False Widow Spider Usa. The Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus mactans) is frequently confused with the False Widow Spider (Steatoda grossa).
The False Widow Spider is found across Europe. It’s around 1cm fully developed and has white abdominal markings.
The media often portrays them as harmful, although it is uncommon to be bitten by one. A spider bite is similar to a wasp sting in that they both produce the same symptoms and are seldom serious. A wasp, on the other hand, is more likely to sting you.
About False Widow Spider
Steatoda bipunctata (known as the rabbit hutch spider), Steatoda grossa (known as the cupboard spider), and Steatoda nobilis (known as the noble false widow) are three very similar species of false widow spiders that may be found in or around our homes.
Males of this species can reach up to 10mm in length, while females may reach up to 14mm in length. The noble false widow is the biggest of the three.
Noble false widows are thought to have come in banana boxes from the Canary Islands in the late 1800s, although they are not native to the UK.
Populations have grown north as a result of global warming, with populations developing along the south shore and subsequently spreading. Both of the other two species are native to the UK.
In early autumn, false widow spiders are frequently featured in spider bite news stories. False widow bites, on the other hand, are quite uncommon. Just the cupboard spider and noble false widow, the two biggest species of false widows, are likely to be able to bite through human skin.
Spiders are harmless to humans, and unless roughly handled, they seldom bite; the majority of documented bites have occurred as a result of people inadvertently touching a spider.
The bite of a noble false widow has been likened to a wasp sting in the exceedingly uncommon confirmed instances when one has bitten someone. In even rarer circumstances, a person may be sick for a brief time as a result of the bite.
Does the noble false widow spider bite?
The UK’s most venomous spider is most likely the noble false widow spider. These spiders have a painful bite that can be dangerous. They are, however, generally non-aggressive to humans and bitten only happens rarely. Bites are usually the consequence of being crushed accidentally, for example.
Is the bite of a noble false widow spider dangerous?
A bee or wasp sting is usually the worst symptom of a bite. More severe symptoms, such as throbbing pain, swelling in the affected region, and tingling in the fingers, have been reported by a small percentage of persons bitten.
Fever and a sense of being sick have been described by some. These symptoms might last a few days, although they are rarely permanent.
Medical consultation should be sought if you have been bitten and the symptoms of the bite cause worry.
Females of spiders may reach up to 1 cm in size, compared to males. Females have a larger, glossy brown-black abdomen. Males are smaller and have a variety of cream abdominal markings.
Webs: Webs are focused in corners and have the appearance of being a disheveled, knotted web. It’s non-sticky but extremely robust. They sometimes use a web-constructed tube for coverage, which they make themselves. House spiders have a lot in common with them.
How dangerous are false widow spiders?
False widow spiders have been reported as uninvited eight-legged houseguests in homes around the UK every autumn since 2009.
Despite their resemblance to the more hazardous black widows, these spiders are likely to inflict just a little, albeit somewhat dangerous, bite.
False widow spiders can be found indoors all year, even when the weather gets chilly. It may seem like they’re running for your residence as soon as it becomes chilly.
The arachnid migration could be due to the cold, but some of them may have been there for years, unnoticed in the darkened corners of the home.
Should you fear a false widow?
The UK is home to around 650 different spider species. Just around 12 of these species have been documented as biting humans.
As a result, the chances are that any spider you see is just a ordinary, common British spider.
False widows are not the deadly spiders that many people fear.
False widows have a venomous bite, but the venom is hardly harmful. Pain at the bite site, which may spread beyond the bite, is usually the only symptom. It normally takes one to twelve hours, with a maximum of twenty-four hours.
The symptoms are frequently milder than the sting of a wasp. Bites are more common in men than in women. However, this is only because they go outside to find a female, frequently venturing indoors. They’re solely known to bite when they’re pushed or trapped against someone’s flesh.
False widow bites have been documented with more serious symptoms, such as rotting flesh and severe pain, on rare occasions. However, formal spider identification is seldom used to support these.
If the wound is not kept clean, the severe side effects are most likely caused by a secondary infection, most likely bacterial.
These spiders have a bad reputation because of the hysteria that surrounds them, and they are often fought. These spiders, on the other hand, only bite when they feel threatened.
I have, not unexpectedly, met several individuals who are terrified of spiders during my tenure at the Natural History Museum,’ according to Jan Beccaloni, Curator of Arachnida and Myriapoda. Spiders are wonderful creatures that are severely misunderstood, which is a huge pity.
Their silk is being developed to make specialized attire like bullet-proof vests and their venom may be utilized in pain management, in addition to their critical function as food for bug species.
So the next time you come across a spider that you don’t want in your home, please don’t kill it! ‘Leave it alone or humanely put it out in your shed,’ he advises.
False widows are even tidy houseguests who help to keep the home free of flying insects and other bothersome invertebrates, and they may live in relative peace with us.
Reducing widow spider populations is critical by minimizing places around the home where spiders may hide, such as clutter, woodpiles, and deep ground cover. Eliminating these spiders entirely, on the other hand, is impractical. Re-infestation of treated regions is likely for both widow species.
Eliminating spiders and their webs by regularly vacuuming or sweeping windows, room corners, storage spaces, and other seldom-used places is important. Because their soft bodies don’t usually survive the process of being vacuumed, vacuuming spiders can be an effective control technique.
