A French woman in her 60s has been treated at hospital suffering from violent headaches and ear pain after a spider crawled inside her ear canal and bit her.
The woman told the hospital that the arachnid entered her right ear accidentally. Her daughter had told her that she had a spider on her cheek but when the woman went to brush it off it instead got brushed near her ear and crawled in and bit her.
She later began to have severe headaches and was taken to A&E after her own attempts to get the spider out of her ear failed.
The woman told Nice-Matin: “We tried to wash it out with warm water but in vain. It bit me several times. So my daughter drove me to A&E.”
Staff at the Arnault Tzanck Institute in Saint-Laurent-du-Var initially thought the story was a prank, or that the woman could even have a cockroach in her ear canal but they eventually discovered the spider and managed to get it out.
The woman is now on antibiotics for a severe ear infection. She is recovering and is out of danger.
Read more: Eek! Couple in France in lockdown with huge, rare, spider
The spider’s bite is toxic but not normally deadly. Its ‘official’ name is Macrothele calpeiana, and it is also known under the names of macrothele of Andalucia, the Gibraltar funnel-web spider, or the Spanish funnel-web spider, as it is often found in the south of Spain.
It can measure up to 2-3 centimetres or even more - however, the one found in this woman’s ear was less than a centimetre across.
Black widow seen in southwest France for first time in two centuries
Toxic spider bites twice in a week
‘May contain spider’: horror at language error in French supermarket