rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


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.



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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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