastrointestinal effects in people.1


In the ASPCA APCC database, the clinical signs reported after ingestion of paradichlorobenzene-containing moth repellent products were vomiting and trembling (ASPCA APCC Database: Unpublished data, 2004). A bird that had inhaled paradichlorobenzene showed depression, head bobbing, weakness, and anorexia. The bird recovered with symptomatic treatment including force-feeding, thermoregulation, and confinement. Long-term oral exposure studies in laboratory animals showed no hematologic or ocular effects with paradichlorobenzene, but liver and renal changes were noted. Additionally, neurologic signs including weakness, ataxia, and tremors were noted in rats receiving doses between 770 and 1,200 mg/kg/day for at least five days.5

In people, paradichlorobenzene ingestion can cause nausea and vomiting. Hepatotoxicity is also possible but uncommon after large oral exposures. Paradichlorobenzene vapors are irritating to the nose and eyes, and central nervous system depression may occur at concentrations that are extremely objectionable. With dermal contact, the solid material produces a burning sensation but causes only slight skin irritation. Paradichlorobenzene has less potential for hematologic damage than naphthalene, but methemoglobinemia was seen in one pediatric patient, and anemia has been seen with long-term exposures. Paradichlorobenzene may cause cataract formation.4


When treating moth repellent exposure, assess and stabilize the patient. If the patient is dyspneic, provide supplemental oxygen and place an intravenous catheter. Initiate decontamination procedures if the patient is stabilized and provide supportive care. Fluid therapy is recommended in symptomatic animals. Induce emesis only in asymptomatic patients and only if ingestion occurred less than two hours before presentation and no contraindications to inducing emesis exist. Dogs, cats, ferrets, and potbellied pigs can vomit, but rodents, rabbits, birds, horses, and ruminants cannot. After the vomiting has subsided, administer activated charcoal (1 to 2 g/kg orally) and a saline cathartic (250 mg/kg magnesium sulfate or sodium sulfate orally).9 Administering activated charcoal with a cathartic may be beneficial up to 24 hours after mothball ingestion because mothballs dissolve slowly in the gastrointestinal tract.2

In general, naphthalene ingestion requires more aggressive treatment than paradichlorobenzene. If the type of mothball ingested is unknown and the owner has brought in a sample, perform the following test. Add three heaping tablespoons of table salt to tepid water, and mix vigorously until the salt will no longer dissolve. Place the mothball in the saturated salt water. Naphthalene mothballs float, and paradichlorobenzene mothballs sink.10

Obtain a baseline complete blood count and serum chemistry profile. Address any gastrointestinal signs. Vomiting may be controlled by administering metoclopramide hydrochloride (dogs and cats 0.2 to 0.5 mg/kg orally, intramuscularly, or subcutaneously t.i.d.11) or another standard antiemetic. Sucralfate (1 g for large dogs, 0.5 g for small dogs orally t.i.d.; 0.25 g orally b.i.d. to t.i.d. for cats11) can be used to relieve gastrointestinal irritation. Additionally, consider adding a medication to decrease gastric acid production, such as the H2 antagonist famotidine (dogs and cats 0.5 to 1 mg/kg orally, subcutaneously, or intramuscularly once or twice a day11) or proton-pump inhibitor omeprazole (dogs 0.5 to 1 mg/kg orally once a day; cats 0.7 mg/kg orally once a day11). Seizures may be controlled with diazepam (dogs and cats 0.5 to 1 mg/kg intravenously to effect11). Blood transfusions or polymerized bovine hemoglobin glutamer-200 (Oxyglobin—Biopure) (dogs single dose of 30 ml/kg intravenously at a rate of up to 10 ml/kg/hr; not labeled for use in cats11) may be needed in patients with severe methemoglobinemia.

Methemoglobinemia occurs when oxidative injury to hemoglobin leads to conversion of the heme from the ferrous to the ferric state. Methemoglobin is incapable of carrying oxygen. The blood of patients with methemoglobinemia is a characteristic chocolate-brown color, and their mucous membranes may appear brown. Methemoglobinemia is reversible, and the body has enzyme systems that reduce methemoglobin back to hemoglobin. Treatment is required when the body’s enzyme systems become overloaded and clinical signs of hypoxia develop. Patients become symptomatic when 20% to 30% of their hemoglobin has been converted to methemoglobin.12

