What Is The Most Venomous Spider In The Uk?
Most venomous spider
- 1 Most venomous spider
- 2 UK’s most venomous spider is ‘eating people alive’
- 3 Here’s how to spot the UK’s biting spiders as they invade British homes this season
- 4 False Widow
- 5 Woodlouse spider
- 6 Cardinal spider
- 7 Lace web spider
- 8 Tube web spiders
- 9 Walnut Orb-Weaver Spider
- 10 Wasp Spider
- 11 Mouse spider
- 12 How to spot the 14 biting spiders that live in the UK – are they dangerous?
- 13 Britain’s most poisonous spider revealed
- 14 Arachnophobes look away! Here is a countdown of the 10 most poisonous spiders which have been found in the UK.
Defining the term «most venomous» as the most toxic to humans (as some venomous spider species show varying degrees of toxicity to different animal species envenomed by them), the world’s most venomous spider is the male Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus. Native to Sydney and its environs within the Australian state of New South Wales, where it can be found in moist habitats including under logs or foliage and frequenting gardens too, in this species just 0.2 mg/kg of the male’s venom is a lethal dose for primates (including humans). The female Sydney funnel-web is far less dangerous than the male, being four-to-six times less effective.
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UK’s most venomous spider is ‘eating people alive’
One father hasn’t been able to work for two months since false widow spiders tore a massive hole in his leg.
You may have heard the saying ‘Don’t let the bed bugs bite,’ but we’re sure Lewis Pearce would much rather have bed bugs merely causing itchiness for a few days rather than getting eaten alive by a false widow spiders during his sleep. The difference between a false widow and its more well-known cousin, the black widow? False widows have cream-coloured markings on its abdomen rather than red.
Lewis, 26, hasn’t been able to walk, work, or shower since the false widow spider bit him. It’s horrible to think about, but on the plus side, he was on the receiving end of the worst bite! His three-year-old son, Freddie, was also bit, but his bites weren’t as dangerous as the enormous ones spanning across Lewis’s upper leg. Imagine if his bites were as bad as his dad’s?It may have been fatal.
Unfortunately (and fortunately), the family also has a seven-month-old daughter and a five-year-old daughter. Nadine, Lewis’s wife, says, ‘It petrifies me. If my children were bitten like he had been, they wouldn’t have stood a chance.’
Nadine stays at home with their kids, so the fact that the bug bites have severely hurt Lewis has undoubtedly hurt their finances. Nadine brings up a good point: ‘When people are being eaten alive, how are we meant to pay rent?’
Lewis even asked the city council if they could get rid of the spiders, and they rudely responded by saying that it isn’t their duty to remove spiders. We hope Lewis and his family can find someone who can help them deal with these spiders!
Want to know more facts about false widow spiders? Tune into our video above to find out.
Here’s how to spot the UK’s biting spiders as they invade British homes this season
6 September 2019, 10:56 | Updated: 18 September 2019, 11:21
Here’s the most dangerous spiders in the UK. Picture: Getty Images/PA Images
By Naomi Bartram
How dangerous are Britain’s household spiders? Here’s everything you need to know.
Spider season is upon us, which means you might have spotted a few more creepy crawlies scuttling across the kitchen tiles.
Every September, the creatures usually start invading British homes while they seek out a dry place to mate.
But while there are thought to be more than 650 different species of the eight-legged insects in the UK, most are completely harmless to humans.
In fact, there are just a handful of common spiders in the UK which are capable of biting you, and although their bites are painful and can cause swelling, they are not serious.
Here’s a list of the spiders which can bite in the UK…
False Widows are the most poisonous spider in the UK and the venom of females can cause swelling, numbness, discomfort, burning, chest pain and nausea.
They usually grow up to about 10mm with their legspan reaching 25mm and have blotch markings on their backs.
Luckily, experts say false widow bites can’t produce an infection bad enough to cause death.
The woodlouse spider has a dark red body and a yellow stomach with a legspan of about 40mm.
Also known as the «sowbug killer», «woodlouse hunter» and «slater spider», these creatures feed on woodlice.
Despite their scary name, if one of these bite you it will just cause slight itchiness and a red mark.
These terrifying creepy crawlies are the largest spider species in the UK, with some growing up to 14cm.
