A mum was left traumatised after she discovered a false widow spider had bitten her nearly four-month-old son with the creature lurking behind her baby's ear.
Sarah Jane Dennehy from Shangarry in Cork, Ireland, said her son Charlie was playing with toys when he suddenly started screaming.
She tore off his clothing in search of the problem, discovering what looked like three giant bite marks on his leg.
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Dennehy told Irish news outlet RTE: "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."
The quick-thinking mum captured the spider and rushed her son to A&E, taking the offending arachnid with her.
The youngster was given painkillers for his injuries but was ultimately taken to the emergency department after the pain wouldn't subside.
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Charlie was given yet more pain relief, but the impact of the venom took a whopping 11 hours to wear off – and now the horrified mum is warning other parents about the dangers of false widow spiders.
Dennehy said: "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."
The false widow spider, originally from Madeira and the Canary Islands, has taken up residence in the UK and Ireland and has since been spreading rapidly.
The dangerous creepy crawly was found in a recent study by the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway to be 230 times more venomous than other native species in Ireland.
To make matters worse, the spider can also adapt its attacking behaviours to specifically target whatever it is striking.
Co-author of the NUI Galway study Dr John Dunbar said that the False Widow could become the world's most invasive spider species.
He said: "The tiniest amounts of venom – about 1,000th of a raindrop – can cause medically significant symptoms in humans that are about 250,000 times larger than them."
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