Methemoglobinemia has been treated in dogs and cats with ascorbic acid (20 mg/kg orally, intramuscularly, or subcutaneously up to every six hours10,13) or methylene blue (1.5 mg/kg slowly intravenously as a 1% solution10,14). Ascorbic acid is thought to reduce methemoglobin to hemoglobin by a nonenzymatic reserve mechanism that the body uses when the enzyme systems normally responsible for the reduction are overloaded.13 This conversion is relatively slow,10 so ascorbic acid may not be useful for seriously affected patients unless it is used in conjunction with other treatments. Methylene blue acts rapidly and works through its conversion to leucomethylene blue in the tissues. Leucomethylene blue acts as a reducing agent in the conversion of methemoglobin to hemoglobin. Because methylene blue is an oxidizing agent, increased methemoglobinemia is a possible adverse effect.11 Cats are reported to be at an increased risk for this adverse effect because of their unusual hemoglobin structure, so methylene blue use in cats is considered controversial.11,12

N-Acetylcysteine may also be helpful in treating naphthalene- or paradichlorobenzene-induced methemoglobinemia, but it has not been recommended in the literature for this purpose. Acetylcysteine is a precursor in the synthesis of glutathione, or it can be oxidized to organic sulfate that is used in the sulfate conjugation pathway. Acetylcysteine is regularly administered to patients with acetaminophen toxicosis to reduce methemoglobinemia by providing an alternative substrate for conjugation with the metabolites of acetaminophen and maintaining glutathione concentrations.11,15 Based on its mechanism of action, acetylcysteine may also help maintain glutathione and sulfate concentrations during naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene toxicosis. Acetylcysteine is available in 10% and 20% solutions; it should be diluted to a 5% solution, using 5% dextrose solution or sterile water, before use. Administer an initial loading dose of 140 mg/kg, followed by 70 mg/kg orally every six hours for seven treatments. When given orally, acetylcysteine may cause gastrointestinal upset.11 Proper dilution can decrease the chances of gastrointestinal upset developing. Acetylcysteine is not labeled for intravenous use, but it can be given intravenously in severely affected patients or patients showing signs of gastrointestinal upset. Administer intravenous acetylcysteine slowly over 15 to 20 minutes through a bacteriostatic (0.2-µ) filter.10


The prognosis for patients exposed to naphthalene- or paradichlorobenzene-containing moth repellents is favorable if the clinical signs are treated and no underlying patient factors, such as liver disease or conditions causing anemia, are present. Therapy and monitoring should continue until the clinical signs have resolved and complete blood count and serum chemistry profile results have returned to normal.

1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Naphthalene, 1-Methylnaphthalene, and 2-Methylnaphthalene. Research Triangle Institute, 1995.

2. Bischoff K. Naphthalene. In: Plumlee KH, ed. Clinical veterinary toxicology. St Louis, Mo: Mosby, 2004;163-164.

3. POISINDEX System Editorial Staff. Naphthalene (Management/Treatment Protocol). POISINDEX System. Greenwood Village, Colo: MICROMEDEX, expires 3/04.

4. POISINDEX System Editorial Staff. Paradichlorobenzene (Management/Treatment Protocol). POISINDEX System. Greenwood Village, Colo: MICROMEDEX, expires 3/04.

5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for 1,4-Dichlorobenzene. Research Triangle Institute, 1998.

8. Desnoyers M, Hebert P. Heinz body anemia in a dog following naphthalene ingestion. Vet Clin Pathol 1995;24(4):124-125.

9. Rosendale ME. Decontamination strategies. Vet Clin North AmSmall Anim Pract 2002;32:311-321.

10. Beasley VR. Acetaminophen and naphthalene. In: Beasley VR, Dorman DC, Fikes JD, et al. A systems affected approach to veterinary toxicology. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999;862-869.

11. Plumb DC. Veterinary drug handbook. 3rd ed. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1999.

12. Weiser MG. Erythrocytes and associated disorders. In: Ettinger SJ, ed. Textbook of veterinary internal medicine. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders, 1989;2145-2180.

13. Nash SL, Oehme FW. A review of acetaminophen’s effect on methemoglobin, glutathione and some related enzymes. Vet Hum Toxicol 1984;26:123-132.

14. Rumbeiha WK, Oehme FW. Methylene blue can be used to treat methemoglobinemia in cats without inducing Heinz body hemolytic anemia. Vet Hum Toxicol 1992;34:120-122.

15. Aronson LR, Drobatz K. Acetaminophen toxicosis in 17 cats. J Vet Emerg Crit Care 2000;6(2):65-69.

“Toxicology Brief” was contributed by Camille DeClementi, VMD, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, 1717 S. Philo Road, Suite 36, Urbana, IL 61802. The department editor is Petra A. Volmer, DVM, MS, DABVT, DABT, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

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