False widow spiders have been spotted by growing numbers of people over recent years. These spiders can be very dangerous, and their bites are comparable to wasp and bee stings. They are said to be one of a small number of British spider breeds that can inflict pain on humans. These spiders aren’t normally aggressive towards humans, but they can attack if they are prodded, squashed or tangled in clothing.
Female false widow spiders
Female false widow spiders have a more painful bite than their male counterparts and can cause intense pain and fever. However, the spiders haven’t caused any reported deaths in the UK. Some people have been forced to head to the hospital after suffering severe reactions. Those who are bitten by false widow spiders are instructed to wash the affected area with soap and water. Bite sprays and antiseptic creams can prevent infection resulting from bites. If you do start to feel worse after you have taken these steps, get professional help.
The spiders are brown with cream-coloured marks and round bodies. Their legs are a mixture of orangey-red colour. Sizes vary, but females can be between 9.5 to 14 millimetres. Male spiders range from 7 to 11mm. Their bodies and legs have a glossy appearance. Also known as the Steatoda Nobilis, the false widow spider originates from Madeira and the Canary Islands and is thought to have arrived in Britain at least 138 years ago. The spiders are usually nocturnal and prefer warm, dry environments. Most sightings of the spider have been in the south, though there have been more and more encounters in the north over recent years.
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Date Published: April 20, 2017
Author: Accident Advice