camel spider
A camel spider attacking a scorpion in the desert

A soldier's family have been frightened out of their home by a spider thought to have been brought to Essex from Afghanistan in a kitbag.

Lorraine Griffiths and her three children have moved out of their house in Colchester, the RSPCA said.

They are refusing to return until the large sandy-coloured creature, thought to be a camel spider, is captured.

An RSPCA spokeswoman confirmed they had visited the house but failed to locate the creature.

"If it is the spider they believe it is, then normally they don't attack humans, but they could give a painful bite," the spokeswoman said.

Mrs Griffiths believes the spider got to the UK in a kitbag brought home in June by her husband, Rodney, 32, when he returned from Afghanistan.

He is now back there on a further tour of duty.

She said the spider was seen in her bedroom by her two elder children, aged 18 and 16, and an electrician working at their home.

"They identified the spider using the internet," she said.