The scorching weather is leading to a surge in Britain’s only poisonous spiders, experts have warned.
False widows are romping in their millions as hibernation ends and the thermometer shoots up.
The scary eight-legged creatures, related to the deadly black widow, are breeding in larger numbers – and there have been attacks.
Pest control expert Clive Boase said: “The population of false widows in the UK is growing all the time.
“People don’t realise just how common they have become. They can survive both indoors and outdoors.
“They are generally shy creatures and won’t come out into the open – but they could crawl into curtains or perhaps clothing left on the floor.”
Joe Hildebrandt, from Conwy in North Wales, revealed his hand swelled up like a balloon after being bitten in his garden.
He said: “Spiders don’t scare me but this one did.
“When I saw it on the floor, it spooked me a bit as it had been on my arm – and I know they will only bite when provoked.”
The British Arachnological Society says the bite of a false widow is similar to a wasp sting.
Experts say symptoms from attacks can include pain, swelling, nausea, tremors and altered blood pressure.
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Michel Dugon, an expert from the National University of Ireland in Galway, said: “In addition to their medically significant venom, noble false widows are extremely competitive.
Two decades ago, this species was almost unknown in Ireland, the UK or in continental Europe.
“One thing is certain, though – this species is here to stay, and we must learn how to live with it.”
Pest controller Rob Simpson urged people to keep homes tidy and hoover regularly to keep the critters at bay.
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