'My worst nightmare': Spider 'plague' reaches terrifying heights

Olivia Lambert
·News Editor
·3-min read

A NSW man has revealed nightmare scenes in his backyard after the state was drenched for days on end.

In a video taken on Tuesday, thousands of spiders are seen taking refuge on the fence in the backyard of Matt Lovenfosse's Kinchela home on the Mid North Coast.

As Mr Lovenfosse shows the back fence riddled with black creepy crawlies, a woman is heard in the background yelling she also found a snake.

As he trudges through his swamped backyard, masses of spiders can be seen smothering Mr Lovesnfosse's garden shed.

Thousands of spiders seen on the back fence at a property in Kinchela.
Thousands of spiders have taken refuge on Matt Lovenfosse's back fence. Source: Storyful

The video posted to Facebook has amassed about 6000 comments, with many horrified by the scenes in the aftermath of the heavy deluge that caused chaos on the east coast.

"That would make me evacuate," one said.

"Burn it down ... get out the spray can and lighter," another commented.

"Why is he just standing there ... this is what I imagine hell to be like, it's my worst nightmare, blow it all up and never return," a third added.

Reason behind spider 'plague'

Skin-crawling scenes have been witnessed across NSW, with a number of videos emerging online of spiders attempting to escape flooded areas.

Shenea Varley had just dropped her kids off at school when she spotted hundreds of spiders making their way up a fence in Sydney to escape rising floodwater.

“They will climb up your legs to get shelter as well if you’re not careful,” she wrote in the video on TikTok which has been viewed over a million times.

Spiders seen escaping flooded ground.
Thousands of spiders have been seen escaping flooding in NSW. Source: Facebook/Matt Lovenfosse

Another woman from Macksville near the Nambucca River also shared footage of a garage where a cluster of spiders are seen scrambling for dry land.

Spiders, insects and snakes living in the grass or inside burrows have been attempting to escape the dangerous floodwaters invading their homes.

Associate Professor David Merrit, from the University of Queensland's School of Biological Sciences, told Yahoo News Australia the creepy crawlies were searching for higher ground as part of their survival instinct.

“I’d say just leave them alone and let nature take its course,” he said.

“I would hate to think anyone would spray insecticide on them or that sort of thing.

"They’ve only come into houses and human made structures because they’ve been forced to, so give them a bit of time and they’ll disperse back into their natural environment.”

When will the spiders retreat?

Associate Professor Merritt told Yahoo News Australia the spiders will eventually go back to their natural habitat. 

"If they're exposed and the water retreats there's a good chance they will wander away back into the pastures or fields," he said.

"But if they don't like being exposed in the open they might retreat into crevices and wall cavities.

"My guess is the majority will go quite quickly but some might stay behind if they find appropriate hiding places."

Associate Professor Merritt said however they will leave homes once they get hungry. 

Spiders will likely hang around until the ground dries up, with spiders uncomfortable in wet environments. 

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