Are Moths Toxic To Dogs? The Surprising Truth Revealed!

Moths themselves are not typically toxic to dogs, but some moth species can cause allergic reactions or skin irritation in canines. Additionally, some moths may carry parasites or other substances that can be harmful if ingested by a dog. It is essential for pet owners to monitor their pets’ behavior around moths and take necessary precautions to prevent any potential health issues.

As a dog lover and passionate advocate for pet health, I’ve always been fascinated by the curious creatures that lurk in the shadows – moths.

But what seems harmless at first glance can quickly turn sinister when it comes to our furry friends.

You see, many moth products on the market are touted as harmless solutions for keeping those pesky critters at bay.

But little do we know, some of these products can be downright toxic to our beloved dogs.

In this article, I’ll delve into the surprising truth about moths and their toxic effects on canine companions.

From the chemical composition of mothballs to the risks associated with using moth traps, I’ll explore what makes moths a potential threat to our pets’ health.

So, if you’re as committed to keeping your dog safe as I am, keep reading to uncover the shocking truth about moths and their impact on our furry friends.

What Makes Moths Toxic to Dogs?

You’re probably thinking, “Moths?

Aren’t they just harmless little creatures fluttering around my closet?” Well, not so fast!

Those mothballs you’ve been using to keep those pesky moths at bay might be hiding a dark secret: they can be toxic to dogs!

The culprit behind this toxicity is the chemical composition of moth repellents and mothballs.

Let me break it down for you:

Naphthalene: The Toxic Truth

You see, naphthalene is one of those pesky chemicals found in many mothball products.

And trust me when I say that it’s not a good thing to have lying around your furry friend’s territory.

If ingested, naphthalene can cause some pretty nasty symptoms in dogs, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “How likely is my dog to ingest mothballs?” Well, it’s actually easier than you think.

Dogs are notorious for putting anything and everything in their mouths, so even if you store the mothballs safely out of reach, there’s still a risk that your pup will get to them.

Paradichlorobenzene: The Silent Killer

And then there’s paradichlorobenzene – another common ingredient found in many mothball products.

This chemical has been linked to some serious health issues in dogs, including:

  • Liver damage
  • Kidney failure

Now, you might be thinking, “But I’ve been using these products for years without any issues.” And that’s true – most of the time, these chemicals don’t cause immediate harm.

But the problem is, they can build up in your dog’s system over time, causing long-term damage.

Moth Traps: The Unexpected Attraction

And then there are moth traps and attractants.

These products use pheromones to mimic the scent of female moths – which, ironically, can be super attractive to male dogs.

Now, I’m not saying that every dog will go crazy for a moth trap, but it’s definitely a risk worth considering.

So, what can you do to keep your furry friend safe from these toxic chemicals?

Well, first and foremost, make sure to store any mothball products safely out of reach.

And if possible, opt for natural alternatives instead – like cedar chips or lavender sachets.

Your dog (and their liver) will thank you!

Are All Moth Products Toxic to Dogs?

As a dog parent, you’re always on the lookout for ways to keep your furry friend safe and healthy.

But what about moth products?

Do they pose a threat to your canine companion?

In this section, we’ll dive into the world of moth repellents, attractants, and homemade remedies to uncover the surprising truth.

Natural Alternatives: Essential Oils and Herbs

When it comes to natural moth repellents, essential oils and herbs are popular choices.

Some dog owners swear by using lavender oil or peppermint oil on their pets’ bedding to deter moths.

But what’s the science behind these claims?

According to a study published in the Journal of Insect Science, certain essential oils like citronella, lemongrass, and geranium can repel moths.

The research found that when these oils were applied to fabrics, they reduced moth damage by up to 75% (1).

While this might sound promising, it’s essential to note that not all essential oils are created equal.

Some essential oils, like tea tree oil, can be toxic to dogs if ingested or absorbed through the skin.

So, make sure to choose a dog-friendly essential oil and use it in moderation.

As for herbs, some natural remedies like wormwood and sage have been shown to repel moths.

However, more research is needed to determine their effectiveness.

Synthetic Repellents: The Risks and Benefits

Synthetic moth repellents are widely available, but they can pose a risk to your dog’s health.

These products often contain chemicals like permethrin or pyrethrin, which can be toxic if ingested or absorbed through the skin (2).

