The False Widow Spider Is In Town!

I thought I was hearing things earlier this week when it was announced on the radio that more False Widow Spiders had been found in Milton Keynes!

According to Heart FM, a mum from Milton Keynes told them that she found three of the potentially dangerous spiders in her home. This comes after a man in Southampton collapsed last week after being bitten by one 10 times.

The False Widow (Steatoda nobilis) is commonly found in parts of the UK and is often mistaken for the more deadly Black Widow Spider.

According to the BBC: The nest of a biting venomous spider has been found in a Buckinghamshire garden and council officers have warned residents to be on the alert for more.

Milton Keynes pest controllers have dealt with the nest of a false widow spider but believe there may be others.

The nest was found in Bletchley and officers warn the spiders give a bite which is not lethal but is painful.

They are closely related to the black widow, Liam Mooney from Milton Keynes trading standards said.

“They won’t kill you but one person’s already had to go to hospital with symptoms including chest pain, nausea and vomiting.”

The small spiders are related to the black widow and look similar to them but do not have the distinctive red spot.

Specialised insecticides

“Often in nature small things like these spiders carry a powerful punch and people should take precautions if they suffer a bite and go to hospital if they experience severe local pain, chest pains or nausea,” Mr Mooney said.

“The bite is worse than a wasp sting and instant” – Liam Mooney, Milton Keynes Council

“The nest in Bletchley was behind a wooden panel and that’s the kind of environment these spiders like – or where there are old logs, leaves or damp places.”

The spiders are believed to have travelled to England on a boat and were first recorded more than 100 years ago in the South West.

“They are making their way eastwards as the weather gets better,” Mr Mooney said.

“The large cotton wool structure found at the nest site is full of eggs so there may be a lot of spiders in the vicinity so people should be on the alert especially if they have children or pets.”

The pest control team used specialised insecticides not available to the public to deal with the nest.

“The spiders have larger fangs than other species and venom behind them. The bite is worse than a wasp sting and instant,” Mr Mooney said.

He said anyone who suspects they may have a nest should contact Milton Keynes trading standards pest control unit.

More about the false widow spider here.