How to spot false widow spiders: What to do if the False Widow spider bites you – advice | Nature | News

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FALSE WIDOW SPIDERS in the UK are on the rise once again, with concern growing about how widespread the UK’s most dangerous spiders really are. Here’s what to do if the False Widow spider bites you.

PUBLISHED: 15:15, Tue, Nov 5, 2019 | UPDATED: 15:15, Tue, Nov 5, 2019

Numbers of Britain’s deadliest spider, the False Widow, are thought to be on the rise. Last year the venomous spiders caused havoc on the UK with several schools being forced to temporarily close due to infestations. Experts say the insects are not normally aggressive towards humans and bites are rare, but if the spiders are caught in clothing, prodded or squashed they may give you a nasty nip.

What to do if the False Widow spider bites you

A False Widow spider’s bite usually only cause minor irritation.

However, some stings can be painful and trigger a serious allergic reaction.

The spider’s venom can cause localised pain, minor swelling and, in extreme cases, nausea.

READ MORE: Have you got false widow spiders in YOUR house: How to spot them?

Noble false widow spiders have a white marking

Noble false widow spiders have a distinctive white marking (Image: GETTY)

False widow spiders

Noble false widow spider (left), the rabbit hutch spider (top right) and the cupboard spider (Image: Colchester Borough Council)

When the insect bites, it releases saliva that can cause the skin around the bite to become red, swollen and itchy.

If you are bitten by the spider the first thing to do is wash the area with soap and water.

A bite spray or antiseptic cream will also help to prevent infection.

But if there’s a lot of swelling and blistering or if there’s pus you could have an infection and it could be wise to seek medical help.

READ MORE: Horror: Biting spider plague spreads across Britain

False Widow spiders

False Widow spiders: The spider’s venom can cause localised pain (Image: GETTY)

Dial 999 and ask for an ambulance if you experience any of these symptoms after a bite or sting:

  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • A fast heart rate
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Confusion, anxiety or agitation

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How to identify False Widow spiders

  • Its legs are reddish-orange colour
  • Females range in size from 9.5 to 14mm while males are 7 to 11mm
  • The false widow spider’s body and legs have a glossy appearance
  • The false widow is of medium size with a round, brown body with cream coloured markings
  • Aside from its colouring, the species resembles the black widow spider

REVEALED: BRITAIN’S MOST DANGEROUS SPIDERS

UK Spider invasion

Wed, September 23, 2015

Spider season has begun; take a look at the leggy visitors that have been seen scuttling around your homes recently!

Sally Anne Bunch found this 3

Sally Anne Bunch

1 of 11

Sally Anne Bunch found this 3

False Widow spiders

False Widow spiders: The False Widow is one of Britain’s most dangerous spiders (Image: GETTY) {%=o.title%}

What is the False Widow spider?

The False Widow spider is often mistaken for its much more dangerous distant cousin, the Black Widow.

The noble false widow is the most venomous of the three types of false widow species found in and around British homes.

It is believed that the spider was first imported to Britain in bunches of bananas from its native homelands of Madeira and the Canary Islands.

The first sighting of a noble false widow was in 1879 in Torquay but the species has since spread across southern England.

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