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WATCH: False widow spider spotted in Penzance

WATCH: False widow spider spotted in Penzance

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 4:08pm 11th May 2018.

A woman from Penzance says she was 'shocked' after spotting a false widow spider living in a hole above her front door.

Hannah was just locking up when she saw the creature with distinctive pale markings on its body.

She told Pirate FM: "I'm not scared of spiders but I knew exactly what it was as soon as I saw it.

"It made me feel a bit uneasy and unfortunately I haven't spotted it since!

"I've definitely thought twice about leaving a window open at night."


It comes a year after a mum from Redruth went to hospital after being bitten by one.

Louise said the bite on her back has come up in a 'burning' red lump and made her feel feverish in the night.

She says medics told her they have seen a few cases recently, describing it as 'spider season'.

She told Pirate FM: "It's painful, bright red, raised, lumpy, tender and feels like its burning. You can see the red area - it's raised and around three inches round.

"I don't know for sure where or when I was bitten, but I think it might have been at night in my bed.

"I was slightly feverish in the night but I don't feel unwell. It's sore now thought and making my back ache. It's a burning feeling, raised like a lump and sore to touch".

spider bite

Don't worry though - experts say the false widow isn't actually anything to worry about.

John Meek from Newquay Zoo is urging people not to panic if they find one of the spiders with distinctive pale markings on its body.

He said: "People panic over spiders anyway - it's one of the biggest phobias out there. But these things are no more dangerous than any other spider.

"All spiders are to one degree or another poisonous but the likelihood of being bitten by one of these things is so slim it's untrue. So I wouldn't worry about it.

"They can be a little bit sore. They've been known to cause small rashes. I've been bitten myself and it was a bit sore on my arm and it swelled up a bit. But it wasn't anything serious.

"You'll get bitten an awful lot worse by a Jack Russell than you will a spider".

So what is a false widow spider?



John added: "You can have a bad reaction from any spider bite or wasp sting or anything else, but generally speaking for the public's point of view, I've been bitten twice, and it is a very small bite, they are not particularly toxic.

"Potentially if you have a bad reaction to it, it can be unpleasant, but generally it is not a big deal at all, it is a very common spider, and these things are not going to come and bite you.

"It is a tiny little spider, smaller than your thumb nail, and it's not going attack somebody who is six-foot-tall and likely to squash it, it is going to avoid it at all costs."


Here's how to drive away spiders:

  • Keep your home clean and tidy and vacuum regularly. This will stop other pests feeding on crumbs and leftovers which could attract spiders - and give them fewer places to hide
  • Turn off the lights. Although spiders aren't attracted - their prey is. So switch off outdoor lights and make sure you draw the curtains at night
  • Try the odour trick. It's claimed spiders don't like the smell of citrus fruits, tobacco, peppermint or eucaplyptus oil - although people report mixed results
  • false widow spider

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