A gardener from Neston has told how a spider bite almost proved fatal for him.
Thirty-nine-year-old Paul Thomasson suffered an allergic reaction after being bitten by a mouse spider.
Paul said he couldn't breathe and was was covered in hives after the common house spider crawled up the sleeve of his dressing gown at home.
Mouse spiders are usually around 9-12mm in length, and are seen year-round but more commonly in summer and autumn.
He told our sister paper the Liverpool Echo : “I felt it nip me and suddenly my back went red hot.
“I asked my wife Charlotte to check it because I thought maybe it had scratched my back and she just kept saying ‘Oh my God, your back, your back.’
“All of a sudden I couldn’t breathe and Charlotte rang 999. The paramedic stayed on the phone with us until the ambulance arrived and they gave me an injection in my arm to treat the reaction.”
Paul says he had no idea he had a spider allergy and now has to carry an EpiPen with him at all times - not just because of the nature of his job, but because he still sees the spiders in his home occasionally.
He continued: “In the space of about ten minutes I went from relaxing in the bath to being terrified for my life.
“I know it was a mouse spider because when I felt it bite me, I threw my dressing gown to the floor, and I saw it crawl out of the sleeve.
“I think I’ve seen maybe four or five of them in the house since we moved in [in 2014].
“I don’t know if it’s just that type of spider I’m allergic to, but I’m not taking any chances.”
The spiders were given their name because their abdomens are covered in silver-grey hair which resembles the fur of a mouse.
They are mostly nocturnal and can run very fast.
October is officially spider mating season - and experts are warning of a 150 million-strong invasion of outsized spiders this autumn.
Giant house spiders commonly enter UK homes at this time of year.
But this year there are believed to be more of them than ever, due to the warm summer, which has produced more flies for them to feed on.