Aussie woman's warning after 'dangerously venomous' discovery in pool

Four of these deadly creatures were found under the water.

A woman on the New South Wales mid-north coast has issued a skin-crawling warning for residents to always check their pool before diving in, after making a terrifying discovery in her backyard.

Taking to Facebook to share her horror, Lynda Knight posted two images of a large spider at the bottom of her pool in Coffs Harbour. “Please always check your pools before jumping in, especially after rain,” she wrote on Thursday night. “There were four of the damn things in ours after the last couple days of rain.”

A spider in the bottom of Lynda Knight's pool (left) and a close up of it in the pool (right).
Lynda Knight says she found not one but four spiders in the bottom of her swimming pool in Boambee in Coffs Harbour on the NSW Mid North Coast. Source: Lynda Knight

'Never had that many at once'

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Lynda said she was shocked by the find. “We were surprised how many there were,” she said. “We do get them in our pool every year, but haven’t had any for quite a while and we’ve never had that many at once.”

The Boambee local went on to explain that she picked them out with the pool scoop and “tossed them down the yard”. “We are all adults so [there were] no worries about kids playing with them,” she sad. “If we had kids, we would probably dispose of them more carefully.”

While she said that all of the “ugly buggers” were dead, she had “pulled live ones out in the past”.

A close up photo of one of the spiders out of the pool.
Lynda is urging people to get their swimming pools for spiders before they jump in. Source: Lynda Knight

'Easily possible to get bitten'

According to the experts, the creepy crawlies are male eastern mouse spiders — similar to funnel webs.

“They normally live in a burrow but upon reaching adulthood males will leave their burrow and wander looking for females and often fall into pools,” Jeremy Wilson, an arachnologist from the Queensland Museum, told Yahoo News Australia.

“They cannot climb smooth, non-porous vertical surfaces and cannot get back out of pools,” added Scott Johnson, The Funnel Web Hunter and moderator for the Australian Spider Identification page on Facebook. He told Yahoo they could survive for hours underwater before they drowned.

While it would be a bit trickier for a spider to bite someone in a pool, it could happen. “They would need to grip onto someone with their legs to hold them while they bite but it is easily possible to get bitten,” Mr Johnson said.

Describing mouse spiders are “dangerously venomous”, Mr Wilson said they should not be handled directly and instead be scooped out of pools with a net. “Severe envenomation, which is rare but can happen, would lead to symptoms similar to a funnel web bite,” he explained. “Soreness and swelling at the bite site followed by nausea, difficulty breathing and sweating.”

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