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494 Views 1 Reply Last post: Feb 24, 2014 9:50 PM by ChrisE RSS
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Feb 24, 2014 2:29 PM

Is this a false widow spider?

 

I believe I may have found a false widow spider in my house in South West London, possibly a steatoda nobilis.

 

Would you be able to help me confirm whether or not the spider I have found is of that species, or another?

 

And if it were a false widow spider, could you advise me on the risks to my family (I have two very young children -one and three years old respectively),and my wife has a true phobia of spiders.

 

Also, could you advise me on what I should do to mitigate any such risk?

 

072.JPGI attach a photo of the spider in question.

 

Kind regards
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 24, 2014 9:50 PM (in response to P)
    Re: Is this a false widow spider?

    Hello,

    Yes, you've got yourself a Steatoda nobilis there. Unhelpful coverage in parts of the media last year about these spiders wasn't inclined to let facts get in the way of a story. You can read a far less hysterical take on them here: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/insects-spiders/false-widow/index.html

    and here: http://www.buglife.org.uk/bugs-%26-habitats/spider-bites

    Yes, they can bite through human skin and by some accounts it can be painful but they don't go around looking for trouble. Males wander when looking for a mate, but females from what I've observed tend to just hang out near their established web for ages, keeping tucked away in a convenient refuge by day.

    Bites tend to occur when they feel physically threatened, eg. prodded, handled roughly or getting caught up inside clothing or bed sheets. They're quite happy to live outside - I've got several just ouside the back door and they keep themselves to themselves - so I suggest you just put this one in the garden if you're worried.

    Hope that helps.

    Chris

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