Mothballs are intended to be used in tight containers or closed spaces, not in your breathing space or air supply spaces. The chemical name is paradichlorobenzene. Its not good for you. If you smell it, you are not using it correctly. Read the label.
Soaps contain many harsh chemicals. Its possible that there is some repellency, but its neither practical nor very effective.
Where are you putting these products and why specifically?
As an exterminator, I'm certain I can give you safer and more effective advice.
If your use for these products is primarily prevention, the following will be more effective and less toxic.
In general, most pest problems can be eliminated by eliminating habitat, food supply, and access.
This means making the outside shell of the house "tight": good screens and windows, door sweeps, no holes where electrical plumbing phone and such enter, access to the underside of porches decks and slabs eliminated, the space between the siding and the foundation filled, don't forget the roof. The same goes inside: close holes that allow passage of pests - look behind and under appliances check under cabinets edges. Store pantry products off the floor and in containers with lids.
Good sanitation practices make a big difference: don't stack wood against the house, don't let vegetation touch the house, keep grass mowed near the house, keep trash away from the house, store pet foods in rodent proof containers, don't leave a dry pet food out for the pet - put it out for an hour or less, feed birds away from the house, store bird food in a rodent proof container, keep turning your compost pile, prune bushes and shrubs and clean up ground level debris to eliminate habitat.
If you are combatting existing problems, the suggestions above will help a great deal. If you need more specific information, explain the problem. I'll help.
Most house pest populations are very sensitive to availability of food water and habitat. A female mouse stressed for food and habitat will have fewer and smaller litters (she doesn't need water). The same mouse in a messy garage with an open bag of dry dog food will have as many as 20 pups in a litter, and will get pregnant again while she is still nursing her babies.
At this point, it's prevention. I use the mothballs and peppermint under a trailer. I don't actually smell them inside, but would prefer not running the risk of ever smelling them.
The critters are a given and, in fact, I was overrun by rats etc when I first moved here about 2 years ago, but now have it down to a manageable situation (except for some menacing chipmunks living across the road who I suspect have their eye on my place :no: and the *&Y#^*^&$% moles --- although ample applications of castor oil have alleviated that situation ... to a point).
To be honest, I'm more interested right now in keeping scary snakes away than anything, as I have to get under the place this summer and do some work. I know I have frogs and toads and lizards and some black snakes who hang around under there in the summer ... but I want to persuade them to go elsewhere so I can be sure I don't run into scary snakes at least until I get some work done.
And I want to start persuading them now because spring is well on the way. The lizards are welcome to move into the greenhouse (which they prefer anyway), as are the black snakes and frogs, etc. But the scary snakes, chipmunks and moles have got to get a move on!!!
Moles are insect eaters. They love the bugs in the soil. There are mechanical traps for placing in their tunnels, but I view this as just harvesting. Attack their food. Diazanon has a short life span but since you water it in, it may have a big impact on bugs close to the surface. Unfortunately the toxicant builds up in your system. I would use Talstar granular. It lasts more than six months, but I don't think you'll be able to find it on the consumer market. A liquid formulation is sold as "Home Defense" at home dippy. Moles are not a common Colorado problem, so I cannot speak for how effective surface treatments are. I am curious as to why you find them to be such a problem.
As for snakes, they cant dig. They rely on holes already present. I recommend using glue boards right outside their exit. Glue boards are labeled for rodents, but snakes can't read, and unless they are very large, they can't get loose when they get on one. They like to sun on a bush or warm rock on sunny cool spring mornings, so you can get them there as well. They also like stones and other things to hide under. Clean out from under the trailer so there are no things to hide beneath. Quarter inch hardware cloth should be used to go from the bottom edge of the trailer to beneath the soil all around the trailer. If done thoroughly, it should prevent all surface dweller access.
Chipmunks are sneaky guys that hide the entry to their den. They carry the excavation dirt in their mouth and deposit it a long distance from the entry. They can undermine a porch step or cement support in this manner. This could be another job for glue boards or snap traps. I'll check to see if I can find a good bait. Peanut butter is the most universally accepted bait, but some rodents will go for other items like hamburger, cheese, or whatever. Try a cotton ball tied onto the trigger with a piece of thread. Mom likes soft stuff for her nest.
Add drainage to dry the space under the trailer. Or use a fan.
