The media have been making up deadly stories – but what is the TRUTH about false widow spiders?
Some of the more dramatic newspapers have been full of terrifying stories about an ‘invasion’ of poisonous false widow spiders in the UK. But how scary are they, and should you be worried? Find out about these biting beasties…
Six species of false widow have been seen in Britain. The name comes from their similarity to the Black Widow, which can be deadly but is not found in the UK.
The false widow in the news is the ‘Steatoda nobilis’ or the noble false widow. It is spreading all over the UK but was first discovered in Torquay in 1879. It has since become quite common in the south and south-east due to Britain’s warming climate.
Although some media reports suggest the bites of the false widow can be awful, experts say that usually the bites are no worse than the sting of a wasp. The noble false widow is not aggressive towards humans, and recent news stories have been criticised by experts. Some spiders have been wrongly thought of as false widows!
In the whole of 2012, do you know how many people died from bites or stings from any venomous plant or animal? Just one! And that was from a bee…
Did you know?
In the UK, there are over 650 species of spiders, and many can bite, but no-one has EVER died of a spider bite inn the UK!!!
So are these creatures really deadly? The chances of being bitten are tiny, and the chances of dying? Well, that is zero!
Just media exaggeration! AGAIN!