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No, mothballs and ammonia do not effectively repel groundhogs or any wildlife for that matter. Mothballs, ammonia, and a host of other repellents ultimately fail in their bid to permanently dissuade the nuisance animal.
There are several types of opossum repellents that are available commercially for the purpose of chasing nuisance animals like the groundhog, but mothballs (naphthalene) and ammonia easily top the popular list.
While it is true that the groundhog may initially be frightened by these substances, those critters are not credited with as much smartness as they often show when their survival is at stake. In actual fact, they quickly recover from the scare and return to the place where the food or shelter is. And they keep returning and adapting until they become immune to the effects of your mothballs and ammonia.
This may be hard to swallow because of the way that different brands of mothballs and ammonia are being touted in local animal control stores as well as online. And they all come with promises to rid your property of critters in no time.
However, if you do want to give mothballs or ammonia a try, as a temporary solution, here’s what you need to know:
Ammonia: ammonia-soaked rags are commonly recommended to solution-seeking home owners because of the repugnant smell that will surely chase the unwanted critters away. The same applies to other strongly-scented fluids like bleach and vinegar. Ammonia is particularly distressing to the eyes and nose of wildlife and has a better chance at being effective when applied in an enclosed space.
Moth balls: they incorporate the chemical, Naphtalene, which has a very strong smell to repel opossums and other wildlife pests. That is what the sellers claim. In actual fact, it has been proven severally that wildlife are not affected by the scent of moth balls. Never mind what the manufacturers claim. The use of moth balls as repellant is strongly discouraged as they do pollute the environment and are capable of causing cancer.
Again, it has been observed that groundhogs with time, will quickly overcome their aversion for the pungent smell when survival is at stake. This is also applicable to other repellents such as motion light, motion sprinkler, garlic, and so on.
The only fool-proof way to really keep groundhogs out of your property is to remove all traces of food and to practice exclusion by proofing your building, blocking all possible entry points.
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