Thanks for the new words. I had to look them up in the dictionary.
saponaceous = soaplike or soapy
saponify = convert fat to soap by adding alkalai - lye
saponin = amorphous glucosidal compounds able to form emulsions and used as detergents
lye is harsh - its the reason soap burns your eyes
soaps are harsh - Just because you wash your face and bum with it doesn't make it unharsh. My wife cant use many soaps because they burn her skin. You get sick if you eat soap, and you should clean soap film off your dishes. My BIL is super sensitive to soaps and rinses his dishes in three different tubs of water. Bars and restaurants use a chemical to get the soap off the dishes. Health departments monitors this.
Products in the market that say SOAP on the label are soap. They are harsh. You can kill bugs with them. You can kill plants with them. You can get sick.
Many SOAP in stores contain saponified oils in addition to extra chemicals, fragrances, etc which extend their toxicity. It is usually the fragrances and added ingredients that cause reactions by people. Large manufacturers of soap remove the naturally occuring glycerin to use in other applications (lotions, etc). They substitute chemicals harsher than glycerin.
The detergent used for washing dishes and clothes is indeed detergent and not soap.
Lye is not found in finished soaps that are properly made. Fats are made up of three fatty acid molecules tied together that are called triglyceride molecules. When equally balanced fatty acid molecules and NaOH (sodium hydroxide or lye) molecules are combined, they form soap molecules and glycerin molecules. There are no remains of the fat or lye molecules.
Products on the market that say SOAP contain more than 50% saponified oils but very rarely are they 100% soap.
Buy a terrier and let her under the house a few times before you go in. Better yet, take her with you! . My husband uses Irish Spring, and I can't keep my hands off of him! Good thing he's not married to a mouse!
Reformed hoyden. Please forgive me if I relapse.
I've never used it in the house - can't stand the smell, but I've used it outside. I had deer coming up to eat my young fruit trees, and tied little net bags to each tree, each contining 1/2 bar if Irish Spring. No more deer damage, so I'd say it worked. I did not keep groundhogs out of my garden, though.
gobug, we have a mole problem around here lately, too, so I'll just jump in and tell you why they are a problem. Call it fair trade (or unfair) for telling me that they eat bugs. I didn't know what they ate!
What I do know is that they tunnel. They tunnel, and tunnel, and tunnel. They tunnel up to 150' in a night, I've been told. They run those tunnels just far enough under the surface of your ground to disrupt the grass roots, the veggie roots, and anything else they can disrupt that's about 3" under the ground. They leave little raised trails of bumped-up, disrupted grass everywhere, and if you are unfortunate enough not to notice them, you can very easily break an ankle, not to mention dumping a bucketful of water, feed, or eggs on the ground, which results in a very cranky mom in this house! But not nearly as cranky as dad when all that grass they've disrupted starts dying. Then we're talking war on moles (hubby just bought a couple of those mole traps - I don't think killing them is going to bother his conscience much!).
A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato
moles - straight from the pest control handbook:
"Trapping is the most reliable method of control. The key to success is patience practice and persistence. Moles have an uncanny ability to detect and spring improperly set traps. But if traps are placed carefully and correctly they often produce results within one day.
Generally trapping is easiest and most effective during the spring and fall when mole activity is at a peak. Once activity is noticed control should begin at once. Trapping in the early spring can eliminate pregnant females.
For successful trapping, it is essential to locate the main runways. To identify main runways, look for runways which:
-follow more or less a straight course for some distance
-appear to connect two mounds or runway systems
- follow fence ways, concrete boarders or other manmade borders
- follow a woody perimeter of the yard or field.
Because nests are commonly located at protected spots along the edge of areas such as hedgerows or fencerows border trapping at the places where runways enter the yard are often highly effective. Use up to 5 traps per acre. Place one in each main runway.
The harpoon type trap is probably the easiest to use."
The information continues and shows some detail about how to set the traps. I expect this information to be supplied with the trap and will not try to copy it here...my finger is getting tired. There is some comment about attacking the bugs in the lawn but it says results could take a few weeks and mole damage could intensify during this time.
the daily diet of chipmunks consists of seeds nuts grains fruits and insects
use a rat size trap, place it near entries if you can find them, otherwise place them in rock beds and lumber piles. Cover them with a shoe box so other animals don't get caught (a rat trap can break your pinky) If you can find them, buy the traps with extra large triggers - almost as big as the end of the trap.
Peanut butter, sunflower seeds and rolled oats are good baits.
Forgot to add that these critters carry ectoparasites, so handle with gloves or tongs.