In the United Kingdom, this was yet another summer where we had numerous reports about the false widow spider’s appearance in the tabloid newspapers. Some of those reports went so far as to claim that the false widow spider poses a significant threat due to its venomous bite.
On the other hand, there is no reason to panic. We can safely assume that most of those tabloid reports are over-exaggerated. As of to date, no fatalities as a result of the spider’s bite have been reported. So, how dangerous is the false widow spider really?
Most experts will agree that the bite of the false widow spider is not more dangerous as compared to the sting of a bee or wasp. In those few cases where people in the United Kingdom had been bitten, symptoms such as pain, redness or swelling had been reported. In some cases, people consulted a doctor due to infections as a result of the bite and had subsequently been treated with antibiotics.
If you come across a sensationalist article in the paper about the alleged dangerous false widow spider byte you should be cautious. Chances are that people who experienced more severe symptoms as a result from the byte already had some kind of pre-existing health condition. This is not any different as that some people may be allergic or overly sensitive to bee stings. If you are still concerned about the false widow spider, today you can obtain various means to deter the spider from your home and garden.
If you want to learn more about the false widow spider, where it came from and how it spreads into the United Kingdom I can recommend the NHM article at http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/insects-spiders/false-widow. There you can find all you need to know including information on false widow spider sightings in the UK.