How to spot them.. and what to do if you’re bit­ten

Coventry Telegraph - - NEWS -

■■The fe­males bites are more se­vere than the males and typ­i­cally re­sult in in­tense pain ra­di­at­ing from the bite, along with fever.

■■There have been no re­ported deaths in the UK re­sult­ing from false widow spi­der bites.

■■There have been a num­ber of al­leged in­ci­dents where peo­ple have had se­vere re­ac­tions and needed hos­pi­tal treat­ment.

■■Most bites re­sult in symp­toms sim­i­lar to a bee or wasp st­ing.

■■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.

■■If your con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rates seek pro­fes­sional med­i­cal help.

■■The false widow is a medium sized spi­der with a round, brown body and cream coloured mark­ings.

■■Its legs are a red­dish-or­ange colour.

■■Fe­males range in size from 9.5 to 14mm while males are 7 to 11mm.

■■The spi­der’s body and legs will have a glossy ap­pear­ance.

■■The species closely re­sem­bles the black widow spi­der, aside from its colour­ing.

■■The spi­ders’ bites are no more ven­omous than a bee or wasp st­ing, ex­perts have said.

■■The Steatoda no­bilis (false widow) spi­der, na­tive to Madeira and the Ca­nary is­lands, is be­lieved to have ar­rived on Bri­tish shores via a cargo trans­porter be­fore 1879.

■■It is noc­tur­nal and will nor­mally spend the day sleep­ing in a crack or hole close to its web.

■■False wid­ows like dry, warm en­vi­ron­ments where they will be un­likely to be dis­turbed. This is of­ten what brings them into peo­ple’s homes.

■■The spi­ders are most com­monly seen in the south of the coun­try, but re­ported sight­ings sug­gest it’s mov­ing north­wards.

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