Use naphthalene to deter mammalian predators
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Naphthalene is a strong-smelling and potentially harmful organic compound, frequently used to deter many animals, such as moths and rodents.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, controlled study in July 1986 in a cord grass Spartina alterniflora marsh in South Carolina, USA (Gawlik et al. 1988) found that eggs placed in 40 abandoned red-winged blackbird Agelaius phoneiceus nests (mostly in southern red cedar Juniperus silicicola or marsh elder Iva frutescens) were as likely to be predated if six moth balls (treated with 100% naphthalene) were scattered in the vegetation within a 2 m radius the nest (50% of 20 nests predated), as if no moth balls were used (35% of 20 nests predated).Study and other actions tested