Schoolgirl hospitalised after false widow spider bite

The bite on Louise Cross's leg and (below) Louise and her mum
The bite on Louise Cross's leg and (below) Louise and her mum

A WIGAN schoolgirl needed hospital treatment after she was bitten by a venomous spider.

Louise Cross from Standish is the latest in a growing list of victims of the Steatoda nobilis – or false widow.

Louise Cross with her mum Christine

Louise Cross with her mum Christine

The 10-year-old was in increasing pain for five days before family decided she needed to go to Wigan Infirmary.

Mum, Christine, 41, said: “It’s so scary to think that these things can come into your home where you think you’re safe.

“I thought the worse when it happened to Louise, I mean you never know with a bite what could happen. I’m so wary now and I have to keep watching around to see if there is anything about and if Louise is okay.”

The St Wilfrid’s CE Primary pupil grew increasingly worried as the bite became more painful and inflamed as the infection spread.

Christine said: “Each day it just got worse and it had become so angry-looking. Her school even called me one day to tell me that the bite had begun oozing. I knew I had to take her straight to hospital.”

Doctors prepared Louise for an operation to remove the infected area an gave her antibiotics through a drip.

But when she responded well to the drugs it was decided that surgery was no longer necessary and she was allowed home two days later.

This comes as another Standish resident also spotted a similar arachnid on her curtains.

But expert Elliot Lowe says there is no need for serious concern because the false widow, although it seems to have moved further north from its usual South of England territory, usually poses no more risk to health than a wasp.

Mr Lowe, of Cavalry Pest Solutions, said: “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.”