Wednesday, October 9, 2013
False Widow captured in couple’s sink - but Britian’s most venomous arachnid turned out to be a real “scaredy cat”
A spider with a poisonous bite has been captured in a house at Seaton.
The false widow is Britain’s most venomous arachnid and has been spreading fast across the south of England recently.
Fortunately engineer David Dickinson, of Eyewell Green, had seen pictures of them so was able to identify the eight-legged intruder he found under the washing up bowl in his sink.
But he said it hardly lived up to its fearsome reputation – and appeared more frightened of him than he was of it.
“It is nowhere near as dangerous as a black widow,” he said.
“It will only attack if threatened and there have only been some ten cases of someone being bitten this year. On rare occasions people go for hospital treatment but for the majority it is just like a wasp sting.”
Mr Dickinson captured the spider in a glass and released it at the bottom of his garden.
He said the piece of paper he used to coax it into the tumbler showed no signs of bite marks – no poison.
“It only has small fangs,” he said. “It looked at one point as if it was going to go for the paper and had one spurt at it but then stayed cowering and trying to hide. It’s a complete scaredy cat.”
“You would be really unlucky to be bitten by one – you would have to aggravate it . It took a lot to provoke this one, they are really quite tame.”
“It was a weird looking thing but coming face to face with it I feel more comfortable about them now – I didn’t think I would say that as they make my teeth itch a bit. The best thing to do is capture it in a glass and let it go.”
*False widows are not native to this country but have survived here since they arrived in Torquay on a banana boat from the Canary Islands in the 1870s. It is thought the warm weather is the reason they have been multiplying in the south recently.
No one has ever died of a spider bite in the UK.