An invasion of false widow spiders is poised to set siege to the British Isles and may be spinning their way through the U.S. sooner than we think!
Itv.comreported that after a decidedly warm summer in the UK with no heavy rainfall nor droughts to kill off the spider's prey, there's lot of insects abounding for them to eat. And with more chow, that means a heavy reproductive cycle and more false widow spiders on the prowl!
While the scary looking arachnid, Steatoda nobilis, looks like a black widow whose bite is deadly, it lacks the distinctive red hour-glass markings of its fierce namesake - hence false widow.
According to the British Natural History Museum, the false widow spider is not a native of the UK, emigrating from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa a century ago.
Clive Boase of the Pest Management Consultancy said the warmer climate has fostered an increase in arachnid population. "They like to live beneath kitchen appliances and cupboards. They could crawl into curtains or perhaps clothing left on the floor." He added that they have now been spotted as far north as Scotland.
Brits can keep the false widow invasion at bay by tidying up and sealing cracks in doors and windows, a local pest controller said.
While the flalse widow does bite, it is said to be "a shy creature" and won't do so unless provoked or frightened.
Despite the BBC referring to the false widow as "Britain's most venomous spider" they reported that symptoms of its bite "range from feelings of numbness, severe swelling and discomfort, to various levels of burning or chest pains."
The seriousness of the bite is dependent on the amount of venom injected into the bloodstream. It's reputedly no worse than a wasp or bee sting.
Wildlife Trust expert Mark Champion told the British news agency that the near-widow's bite may produce swelling "the size of a tennis ball" but there's no cause for alarm.
According to entomologists at Penn State University, the false widow is also found in the coastal states of the U.S. and parts of the South West. But with climate change heating things up, the false widow spider may soon be web-spinning elsewhere.
There have been no reported deaths from the bite of a false widow spider – and its bite has been compared to a wasp sting.