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 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.
Lauren Merritt spotted up to 20 mouse spiders lying in her pool in Darwin last week
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.
‘A lot of people confuse Mouse spiders for Funnel Webs because they’re very similar looking and are ground dwelling as well.’
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.
Mouse spiders often fall into swimming pools but can survive underwater for up to 24 hours
Often found in more bushy environments, Mouse spiders live across the country.
Mr Bracewell said as it begins to heat up over the coming months, more people will see the creatures making their way into their homes and backyards.
WHAT ARE MOUSE SPIDERS?
Mouse spiders are venomous to humans with bites causing severe pain and illness
They can grow up to 35mm long and can survive underwater for up to 24 hours
Mouse spiders 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
‘Mouse spiders aren’t as aggressive as Funnel Webs but they are venomous so handle with care and use gloves or a pool cleaner,’ he said.
‘A bite is pretty painful and will cause illness to young children. It’s similar to a Redback, their fangs are pretty long and anyone bitten should be taken to hospital.’
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.