'Terrifying' | 

Expert warns ‘really big’ spiders will return to Irish households this winter

Trinity zoology research associate Collie Ennis said spiders are “getting really big at this time of year” and will be crawling inside houses in search of a mate.

House spider

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Irish households are being warned to keep their eyes out for “terrifying” spiders over the coming weeks.

Trinity zoology research associate Collie Ennis said spiders are “getting really big at this time of year” and will be crawling inside houses in search of a mate.

Speaking to Newstalk, he said: “The big lads that live around our house - the giant European house spider - the males are out wandering the halls and bedrooms of our houses looking for females. They're forlorn and looking for love.

“Surprisingly enough for spiders, they're not great at climbing - so they'll get stuck in the bath and they'll get stuck in your sink.

“The ones that run across the floor - sometimes if they're big enough you can actually hear them running across the floor - which can be very terrifying for people who are afraid of spiders.”

Collie added that the spiders are nothing to worry about and should be left alone.

"These are are grandparents and our great-grandparents spiders - these have been living with us for years,” he explained.

"They're of no harm or consequences whatsoever".

Meanwhile, garden spiders are also "getting really big at this time of year too", according to Collie.

"They're the female, they mated earlier on in the year - but they have very bulbous bodies now because they're full of eggs.

"It really is a good time of year to go out spotting spiders, if you're that way inclined".

It comes after a Cork mother called for greater public awareness of false widow spiders after her 15-week-old son was bitten multiple times.

Sarah-Jane Dennehy revealed how baby Charlie was bitten at his home in Shanagarry.

"Charlie was playing on his mat and then he was the colour purple as he screamed hysterically like I'd never heard him before," Ms Dennehy told RTE News.

"I took off his trousers and saw that his left leg, from his knee to his ankle, was bright red and he had three big welts. Then I stripped off his top and as I did so a big Noble False Widow crawled out from behind his ear."

Even though Charlie was prescribed painkillers the pain didn't ease and he was taken to the emergency department where he was given more painkillers.

However, the effects of the venom only wore off after about 11 hours.

"It was really harrowing experience for Charlie and myself. I hope nobody else goes through this. Although Charlie received great medical care from his GP and the hospital, the guidelines just aren't there to deal with False Widow bites at the moment," she said.


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