Australians have been warned to keep an eye out for dangerous spiders as the mercury begins to rise ahead of summer.
Lauren Merritt from Darwin, was horrified to see almost 20 venomous mouse spiders lying on the bottom of her pool over several days last week.
Experts have urged residents to keep a distance from the unwanted visitors explaining that while many were found underwater, most were likely still alive.
While the spiders are small in size experts have warned bites can be severely painful and can cause illness in small children.
Julian Bracewell from Pest2Kill, a pest control company in Sydney’s eastern suburbs said September to May was their busiest season for spider sightings.
He said it was common for Mouse spiders to fall into swimming pools, but warned the creatures can usually survive.
‘They’re not always dead, they can stay alive for quite some time – up to 24 hours,‘ Mr Bracewell told Daily Mail Australia.
The pest control expert said there were steps to ensure homes were safe from spiders, but stressed it was a bad idea to try and remove them alone.
‘If you’re gardening use proper gloves. Hose down children’s toys as we often find Redbacks hidden in toys outside,‘ he said.
‘Keep you garden maintenance up to scratch, ponds and stagnant water can attract flies and mosquitoes which spiders eat.
‘If you see burrows in your garden call an expert. I wouldn’t handle that yourself.‘
Around 1,000 Australians visit hospitals every year for spider bites. There’s been just one death from a spider within the last 37 years. Jayden Burleigh, 22, died after he was bitten in April, 2016 by a Redback while walking through a bushwalk in NSW’s north coast.
What are mouse spiders?
Mouse spiders are found across Australia and have similar physical characteristics to Funnel Webs – which have fatal bites.
They can grow up to 35mm long and their bites can cause severe pain and serious illness.
They can survive underwater for up to 24 hours and are often found during the warmer months as they try to find mates.
They are found across Australia but usually in areas with dense bushland.
Mouse spiders are often confused with Funnel Webs but are not considered as dangerous to people.