‘Spider apocalypse’ hits Australia covering countryside in eerie blankets of cobwebs after biblical mouse plague

BLANKETS of cobwebs are covering the Australian countryside in what has been dubbed a "spider apocalypse" as the country battles a biblical mouse plague.

Thick blankets of spider webs have been pictured stretched across the Gippsland region amid heavy rain and subsequent flooding in Victoria.

The spooky veil covering shrubs, grass, and road signs, shows the spider's attempts to flee the floodwaters and seek refuge on higher ground.

The pictures, shared on Reddit, were posted alongside the caption: " If the floods weren't enough, I give you, spider apocalypse."

The southeastern state has been ravaged by heavy rain and strong winds, forcing thousands to evacuate.

Parts of the region were closed last week after the rain left residents without power.

But despite the horror of social media users, Professor Dieter Hochuli from the University of Sydney determined the insects were sheetweb spiders and said the behaviour was not unusual after floods.

"They build a web that is a little bit different to the ones we're more familiar with, like orb webs, their ones are flat and the spiders often live between two layers of webbing," he told 7 News.

"When we get these types of very heavy rains and flooding these animals who spend their lives cryptically on the ground can't live there anymore, and do exactly what we try to do – they move to the higher ground."

With another 50mm of rain forecast in East Gippsland this week, it is thought the spiders could persist with their survival tactic again.

Local reports suggest the phenomenon is known as ballooning, where cooler weather conditions have prompted spiders to cover stretches of land in cloudlike cobwebs to try and shelter themselves from wet conditions.

The latest pest problem comes as the country battles tens of millions of rampaging mice tormenting communities.

There have been calls for the mouse plague to be declared a "natural disaster" so frustrated Aussies can claim insurance payouts after a house was torched, cars were destroyed and crops left decimated.

Horrific outbreaks stretch 1,000km from Brisbane to Melbourne and have been wreaking havoc for farming communities for nearly a year.

One farmer's wife was rushed to hospital last week after she woke to one mouse chewing on her EYEBALL.

She is one of many victims of the outbreak, being described as the worst in more than 30 years, The Times reports.

Another farmer was fast asleep when he felt something small scuttling across his face.

Mick Harris, who lives in Narromine, about 250 miles inland from Sydney, said: "I felt a tickly, furry sensation as it crawled from behind my ear across my cheek.

"It made my skin crawl. My hair stood up and I jumped out of bed."

As the Australian winter sets in, home and car owners have been forced to deal with rats and mice looking for warmer places to live.

The rodents have eaten through electrical wires which sparked a house fire in Narrabri, New South Wales, while cars have been damaged.

Mum-of-three Shirilee Jackson, 31, who lives in Mandagery, NSW, said a swarm of rats and mice left her car damaged beyond repair in just one night.

She told A Current Affair: "Ten grand's (£5,474) worth of damage. I've woken up at five o'clock in the morning to find the seatbelts chewed, the heater unit, flooring, head rest, and child's car seat chewed.

"It's just unreal, in a matter of 10 hours."

Major insurance companies in Australia have told customers that general home and contents insurance and car insurance does not protect against rats and mice unless there are other effects, such as a fire or floods.

Andrew McKenzie, a mechanic in Orange, NSW, said the damage caused by the infestation of rodents was getting worse and he's "now getting up to four cars a day".

    Source: Read Full Article