A 19-year-old son woke his mother up in the early hours of the morning after he found a venomous brown widow spider in the bathroom.
Zoologist Azara Moon, of Wells, was surprised when son Gabriel shouted for her to wake up and look at a spider he had caught in their family bathroom.
Azara said: “My son sprayed the spider with aerosol, at which point it fell on to his leg. He quickly jumped out the way and caught the spider in a plastic bottle.”
After further investigation Azara and Gabriel, who are used to spiders, having lived in Australia, discovered the unusual looking arachnid was a brown widow spider – a cousin of the infamous black widow.
Although the spider is less dangerous than the black widow, it can still cause serious harm to someone with a weakened immune system. The effects of the toxin are usually confined to the bite area and surrounding tissue.
Azara and her son called Mendip District Council to alert them to the spider.
She added: “We thought we had best call the council to see if they can do anything with the spider as it can’t exactly be released outside – it’s not a native breed and will probably end up going into someone’s home for warmth.
“The council are making enquiries into how they can help as they no longer offer pest control. We just want people to be aware that although these spiders might not live here, they sometimes come over in fruit imported to the supermarkets.”