The toxic vapour that mothballs release is lethal to all insects, including spiders. Mothballs should never be used to control spiders, though, as their smoke is poisonous to both humans and animals.
An pesticide found in mothballs is either paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene. They are intended to be inserted into garment storage containers that catch the gases, eliminating moths that damage textiles. Never use mothballs where they will come into contact with people, animals, or wildlife.
Insecticide is drawn into the lungs upon inhalation of the vapour. Make an instant call to the poison control centre if a mothball is consumed. Call a veterinarian if a pet has eaten you.