8:50am Tuesday 15th October 2013
By Sarah Taylor
A MAN has been bitten by the UK’s most venomous spider while in bed at his Worcestershire home.
The young man, who does not wish to be named, had recently returned from Australia – the home of some of the world’s deadliest spiders – when he was bitten by what is thought to be a false widow spider at his home in Fairfield, Evesham.
He was rushed to the town’s community hospital as the spider’s venom travelled up his arm.
As wildlife experts have urged people to remove the spiders from their homes in a humane way, the hospital confirmed that the man was not the first person to be treated there for a possible false widow bite at the hospital.
Evesham Community Hospital said it had treated suspected cases of the spider bites, but could not confirm the exact number.
The man’s sister told your Worcester News: “My brother got bitten by one. He has been in Australia and hasn’t come across a single spider and then comes back and gets bitten.
“He had to go to hospital and had a shot. Apparently it was the third case at Evesham hospital that week.
“He is quite a big lad and it turned into an ulcer on his bicep. Then a red line went up his arm and into his arm pit. It was the venom going up.
“They [staff at the hospital] were the ones who said it was from a false widow.
“It is horrible, but what can you do? It is quite sketchy knowing that they can actually hurt you. You can lose limbs.
“It is more of a worry for young and old people.
“I don’t really fancy one in my bedroom.”
The false widow, or Steatoda nobilis, gets its name because of its general resemblance to the more notorious – and deadly – black widow spider.
The poisonous spiders have made a home along the south coast of England, particularly on the Dorset and Hampshire, coast after arriving from their native Canary Islands in crates of bananas.
But as the weather has begun getting warmer, the spider has spread further up the country.
A woman living in Pershore, who also did not wish to be named, said she believed there had been a false widow outside her window.
“I am conviced I have got them on my window,” she said.
“I said we need to get rid of those and my husband has swept them away. They had the marks on their back.”
The woman is not the first to claim to have seen a false widow.
People took to Evesham Spotted Facebook page and posted comments about seeing them in Evesham and some of the surrounding villages.
Wendy Carter, from the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “All spiders can bite and most inject venom into their prey.
“Obviously some people can have bad reactions to a bite.
“If any readers do come across one, we would advise them to remove the spiders humanely, using a glass and a piece of card is easy enough, and put them outside.”
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