False widow spider found behind wardrobe in Stonehouse
A FALSE widow spider is believed to have been found by a builder working on a property in Stonehouse today.
The man was renovating a bedroom at a property off Meadow Road when he found the poisonous spider behind a wardrobe around 10am today, Tuesday.
He picked it up in a tissue and showed it to others in the house.
Jennifer Olpin, 33, said: “He came into the lounge and said he had found a false widow spider.
“I was sceptical at first but then I had a close look.
“It was black and bulbous and had the yellow markings on its back. It was pretty nasty looking.
“We have looked at pictures on the internet and it did look just like a false widow.
“I am annoyed that we didn’t get a photograph but before we had a chance to think about it the builder had squashed it and flushed it down the toilet.”
In the past few weeks a spate of false widow spider attacks have been reported in the UK, including a footballer who had to be taken to hospital and a schoolboy who was bitten while he slept.
Today it has been reported that a man was bitten at his home in Evesham, in Worcestershire, and was rushed to hospital as the venom travelled up his arm.
Evesham Community Hospital told the Worcester News it had treated other suspected cases of the spider bites, but could not confirm the exact number.
The false widow – Steatoda nobilis in Latin – gets its name from its general resemblance to the more notorious and deadly black widow spider.
They are no bigger than a 20p piece but they have the worst bite of any spider species in the UK.
They have a dark, shiny body with pale markings and cream band on their abdomen and are usually found in outbuildings.
The poisonous spiders have made a home along the south coast of England, particularly on the Dorset and Hampshire coast after arriving from their native Canary Islands in crates of bananas.
It is thought they are now spreading further across the country due to climate change.
If you want help with the identification of a spider which you believe might be the false widow then take some pictures and contact Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org