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False Widow Spiders to invade Britains homes

False Widow Spiders to invade Britains homes

 

False widow spiders are set to invade Britain’s homes in the winter as temperature temperatures get colder. As the temperature drops rapidly across the UK, with the lowest touching -7 degrees celsius, the false widow spiders are searching for warmth and this is mostly likely to be in your homes.

 

The weather during the summer was ideal for the spiders to lead to a surge in numbers as they started to head for our homes within the coming months.

 

What is the false widow spider?

A false widow spider, also known as Steatoda Nobilis, is native to Madeira and the Canary Islands. They have slowly been moving over to the UK in the recent years due to colder winters. The spider is nocturnal and will spend the day times sleeping inside cracks or holes close to its web. 

 

How can you identify a false widow spider?

  • It is a medium sized spider with a round, brown body and off white coloured markings.
  • The body and legs will have a shiny appearance.
  • The females are normally bigger than the males, with females being 9.5 to 14mm, and males being 7 to 11mm
  • The species looks exactly like the black widow spider other than it being a different colour. 
  • It is red and sometimes orange colour.

 

Is the False Widow spider bite venomous?

Similar to most other spiders, the false widows bite is venomous. The bite itself from the spider is not usually felt immediately, however within a short space of time, a burning sensation will be felt followed by a radiating pain. Within around the 20 minute mark, the affected area will swell badly. If you have been bitten on the hand, within 3-4hours welling will develop and you will have a tingling sensation. The area will have two small puncture wounds in the swelling, surrounded by abnormal redness and may even have a bluefish colour. 

 

Experts say the species are not normally aggressive but if the spiders are found in clothing they may attack. The spider bite does not always have a mild effect. The female bites are more severe than the males and usually result in intense pain.

 

Their bites are not fatal to humans but the venom causes painful burns and swelling that can lead to a fever. 

 

In 2015 Alex Beer had a false widow bite and left him with horrifying swelling. The photo can be found Here. 
 

What do the False Widow Spiders eat?

A lot of the false widow spiders will prey on black widow spiders, as well as other spiders which are hazardous to humans. False Widow Spiders mainly feed on crawling insects, especially isopods.

 

 

Reproduction on the False Widow Spider

False Widow Spiders mate in the spring and the females can produce three or more egg sacs from May through to July. Each sac can contain 200 or more creamy coloured eggs. Whereas the males can live for up to 18 months. They die shortly after mating.

 

To learn more about pests in the UK look here.

 

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