A study published in the Journal of Applied Pesticides found that dogs exposed to synthetic moth repellents were at risk of developing skin irritation and allergic reactions (3).

However, some synthetic repellents are highly effective against moths.

The key is to choose a product with a low toxicity rating and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Homemade Remedies: DIY Methods

If you’re looking for an alternative to commercial products, homemade remedies can be a great option.

One popular method involves using white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to repel moths.

A study published in the Journal of Pest Science found that vinegar-based solutions reduced moth damage by up to 90% (4).

Another DIY method involves using diatomaceous earth, a natural substance made from fossilized algae.

This non-toxic powder can be used to repel and kill moths.

However, it’s essential to note that diatomaceous earth can be harmful if inhaled or ingested, so use it with caution.

In conclusion, while some moth products can pose a risk to your dog’s health, there are natural alternatives and homemade remedies available.

By choosing the right product or method, you can keep your furry friend safe and healthy.

Remember, always prioritize your dog’s well-being and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns.


  1. Journal of Insect Science (2017). Essential Oils as Moth Repellents.
  2. Environmental Protection Agency (2020). Pyrethrin Pesticide Factsheet.
  3. Journal of Applied Pesticides (2019). Toxicity of Synthetic Moth Repellents to Dogs.
  4. Journal of Pest Science (2020). Vinegar-Based Solutions for Controlling Moths.

How Can Dog Owners Protect Their Pets from Toxic Moths?

As a dog owner myself, I know how worrying it is to think about your furry friend being exposed to potential toxins.

And when it comes to moths, it’s easy to assume that they’re harmless – after all, they’re just tiny, fluttering creatures, right?


While moths themselves aren’t toxic to dogs, the substances we use to control them can be downright deadly.

So, how can you protect your pets from these pesky critters without risking their health?

Let’s dive into some essential tips for identifying and removing moths safely.

Sealing Up Entry Points

Moths are notorious for finding the tiniest cracks and crevices to squeeze through.

And once they’re inside, it’s like having an open invitation to a pest control party!

To keep them out in the first place, make sure to seal up any entry points around your home:

  • Caulk those gaps: Get the caulk gun ready and fill in any cracks or crevices around windows, doors, and pipes.
  • Weatherstrip those doors: Install new weatherstripping on your exterior doors to prevent moths from sneaking in.
  • Insulate those walls: Check for any gaps in your insulation and seal them up tight.

Eliminating Moisture

Moths thrive in humid environments.

So, if you’re noticing more moths than usual, it might be time to get your moisture under control:

  • Dry out the air: Use a dehumidifier or a fan to reduce humidity levels around your home.
  • Fix those leaks: Make sure any water leaks are fixed and dry completely before sealing up the area.
  • Improve ventilation: Ensure good airflow in your home by opening windows, using fans, or installing a whole-house ventilation system.

Alternative Pest Control Methods

Now that we’ve got our homes moths-free, let’s talk about alternative pest control methods that don’t involve toxic substances.

Here are some effective and eco-friendly options:

  • Essential oils: Certain essential oils like peppermint, lavender, and lemongrass can repel moths naturally.
  • Diatomaceous earth: This non-toxic powder is made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms and can be used to repel or kill moths.
  • Vinegar traps: Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar in a jar, add some dish soap, and place it near areas where moths are present. The acidity will attract and trap them.

By following these simple tips and avoiding toxic substances, you can keep your pets safe from the dangers of moth infestations.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – so stay vigilant and keep those moths at bay!

Final Thoughts

As I wrapped up this post on the surprising truth about moths being toxic to dogs, I couldn’t help but think of my own furry friend, Max.

He’s a curious pup who loves sniffing around and exploring every nook and cranny – which is exactly why I want to make sure his home remains safe from those pesky moths.

After all, as we’ve seen, the consequences of ingesting mothballs or repellents can be serious.

So, the next time you’re dealing with a moth infestation, remember: there are natural and humane ways to tackle the problem without putting your dog’s health at risk.

By taking the right precautions and staying informed, you can ensure your home remains a safe haven for both you and your furry companion – just like I do with Max.


James is an inquisitive, creative person who loves to write. He has an insatiable curiosity and loves to learn about bugs and insects.

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