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Woman finds 'False Widow' spider in Cornish home

Woman finds 'False Widow' spider in Cornish home

Published by Helen Down at 8:00am 23rd February 2019. (Updated at 9:54pm 23rd February 2019)

There has been another suspected sighting of a False Widow spider in Cornwall, this time near Falmouth.

Michelle Harding got in touch with Pirate FM, after spotting the creature in her porch at Constantine.

She managed to move it to a hedge in the garden and did not seem too fazed by the discovery.

Scared of spiders? Scroll down to read the four things you can do to drive them away.

False widow spider spotted in Truro.
Cornish woman, Michelle Harding, spotted what she believes to be a False Widow spider in her doorway in Truro

"It was fine, I just moved it to a hedge in the garden.

"I've never been bitten by a spider by handling them, I only ever got bitten whilst hoovering one day on my belly.

"There was a little one in my clothes - it was only a bit of irritation but I survived!"

Michelle Harding

Similar sightings have been reported in west Cornwall in recent years, including Penzance last year.

Hannah said she was 'shocked' after spotting this false widow living in a hole above her front door.


"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".

Hannah, Penzance

Two years ago a mum from Redruth went to hospital after being bitten: Read more

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

spider bite

"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".

Louise, Redruth

Should I be worried about False Widows?

According to experts, no.

False Widows can be identified by the distinctive pale markings on their bodies.

Pirate FM spoke to Newquay Zoo's John Meek at the time Louise was bitten, who urged people not to panic.

"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".

John Meek, Newquay Zoo

How can I 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
  • Stop them getting inside. Spiders are likely to hide in things like leaves, grass clippings, vegetation, compost or woodpiles so keep these away from exterior walls.

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