Will Moth Balls In Neighboring Yard Affect My Plants

Question From: L. Haines - North Kingstown, Rhode Island, United States
Q: My neighbor has used moth balls along a common fence to keep deer away from the arborvitae(I think) The odor is strong near the fence line. Will this harm the plants on my side of the fence including azalea, mountain laurel, winterberry and a kousa dogwood tree?

A: This practice is not uncommon. I have used them to keep raccoons from digging up newly planted plants. However I place them on little formed dishes made of aluminum foil and remove them after a few days. I doubt she could use enough that the chemicals would translocate that far. The pellets slowly dissolve and the chemicals go down into the soil rather then spread sideways. That's why fertilizer sticks are useless. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.