A family was forced to flee their home after hundreds of potentially deadly spiders swarmed out of a bunch of bananas.
Jamie and Crystal Roberts were horrified when the suspected Brazilian wandering spiders – the world’s deadliest – suddenly appeared in their home.
Shocked Jamie, 31, who bought the fruit from his local corner shop, spotted white patches covering it and assumed it was harmless mould.
But when he took a closer look at the bananas he realised they were infested with a spider nest containing hundreds of the creepy crawlies.
But what is the Brazilian wandering spider – and how dangerous is it?
Here are the top 10 facts you need to know about the world’s most toxic spider.
1. Their Greek name Phoneutria actually means “murderess” – an indication of their deadly bite.
2. They are known as the wandering spider because they do not build webs, but instead walk the jungle floor at night looking for prey.
The spiders are nocturnal, and so find places to hide during the day.
This is why they are so dangerous, because they hide in houses and cars, where they are easily disturbed by humans.
3. They may be considered the most toxic spider, but they are not the biggest. Their leg-span reaches up to five inches.
4. When the spiders are defending themselves, they lift their body up on their hind legs in a defensive display.
The first two pairs of legs are lifted high in the air, while the spider sways from side to side.
5. The Brazilian wandering spider appears in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most venomous spider.
Guinness World Records says that while the spider is the most toxic, an effective antivenom is available and few fatalities occur.
6. If you are bitten, chances are nothing bad will happen. Out of 7,000 cases, only 10 people died from its bite.
The spider only inject venom in approximately one-third of bites, and even then it’s usually only a small quantity.
7. The venom causes extreme pain and inflammation, loss of muscle control and breathing problems, resulting in paralysis and eventual asphyxiation.
Despite this, the Brazilian wandering spider’s venom is being studied by scientists.
8. The spider’s bite can cause an unwanted erection in men, sometimes lasting for four hours.
Scientists are hoping they can use the spider’s venom in erectile dysfunction medication.
9. This is not the first time Brazilian wandering spiders have made their way to the UK.
In 2005, pub chef Matthew Stevens was bitten by a spider hiding in a banana shipment in Bridgwater.
Due to quick medical care he survived, but still took nearly a week to recover from the bite.
He said: “I was never scared of spiders before but I certainly am now. I do feel very lucky, it was extremely painful.”
10. Then, in 2008, Co-op worker Kate Whitmore spotted the deadly spider while stacking boxes of bananas in Kent.
The 25-year-old mother-of-two said: “I looked down and noticed this thing. I screamed for my supervisor.
“I’m not usually scared of spiders, but it was huge and creepy and had long hairy legs.”
The RSPCA captured the spider without it biting anyone.