Keep gardening clothes and mittens in zipper-locks or twist ties in the garage, along with other things. In order to exclude spiders, store seasonal items like sports equipment, camping equipment, winter clothes, and holiday decorations in boxes that can be taped shut.
Wear gloves when cleaning up in garages and other storage spaces to avoid unintentional nips.
Children’s toys or playhouses made of molded plastic with open areas facing downward where spiders can crawl in are other areas to examine carefully. Picnic tables, trash bin grips, lawn chairs, plant pots with curled lips, and other outdoor items with protected lips or niches are also additional preferred habitats for widow spiders.
Spiders can be carried into the house on plants, firewood, and other packaging materials. Never touch wood unless you’re wearing gloves. Stack woodpiles away from your property, and never gather up pieces.
By clearing areas around building foundations of trash, leaf litter, and mounds of other materials, you can eliminate places for spiders to hide and construct webs.
Insects are drawn to outdoor lighting, which attracts spiders. Lighting fixtures should be pointed away from buildings and away from windows and entrances whenever feasible. Spiders and webs are frequently swept, mopped, hosed, or vacuumed off of buildings. Long-term insecticide control is not possible.
A nonchemical approach of extermination is to locate widow spiders at night with a flashlight and annihilate them with a shoe or rolled up newspaper since they are nocturnal.
You may remove individual spiders from indoor locations by placing a container over them and slipping a piece of paper underneath to seal off the entrance when you lift the container. If you are concerned about wildlife and feel comfortable doing so, this is an option for you.
Place the spider in a natural environment about 100 feet from your residence. Natural areas are unsuitable for brown widows, yet they are an invasive, non-native pest species that should not be present in any case.
Widow spiders, like many spiders, have a behavior known as ballooning, which makes controlling them difficult.
The spiderlings climb to the top of a fence post or piece of vegetation and raise their abdomens into the air, releasing a small filament of silk, when they are very tiny on warm days with an updraft.
The spiderling is transported into the air to another site when the updraft currents surpass gravity forces. It might be just a few feet away or it could be miles.
At 10,000 feet and 200 miles offshore, ballooning spiderlings have been captured from the ground. Eliminating spiderlings will be a chore that will need to be accomplished every time they fall down on your land.
Should I be worried about being bitten by a false widow?
You may be skeptical that the United Kingdom is Being affected by a spider crisis. People are being “terrorised” and even hospitalized as “spider numbers rise” and “dangerous bite warnings” are issued in the media.
The noble false widow spider Steatoda nobilis is the species behind these headlines, which have been developing for several years.
The species comes from the Canary Islands and Madeira, and is a relative newcomer to the UK. It was first discovered near Torquay in 1879, and it expanded across southern England, becoming moderately common in the 1980s. It became considerably more common in metropolitan regions throughout the 1990s.
Over time, it has also expanded its range northward. The species has been present in various regions of the country for some time, despite the lurid headlines.
There are several questions we need to answer in order to get to the truth behind the headlines. First, are noble false widows capable of biting? The noble false widow’s fangs are one of the few UK spiders with teeth that are capable of breaking through our skin.
They, like most spiders, are not hostile; rather, they are timid. When spiders are trapped in clothing or a person rolls over while sleeping, biting seems to occur.
It’s nice to keep in mind that these creatures aren’t out to harm us, but it’s useful for anyone who has been bitten.
Are bites becoming more common is the second issue we have to address. This seems to be a trend, given that spiders are becoming more common and may be discovered in areas where people dwell.
Evidence that isn’t related to the headlines also backs up this claim. In Ireland, the beautiful false widow has been growing in popularity, and their bites were studied at the National University of Ireland in Galway.
Approximately 10 species of Irish spiders have fangs large enough to bite through human skin, yet we have never heard of anybody being bitten by any of the native species over the past five years, reported Aiste Vitkauskaite, an Msc student in Toxicology and joint lead in the study.
Dozens of verified or suspected false widow bites have been documented throughout the same time period.
These spiders will become increasingly common, and their bites will too, Vitkauskaite concluded.
Are the bites medically significant, which is the last and perhaps most important question to answer? It’s difficult to answer this. It’s difficult to determine if a spider has bitten someone, and if so, which kind of spider is responsible.
By using DNA extraction and genetic profiling, the Ireland research avoided species identification mistakes (and noble false widow spiders are frequently mistaken with related species).
In 16 cases, this allowed them to prove ‘envenomation,’ which is when spider venom is injected as a result of bites. Debilitating pain, tremors, tiredness, nausea, and low blood pressure were among the symptoms. Bacterial infections, such as cellulitis and dermatitis, may also be caused by bites.
Bites may cause worse symptoms in some people, and the research discovered that hospitalization was required in certain circumstances, even if many bites cause only mild symptoms. The research suggests that noble false widows may pose a public health risk.
We must keep things in perspective, despite the fact that this new research shows that noble false widow bites may cause complications in some cases. In the UK, spider venom has never killed anybody, while wasp and bee stings kill around five people each year while dog attacks kill many more.
Remember that many of us have lived with, and will continue to live with, noble false widow spiders around our homes without experiencing any negative consequences.