Sadie Perry with her daughter, 15-month-old Ava Shephard
The mother of a 15-month-old girl who picked up a false widow spider says she has been in shock and panic ever since.
Sadie Perry, 27, was tidying her Ashford home, when her daughter Ava came over carrying what they later found out was the venomous spider.
The 27-year-old, of Raymond Fuller Way, Kennington, said: "This spider has left me scared at night. I keep thinking what if Ava had been bitten and I didn't see the spider?
"How long would it have taken for me to find out it was a spider bite, and what effect would it have had on a baby? It could have been much more serious.
"Some may say it's an exaggeration, as their bite is that of a wasp sting. But you wouldn't leave your baby in a room with a wasp would you?"
Miss Perry said she found the spider when Ava came scampering across the hall towards her.
The toddler had a black object in her hand - a bug of some sort - which had balled itself up.
The youngster dropped the creepy-crawlie on the carpet, where it unfurled... revealing itself to be a nasty-looking spider.
Toddler Ava Shephard picked up this false widow spider at home
Miss Perry said: "I laughed as I was never scared of spiders, and my daughter didn't seem too bothered either. I hadn't heard any of the spider warnings and took a pic of it and uploaded it.
"As I read 36 notifications rolling in on my Facebook, my concerns started to grow.
"These bites are taking place mostly at night while people sleep, so how will I know if Ava's been bitten in the night? Do I now have to start checking her for bites as well?"
A series of sightings of false widow spiders - Britain's most venomous - have been reported across Kent in recent weeks.
Although not naturally aggressive towards humans, its fangs are capable of piercing flesh and the venom can cause a painful swelling.
Wildlife expert Owen Leyshon confirmed he is "99% sure" the spider spotted by Miss Perry is one of the genus of Steatoda, commonly known as the false widow.
Bur Mr Leyshon said while false widow spiders are on the increase, they are generally nothing to be worried about.
He added: "They are found all across southern Britain now and they do like the area behind fridges and cookers, and in conservatories.
"They like south facing and warm sides of houses, and I usually get asked to go and visit a small number of houses on the Marsh to confirm spider sightings.
"As for spiders in general, the autumn is the time when they start to move in from the garages, outbuildings and move into the warmer, cosy houses and bungalows, especially with the cold weather in the last day or two."
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