Tuesday, 19 May 2009

They most certainly are not all our friends....

from yahoo:

Deadly Widow Weaves Web Across Britain
2 hours 46 mins ago
© Sky News 2009
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A deadly spider related to the Black Widow is spreading across Britain because of
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Deadly Widow Weaves Web Across Britain Enlarge photo
The False Widow, a purple and black creature with a body the size of a 1p piece, is said to carry enough venom to kill a human.
Since arriving in Devon from the Canary Islands, the spider has established colonies in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall.
The spiders do not usually survive in colder parts of the UK, but a series of mild winters have led them to migrate to other areas.
Spider recorder David Haigh, of Cheltenham, has reported sightings of the species in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
One was in a shed in Tewkesbury and the other was spotted in Longney, he said.
The False Widow is one of 12 arachnid species known to bite humans in the UK.
In January, Lyn Mitchell became critically ill after she was bitten by one of the creatures while in bed at her home in Egremont, west Cumbria.
Ms Mitchell, 52, suffered a serious allergic reaction to the bite and was rushed to hospital.
"I jumped out of bed, pulled the duvet and sheets back and saw a spider running over the other side," she said at the time.
"It was only tiny, black and shiny, and it ran so quickly.
"When I looked down I noticed two little pin marks on my chest."
The False Widow first started to arrive in banana shipments from the Spanish islands about 140 years ago.
Its bite is not deadly but can cause swelling and severe pain.

And in Hastings! These are one of the spiders that have created colonies in the Caves...what if they get out? And run up the hill and climb through the window. What then? Bet a bit of hairspray won't stop them in their tracks (my teenage way of saving myself from spiders).

And there are 12 species that bite in this country...I knew it all along, you doubters.


Why Me? said...

And there I was going to go to the open day there. think i might have changed my mind.

tattyhousehastings said...

They live in a passageway off the Monks Corridor, amongst other places. Apparantly they stay away from visitor areas. Apparantly. But watch out for them creeping in to your bag and coming home with you...

Sandra Morris said...


I HATE spiders and now there's a colony of these buggers here in Hastings?!

Could things possibly get any worse.....

tattyhousehastings said...

Could it get worse, not sure? The slugs that lurk beneath the surface here currently really creeping me out too.
Course - it is nearly the weekend so that is good.

Anonymous said...

You may not believe this, but one was in our house! True! John and my dad were sitting at the computers, when John spied a funny looking spider on the wall infront of him. He commented to my dad that it looked like a widow. John got up to take a closer look, and the bloody thing jumped at him! Honest! John and my dad jumped back like lighting. I asked John not to kill it (we did not know at the time these were deadly, we just thought it was an aggresive spider), so John carefully caught it in a jar, and put it outside, thank God it has not been back! I swear this is true, how scary!

tattyhousehastings said...

I do believe you - and do hope it is not hiding outside ready to jump at you any moment (how horrid - I've said for years that spiders go for people, but everyone says they are scared and run away..)
Hopefully it has moved away to set up its own colony miles away from civilisation...or has been stung by a wasp or trodden on by a cow or something natural and Buddhist for a death.

Nora Johnson said...

"The False Widow first started to arrive in banana shipments from the Spanish islands about 140 years ago."

Wouldn't be at all surprised if our very own lethal Processional Caterpillars didn't also arrive here on the mainland in one of those shipments from the islands...


tattyhousehastings said...

Oh God no, it can get worse! Not those horrible hairy things that go round in circles. Would hate them in the garden, and would possibly never go in the garden, or indeed outside without full wellington coverage.