Breastfeeding mum's 'frightening' encounter with spider: 'Oh my god'

With spider season upon us, it comes as no surprise that a few extra unwanted guests will be lurking around Aussie homes. However one mother's skin-crawling experience, who recently moved Down Under, has left even the most stoic spider-lovers a bit shaken.

Krista Manning, originally from eastern Canada, was breastfeeding her baby in their Queensland home in Rockhampton, when she felt something land on her head.

"I was lying down breastfeeding my 17 month-old baby," she recalled to Yahoo News Australia. "I was lying on my side and he had drifted off when all of the sudden I felt something drop right at the top of my head.

"Then I felt it scurry down my hair like really fast. It was pitch black in the room so I sat up really quick and I turned on the flashlight from my phone and was scanning all around the baby, scanning me, scanning the floor."

A photo of the huntsman spider in the container, with someone putting their hand on the outside of the container to show how big the spider is. A photo of Krista Manning.
Krista Manning was breastfeeding her son at their Rockhampton home in Queensland, when a huge huntsman jumped on her head. Source: Supplied

Walking out of the room she asked her eight-year-old son and mother-in-law to check her hair but they couldn't find anything. Then her son spotted the furry beast.

"My son and I are talking and he goes ‘oh my god’ and right over my right shoulder facing him is the spider on the wall," Ms Manning said.

Naturally there was a whole lot of "commotion" especially because her in-laws are from Canada and "have never seen a spider that big" on the island of Newfoundland where they live.

Ms Manning also said that the eight legged creature, identified as a Jungle Huntsman, was the largest one she'd ever seen inside since moving to Australia a few years ago.

"I admire spiders when they are on their own webs up above, I think it's fascinating, but I don’t want one landing on my head," she said.

Huntsman safely relocated outside

After making the discovery, her partner managed to get the spider into a container — with the whole family watching in nervous excitement — and released it back into the wild.

"He was very good about it," Ms Manning said. "He gave him a gentle tap so it would come away from the corner because we didn’t want to hurt its legs."

Her partner leaped into action and managed to get the unharmed spider into a container. Source: Supplied
Her partner leaped into action and managed to get the unharmed spider into a container. Source: Supplied

"And then of course it scurries down the wall and on the floor. He had a really good reaction time and just placed the container right over the spider perfectly and slid a piece of paper underneath and walked it outside into the bushes."

Mother praised for reaction to spider

Having posted photos of the spider to the Australian Spider Identification Facebook page, many commended her response, especially given she was in a vulnerable position.

"Would be frightening, especially when you were feeding your baby," one person commented.

"God you're good. I would have thrown my baby in one direction and ran in the other," another joked.

"Well done you! Also I think you now qualify as an honorary Aussie, even if not naturalised, as you’ve been ‘blessed’ by a friendly huntsman ‘dropping in’ on you," a third person said. To which Ms Manning replied with; "Thank you! I should include this experience on my citizenship application."

Originally planning to stay in Australia for a few years during the pandemic, Ms Manning said the family has fallen in love with Central Queensland and don't see themselves leaving any time soon. They are also continuously amazed by the wildlife.

"I’m here for three years and I'm still like 'wow'," Ms Manning said. "I can’t believe it and I love that my children get to see it and grow up around it.

"People at home are always like 'there's so many things that can kill you in Australia,' but I try stay logical."

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