|Mothball (Eco Alternative) Repellant|
A tip to keep the crawlies away from your letterbox. What do you have living in the mailbox ? — wasps, spiders, and scorpion were the most common occupants. Use cedar chips or aromatic herbs as a eco-friendly alternative to mothballs.
From Marcella White of Edmonton, Kentucky:
"I worked as a rural mail carrier in Florida for many years. I often dreaded what I might find each time I opened the mailbox — wasps, spiders, scorpions and frogs were the most common occupants.
One of my customers kept a small glass jar of mothballs in her mailbox,(see editors note) with holes in the lid so the fumes could escape. There were never any insects or other creatures in her mailbox.
Now I live in Kentucky and have a small well house where various spiders and a copperhead snake had taken up residence. I remembered the mothballs! So, early each spring, I put new mothballs in the glass jar, and now there are no pump-house occupants at all."
Ecobites Note: Use cedar chips or aromatic herbs instead of mothballs.
The key ingredient in moth balls is naphthalene, a widely-used and highly-manufactured chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified naphthalene as a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemical.  A PBT does not readily break down in the environment, does not easily metabolize, and may be hazardous to human health or the environment. The EPA has also classified naphthalene as a high priority PBT chemical.
Naphthalene enters the human body through inhalation or passing through the skin. Exposure to large amounts of naphthalene may damage or destroy red blood cells. Some symptoms include fatigue, lack of appetite, restlessness and pale skin. Exposure to large amounts of naphthalene may also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and blood in the urine.  What mothers-to-be inhale, so does baby: the developing bodies of unborn children are especially susceptible to naphthalene poisoning.
Naphthalene is an incredibly dangerous chemical. A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a listing of chemicals and their dangers required by the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OHSA) to be included by any "chemical manufacturer or importer." MSDS's on naphthalene warn that naphthalene is harmful if swallowed or inhaled, causes irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract, and may affect liver, kidney, blood and central nervous system. Furthermore, MSDS's state that inhalation of dust or vapors can cause headache, nausea, vomiting, extensive sweating and disorientation. The predominant reaction is delayed intravascular hemolysis (the dissolution of red blood cells) with symptoms of anemia, fever, jaundice, and kidney or liver damage.
Ecobites.com does not warrant and shall have no liability for information provided in this article or on Ecobites.com. Each individual person, fabric, or material may react differently to a particular suggested use. It is recommended that before you begin to use any formula, you read the directions carefully and test it first. Should you have any health care-related questions or concerns, please call or see your physician or other health care provider.
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