Dangerous Spider 'Thriving'

24 February 2012, 06:54 | Updated: 24 February 2012, 11:18

Heart's been told there have been several more sightings of a dangerous spider that can cause chest pains, nausea and vomiting if you're bitten by one.

False widows - which are closely related to the black widow spider - were found on a playhouse in a back garden in Bletchley, Milton Keynes in October 2011.  Heart's been told there have been ten further sightings of false widows in Milton Keynes since then.

False widows have also been causing problems in other areas.  A man was hospitalised in Southampton in February 2012 after he was bitten by a false widow ten times.

Experts say warmer winters are helping false widow spiders to thrive in the UK.  For many years they have only been found in south west England, but milder temperatures are now helping them move further north.

Karen Ford, Head of Trading Standards at Milton Keynes Council said: "Whilst extremely unlikely to be fatal, if you are bitten by one of these spiders you will certainly know about it and you should seek medical treatment as a precaution.

"Older people, children and pets are particularly vulnerable to such bites and extra care should be taken accordingly."