Tradespeople are being warned to be aware of Britain’s most venomous spider when they carry out their work over the coming weeks.
The false widow spider is being spotted in increasing numbers across the South West after a warm summer saw breeding numbers increase at an alarming rate.
The majority of sightings have been in outbuildings, sheds, houses and gardens, meaning tradespeople are at high risk of disturbing the spider – a cousin of the deadly black widow – during the course of their work.
A bite from a false widow is most likely to cause just localised swelling and pain, although it could trigger a potentially fatal extreme allergic reaction for some people.
Experts say the spider will only bite if it feels threatened, and that a bite can be treated in the same way as a wasp or bee sting. Click the link to read more about false widow spider sightings in the South West including how to spot them.