Spiders are harmless in the UK, right?  Having mostly conquered my spider phobia I am now quaking in fear at the thought of meeting this stinging variety…

If you are allergic to insect, wasp or spider stings and venom then you might be interested in news reported in the Independent this week.

Bites reported across London and South East as Britain sees influx of Britain’s most poisonous spider

I don’t want to scare anyone but I will be looking out for these creeping into my house to hibernate.  I can handle the large black house spider – well not quite handle like in my hand but I don’t have to leap screaming onto a chair if I see one.

Experts are calling it the British Black Widow spider or the ‘false widow spider’.  This new stinging spider, which can be deadly, is about the size of a 50 pence piece and can inject venom which can kill those who are allergic to it. However, it will only attack if provoked.

Click on the link above to read more but Tony Wileman, a conservation ecologist at the London Wildlife Trust, said: “The severity of symptoms of false widow spider bites depends on how much venom has been injected and reports from false widow spider bites have included symptoms like chest pains and a swelling and tingling of the bite area.

“It is recommended that if bitten by a spider thought to be a false widow spider then medical attention (a visit to the A&E department or your local GP) should be sought informing the medical staff that you think you have been bitten by a false widow spider. Do not ring 999.

Nearly all spider bites come from attempting to catch the spider so it is highly recommended that this is not undertaken. However, If you must remove the spider from your home, please capture it using a jar and a stick or pencil and try not to touch the spider with your hands.”

Has anyone ever seen one of these or been bitten by one? They have a kind of bulbous grey and white abdomen.  The article above has a picture of one.  Watch out! Spiders about!  Just remember, don’t touch one or try to pick it up and you should be OK. No danger of that in this house.  A glass and cardboard could be required.


4 Responses to Anaphylaxis to spider bite – allergic reactions in the UK

  1. Whilst I’m largely against killing any insect, I wonder if in this instance it is an option?

    • It does seem that these invading insects are more agressive. If I lived with someone who had a venom allergy I might be inclined to dispose of them, but you’d have to be very careful not get stung doing so. I wonder what the advice would be from an expert?

  2. miss l w

    I believe I might have false widow spiders living in a large crack in my porch. I have a 1 yr old child who has eczeme and I am worried about him being biten and getting an allergic reaction. He doesnt have much sense of his surroundings and I am scared he may upset them easily. any advise

    • Hi Miss W, I haven’t seen any yet but if you have got them you could always call the local council and ask them what you should do. I’m not sure how the easiest way would be to kill them, especially with a young child around, meaning any poison would be doubly dangerous. I’d steer well clear and get some proper advice. Luckily here I’ve only seem big house spiders and those dopy ones that all legs and lollop around making huge webs. Annoying but not dangerous thankfully. Good luck. Have you made any progress yet in sorting this out?

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