We're caring for Shropshire's living landscape;here are our stories
The False Widow spider Steatoda nobilis has been getting some very bad press recently. Despite press articles declaring an invasion of deadly spiders across the UK, these small (14mm body length) arachnids are unlikely to bite humans unless disturbed on their webs. Even then, a bite is not inevitable due to this species’ sedentary character. Bees and wasps are much more of a danger to humans and if bitten by a false widow, it is always an allergy that causes the sort of reaction seen in the widely reported case in Essex last week.
At present, false widows are not recorded as present in Shropshire but the species is spreading north and could well reach us in the coming years. If you think you have found a false widow in the county, please send us your photos! More information can be found by visiting the British Arachnological Society at http://wiki.britishspiders.org.uk/index.php5?title=False_Widow_Spiders