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3860 Views 6 Replies Last post: Oct 24, 2013 9:00 AM by katkins RSS
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Oct 22, 2013 6:18 PM

Not sure what kind of spider. False Widow?

We are spending our first Autumn our new home in Cornwall and have noticed that we have a lot of small spiders,many laying nests - mainly around our conservatory kitchen and around the doors and windows. The majority are outside but we have found a few indoors. We have a lot of friends with babies and small children that visit and often crawl around our kitchen floor. Just wanted to check if they are false widows or not? Thanks for any advice

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    Oct 22, 2013 7:16 PM (in response to katkins)
    Re: Not sure what kind of spider. False Widow?

    Hi Katkins,


    The 2 spiders shown are false widows (Steatoda nobilis). If you have any reservations at all, then relocate them outside. I'd check under appliances in the kitchen, just to be sure. They don't usually like being at ground level, but if the property has been empty for any time...this is a possibility.


    The spiders that are already outside are less likely to be an issue, as Winter comes they will withdraw into hiding places & hole-up until the Spring. Removing them from outside areas may be a massive task and one that you may have to repeat doing so, you may actually drive homeless spiders indoors, or risk bites.


    Female S. nobilis are typically home-bodies, they don't roam around much. They also tend to make webs away from the floor...they may however end up in porches/around doorways/in conservatories. They aren't aggressive & are really quite skittish, usually fleeing when threatened.


    Males (smaller abdomens) do wander more, but they are likely to be finished off over the Winter.


    Even if the worst were to happen & someone received a bite, this is not dangerous. Those with reduced immunity/allergies should be careful, signs of infection (the bigger risk and common to any bite/sting) should be treated quickly with antibiotics.


    I also wouldn't necessarily assume that all the spiders around your windows are false widows, Zygiella species are often mistaken for Steatodas, but they weave classic orb webs with 2 missing sectors and have brown heads with a thick dark stripe down it's length (Steatodas weave messy, irregular webs and tend to have more uniform colouring on the head). Zygiella also make little sacks of web that they often withdraw into. Zygiella are harmless and can live in close proximity with Steatodas & each other...Steatodas seem to like more space between adult females of the same species.


    Regards, Mark.

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      • Currently Being Moderated
        Oct 23, 2013 11:33 AM (in response to katkins)
        Re: Not sure what kind of spider. False Widow?

        Hi Katie,


        It does sound like you have rather a lot of them. It still maybe useful to have some pics of the smaller ones, just to be sure?


        Removing any that you can get to easily may be a good idea, but removing them completely will be difficult. Even if the eggs hatch, the spiderlings will likely disperse when still very small, so I think it unlikely that you will suddenly see a population boom of adults.


        Regards, Mark.

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