A STANDISH woman got the shock of her life when she found a venomous spider in her dining room.
Lisa Thompson had just heard about the false widow spider and the horrendous injuries caused by its bite when she spotted the arachnid on her curtains.
The 39-year-old said: “I have to admit I was scared to death when I found it. I’m terrified of spiders as it is! I immediately thought that it could be a false widow so I put it in a box and kept it for a few days. I had to finally get rid of it, though.”
But an expert says Lisa need not have worried. Despite sightings of the Steatoda nobilis – or false widow spider – in the borough when it is usually only found in southern England, pest controller Elliot Lowe is urging people not to be alarmed.
As winter draws, examples of the species are now being found in local buildings, but they pose no more of a threat than a wasp.
Mr Lowe, of Swinley-based Cavalry Pest Solutions, said: “A number of spiders are capable of biting humans but the likelihood of being bitten by any species is very small. I must stress that there are no recorded human fatalities from false widow bites in this country. Yet just as with wasp and bee stings, some people may have an allergic reaction.
“We have seen a large increase in the number of calls from the public seeking advice about false widows and would like to reassure people that they pose no threat.
“But as with any creature, we would suggest that people don’t try to provoke a false widow if they encounter one.
“The effect of a bite is unlikely to be worse than being stung by a wasp or bee. A more serious problem is only likely to arise in the event of an allergic reaction or if the person has other health issues.
“If severe swelling or ulceration results from a suspected spider bite it is recommended that you see your doctor immediately or visit A&E.”