Brits braced for more false widow spiders in heatwave, expert claims

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An expert has warned Brits of a rise in false widow spiders this summer as the weather improves – with the arachnids set to get “a better feed”.

The spiders, native to the UK, leave puncture marks on the skin – and some can suffer severe allergic reactions.

Dr Christopher Terrell-Nield, an entomologist at Nottingham Trent University, believes an impending heatwave could see more of them.

He told The Sun: “The warmer it is, the more insects you tend to get, their life cycles are shorter, they become more active.

“And the same, of course, happens with the spiders.

"Everything gets speeded up. Instead of the offspring taking, say, four months to emerge from an egg sac, they might only take two months because of increasing temperature."

Earlier this month, a woman ended up in hospital after a false widow bite saw her entire arm swell up.

Tracey Hamilton, 50, from Bishopbriggs in Scotland, initially assumed she had just been bitten by a midge.

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However, her hand and upper arm became totally numb, and she was left with blisters on her knuckle.

She was sent to the Royal Infirmary of Glasgow and given a week’s worth of antibiotics, the Daily Record reported.

Dr Terrell-Nield added: “If it’s a hot day and you’ve got all the windows open and more insects are coming into the house, any resident spiders will have a better feed."

However, he reminded Brits that “false widows haven’t killed anyone in this country”.

In January, another man was left a flesh-eating wound – and claims a false widow was to blame.

Carl Jones, from Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, went to an Urgent Care centre in January, soon after noticing the weird blister on his bicep.

Doctors dressed the wound but couldn’t work out what had caused it.

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The 26-year-old lab technician’s wound became infected and eventually started to eat at the surrounding flesh – leaving a nauseating £2 coin-sized wound filled with pus.

Five months on from the initial bite, Carl underwent a biopsy, which successfully removed the infected part of the wound.

A few weeks later, Carl believes he discovered the culprit for his injury when he came across a noble false widow spider in his bathroom.

  • Spiders
  • Heatwave
  • UK Weather

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