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Noble False Widow Spider

Find out more about the False Widow Spider and how to deal with one if you see it.

Black Widow Spider

Body size: ranges from 7mm-14mm.

Size: body size ranges from 7mm-14mm. With legs outstretched 21-30mm. (7/8" - 1 "). Males are smaller than females.

Colour: Legs are a reddy-orange, body is brown with cream markings that can look like a skull.

Where are they found?

Spiders like dark cool spaces, so chances are they'll be in sheds, garages, trees and the like. It is a species of spider that was accidentally imported into the UK back in the 1800's.

What is their behaviour like?

Not aggressive - a sedentary spider that waits for its prey, sensing vibrations on its web.

Are they poisonous?


Do they bite?

Yes, as do all spiders in the UK, but only a handful of spider species have a bite strong enough to break the skin of a person.

The false widow bite is venomous, like most spiders in the UK. The bite can be painful and can be likened to a bee or wasp sting.

There have been instances of people being bitten by these spiders, and some unfortunately have had an allergic reaction to the bite. These cases are rare and it should be noted that there has never been a reported instance of a death by a spider bite.

Any spider/insect bite has the potential to become infected and that may lead to secondary tissue necrosis.

What to do if you have been bitten?

If you are bitten and the bite becomes severely swollen or ulcerous, seek medical help from your GP or A&E department. Ice packs can alleviate the pain and in the majority of cases the pain does not last. Antihistamines can also help to reduce the swelling.

What should I do if I see one?

If you see one, leave it alone. If it is in a place where access is required, treat as any other unwanted spider or insect and collect in a jar and put it outside.

Hillingdon Council do not operate a treatment service for spiders.


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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 09 Apr 2018 at 09:02