SPIDERS tend to strike fear into most of us, but one sits above the rest.
Dubbed one of Britain's most dangerous critters, the false widow spider comes with a venomous bite capable of causing a severe allergic reaction in some people. Here we explain how to safely get rid if it.
What is a false widow spider?
Although the arachnid's venom usually has a mild effect on humans, some people have come down with horror injuries after reacting badly to being nipped.
They have been known to infest sheds and houses, leading to fears homeowners may unwittingly be living with them.
The false widow is actually called the steatoda nobilis, but it is commonly referred to as the false widow due to its resemblance to the black widow.
The species is native to the Canary Islands and Madeira, but it gradually spread throughout Europe.
How do I get rid of false widow spiders?
The British Pest Control Association recommend vacuuming clean the affected area as this will remove the webs and spiders from your house.
But, if this isn't possible, control may be accomplished by the removal of spider's prey.
This may involve the use of insecticidal sprays such as Effect Microtech CS and K-Othrine WG250.
Further details can be found here.
What do false widows webs look like?
Clive Boase, boss of Suffolk Pest Management Consultancy previously told Daily Star Online that Brits should look out for "untidy" false widow webs, which are far messier than garden spiders'.
The spider guru, who is also a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London, said the trick is to "brush away cobwebs from outside of your building".
How do I prevent an infestation?
You need to look out for the places where false widows tend to build their webs: cracks in walls, inside drainpipes and on any triangular frames inside the house.
As far as your garden is concerned, the critters are most likely to set up camp in sheds or on trellises, so keep an eye on these hotspots.
If you keep getting rid of their homes, the spiders are likely to abandon your house and set up camp somewhere else.
But since you're dealing with venomous critters, it's wise to use a broom when brushing away their webs.
Many spiders tend to spend the winter hibernating – so the summer can often bring a tide of hiding spiders with it.
False widows, named because of their resemblance to the deadly black widow spider, are no different, leading to fears of a summer infestation across the UK.
Are they dangerous?
Normally their bite is similar to a wasp or bee sting, and it’s not usually fatal.
The females are more likely to bite than the males, and you can expect to experience severe pain and a fever.
Despite being one of the deadliest spider species in the UK, no one has died from a bite.
But there has been a case where a woman almost lost her hand, and another man was left with a gaping hole after a bite.
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