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We discovered an infestation of false widows spiders at our new home
A YOUNG couple got a shock when they moved into their new home and discovered an infestation of false widow spiders.
When they first moved in to their Southbourne house two weeks ago John Stack and Hannah Green only noticed a few unidentified spiders clustered around the bottom of the garden.
But later it became clear that there were large numbers of the arachnids in the shed and garage, and the guttering around the back of the house, and they recognised the distinctive markings of the notorious false widow, which has hit the headlines recently after multiple reports of bites.
“It turned out they were pretty much everywhere, although not actually inside the house so far thankfully,” said Mr Stack, a 24-year-old tiler.
“We caught one in a glass and looked it up, and recognised it by its red legs and the skull mark on its back.
“I was a bit worried at first as you read all these stories in the papers and online about people being bitten, I read there was a Poole lady who nearly had her arm amputated after being bitten.
“But it seems they aren’t as bad as I thought, and no one has been bitten here yet.”
Mr Stack said his 21-year-old girlfriend had been struggling to sleep thinking about the spiders, and his friend Ricky Platt was scared to bring his 21-month-old daughter around in case she gets bitten.
Mr Platt said: “I’m 6’4’’ and 15 stone and I hate spiders, and these are horrible looking things.
“Johnny is my daughter’s godfather but I don’t think I will be bringing her round for a while, I don’t want to risk her being bitten as she is so young.”
The couple have sprayed the garden and now have large numbers of dead spiders, but will have to keep applying the spray which doesn’t affect the eggs.
Two species of the so-called false widow spiders, Steatoda nobilis and Steatoda grossa, are believed to have been introduced to south-west England in the nineteenth century, but recent years have seen them spread.
Both can inflict a painful bite but it is rarely harmful, at worst causing local blistering and a mild fever. They have distinctive tangled webs like the deadly true widow spiders.
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