People with pets should NOT use moth balls. This just came to me via email from the ASPCA. News Alert #3:
"In the past year, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has managed 113 cases of mothball poisoning, and most of those accidents happened during the spring and summer months. According to the APCC’s Dana Farbman, CVT, the ingestion of just one mothball can produce significant illness. Naphthalene—an offending chemical found in some brands of mothballs—is toxic to dogs, cats and other animals, and if ingested, can cause serious illness, including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, swelling of the brain tissue, seizures, damage to the liver, kidneys and blood cells, coma and even death.
Farbman also advises pet parents to look out for mothballs that contain dichlorobenzene. “This insecticide is somewhat less toxic than naphthalene,” she says, “but it can still cause stomach upset and potentially even neurological effects if consumed in large amounts.”
Like other toxic exposures, it’s important to seek immediate attention if your pet has ingested mothballs. Prompt treatment can make the difference between just another household accident and permanent tragedy. The prognosis for those pets who receive immediate care is quite good, provided no other underlying conditions like liver disease or anemia are present.
If you suspect that your pet may have ingested mothballs—or any other poisonous substance—please call your local veterinarian or the ASPCA’s emergency hotline at (888) 426-4435. For more information about keeping your pet safe from household poisons, please visit APCC online."