Expert issues warning to Brits over spike in false widow spiders caused by heatwave
16 July 2021, 11:25
As Brits rejoice over the return of the hot weather this weekend and beyond, experts are warning people to be vigilant when it comes to spotting false widow spiders.
This weekend, Brits are set to bask in the sunshine as temperatures soar to as high as 29 degrees in some places.
While we're all happy to see some sun return, the heatwave is expected to cause an increase in the number of false widow spiders.
This comes after a number of recent cases of bites causing rotting wounds which cause severe pain and can even leave people fighting for their lives.
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Dr Christopher Terrell-Nield, an entomologist at Nottingham Trent University, told The Sun: "The breeding season will tend more to be in the summer months when it’s warmer.
"There are two generations during the course of the summer, which would bulk up the numbers."
There are several species of false widow spiders currently in the UK, with the noble false widow having the most toxic bite.
The population of the creatures has grown since they were first found in England over 150 years ago.
One of the people in the UK who has experienced a false widow bite recently is 26-year-old Carl Jones, who was left with a flesh-eating wound after a suspected bite from the toxic arachnid.
He was rushed to A&E following the bite, which left him dripping with sweat and with a fever.
Speaking of the incident, Carl said: "I was dripping with sweat. I experienced lots of sweating and fevers.
"I underwent investigations for Borrelia, TB and eventually skin cancer as the wound wasn't healing after five months."
He was given antibiotics, which were unsuccessful, promoting a procedure when the infected area of the wound was removed.
Following the ordeal, Carl found a noble false widow spider in his bathroom, which led him to believe a bite from it was the cause.
False Widow Spiders: What you need to know
- There are six species of false widows living in the UK
- The noble false widow is the most commonly reported
- The noble false widow spider reaches a body length of 8.5 - 11 millimetres
- They often hide in kitchens and conservatories
- Their webs look like a tangle of threads and are often found around 1.5 metres off the ground
- They have a 'skull shape' on their bodies