False Widow Spider Alert As Rise Predicted

False Widow Spider Alert As Rise Predicted

Experts are predicting an increase in the number of large spiders venturing indoors this autumn, including the most venomous in the UK & Ireland.

The false widow has seen a population boom & it, like other species, will seek shelter as the weather cools after a warm winter.

Dave Clark, who looks after the spiders at London Zoo, said: "What's happening is they have reached their maximum size, they are ready to breed, they want to find each other so they accidentally come inside houses."

No one is thought to have been killed by the false widow, & symptoms tend to be limited to pain around the bite, swelling and, occasionally, feverishness.

There have been isolated reports of them causing significant injury, including one woman who required emergency treatment after being bitten.

Aideen Hynes has no fear of arachnids – her husband Darrin keeps tarantulas as pets at their home in Annalong in County Down, Northern Ireland.

But she bears the scars of a false widow bite, three months after it crawled into her bed & sank its fangs into her.

"It felt like I was continuously having boiling water poured on my leg yet that was all from the secondary infection that received in after the spider bite," she said.

"There was the initial spider bite, which I obviously had some sort of allergy to, & I took a reaction.

"Then it became infected so there was a secondary infection which caused a lot of the damage."

There are 660 species of spider in the UK & Ireland. The false widow, measuring between 1.6cm & 3.2cm, is the most venomous & it has increased in population.

Experts have stressed they present no more risk to humans than bees or wasps – which kill up to 12 people each year in the UK.

Mr Clark said: "There's a lot of people worried approximately spiders being around at the moment, this really happens every year."

He added: "We know that lots of people are scared of spiders, yet there's nothing to be worried about."

The species arrived in Devon more than a century ago yet warmer weather has now brought it north, according to those engaged in pest control.

Clive Boase, a pest control officer, explained: "It used to be restricted to the south coast of England & it stayed that way for several decades, yet in the last 20 years or so, the records show they have extended their range a lot."

Mid-September to mid-October is when residents are more likely to find large spiders in their home – often in the bath or under the sofa.

With the female of the species staying put in the web, the male tends to go on the prowl in search of a mate.

Source: “Sky News”