01:19 GMT16 April 2021
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    The spiders were later identified as Tiger Spiders. Although they are venomous, they only bite if continually provoked, causing swelling, mild pain, and itching.

    Thousands of spiders were forced to escape their homes amid heavy floods in Australia’s New South Wales.

    The spiders were running from Kinchela Creek, amid rising floodwaters. A number of locals reported the phenomenon.

    “The spiders all crawled up onto the house, on to fences and whatever they can get on to,” Matt Lovenfosse told Guardian Australia after the spiders crossed his property.

    Another local resident, Melanie Williams, told ABC that thousands of spiders scaled the fence in her front yard. "I had never seen anything like it before," she said.

    ​Professor Dieter Hochuli, who leads Sydney University's integrative ecology group, told ABC that the spiders were always there, but usually unnoticeable.

    “What happens with the floods is all these animals that spend their lives cryptically on the ground can't live there anymore," the professor said. “The spiders are the really obvious ones as they throw out their webs. The spiders are trying to get to higher ground during a flood, he explained.

    New South Wales has been hit by heavy rains recently, with communities along the Hawkesbury River bracing for consequent massive flooding. The Bureau of Meteorology on Sunday said it expected Monday to bring a flooding event to the area north-west of Sydney which is projected to be the worst since November 1961.

    ​The state’s prime minister said on Monday that around 18,000 people have left their homes, adding that heavy rains would continue and calling for locals to be careful.

    Tags:
    evacuation, Arachnophobia, Floods, rain, Australia
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