They are mainly harmless but people are usually terrified of them because of their huge size and speed.
Cardinal spiders are technically venomous, but bites from them are rare and fairly painless.
Lace web spider
While this species usually like to live in the garden on wooden fences and in sheds, the heavy autumnal rainfall often forces them inside when their webs are ruined.
You’ll notice these spiders have brown bodies about 2cm in length and their abdomens are covered in yellow markings
These creepy crawlies are known to bite people and their bites can be painful with localised swelling lasting for around 12 hours.
Tube web spiders
This species creates a tube-like web to catch their prey, and is commonly found in cracks of buildings.
Known to be quite aggressive, they do bite, and the pain is said to be similar to resemble an injection lasting several hours, but they are not serious.
You’re most likely to find these spiders in areas such as Cornwall, Gloucester, Dover, Southampton and Bristol.
Walnut Orb-Weaver Spider
Walnut orb-weaver spiders can be found all over the world, including Europe, north Africa and south Asia.
They usually like to hide behind bark and in cracks in woodwork during the day and females can grow to around 15mm.
This species is actually one of the most venomous spiders in the UK, behind the false widow and the pain of one biting you has been described as “like an electric shock from finger to elbow».
While they’re not deadly, a bite from one of these can lead to a few hours of pain with swelling and a numb arm.
Though fairly new in the UK, the wasp spider is black, yellow and white with a stripe pattern that gives them their name.
Just like their namesake, these spiders can be aggressive and a bite from one could give you pain in your groin — but they’re not serious.
These critters get their name from the mouse-like hairs growing over their brown/grey bodies.
They can grow to 3cm and run very fast but are mostly nocturnal.
Mouse spiders live in burrows covered in soil but invade British homes during mating season.
Although they do have a noticeable bite, the spiders don’t pose any real threat to humans.
A bite from one of these can cause painful inflammation but this is thought to go down in a few days.
How to spot the 14 biting spiders that live in the UK – are they dangerous?
There are at least 14 spiders you should be aware of as spider mating season continues – and some of them are very venomous
- 18:01, 5 SEP 2019
This may not come as a surprise as the same happens every year, but you may be in denial.
It’s spider mating season , spider home invasion time – whatever you want to call it.
In other words – an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare.
Every autumn eight-legged creatures leave their webs in favour of the dry cosy conditions of Brit homes.
This is the perfect place for them to mate.
There are more than 650 different species of spiders in the UK, but only a handful of them can cause any harm to humans.
Here are the spiders you may spot around your house
1. False Widow
Are they dangerous? They are the most poisonous spider in the UK.
A bite can cause pain, swelling, numbness, discomfort, burning, chest pain and nausea.
There have been no reported cases of deaths in the UK, but severe allergic reactions can lead to hospitalisation.
How to spot them: They are about 10mm, dark brown and have a bulbous body.
2. The Tube Web Spider
Are they dangerous? They can be quite aggressive, and are more likely to bite than other species.
A bite can be painful, similar to a bee sting, but they aren’t deadly.
May cause discomfort for around 5-6 hours.
How to spot them: They produce a tube-shaped webb, and can grow to around 15 to 20mm.
The black spider is one of the biggest in Britain.
3. The Woodlouse Spider
Are they dangerous? You have to come in very close contact with one for them to want to bite you.
Bites are not dangerous but can cause itchiness.
How to spot them: The spider is colourful, has three pairs of eyes, a dark red body and yellow abdomen.
Males can grow to 15mm, but females can be twice that size.
4. The Cardinal Spider
Are they dangerous? Although technically venomous, its bites are rare and quite painless.
How to spot them: One of the largest spiders in the UK, it can measure up to 12cm.
5. The Money Spider
Are they dangerous? Their bites rarely penetrate human skin, but they rather feast on insects.
How to spot them: They are the smallest spider species in the UK, measuring less than 5mm.
They usually have grey or black bodies, and make a small web sheet which they position themselves under.
6. The Walnut Orb-Weaver Spider
Are they dangerous? They are one of the most venomous spiders in the UK, just behind the false widow.
They aren’t deadly, but bites are very unpleasant and can cause burning, swelling and numbness.
How to spot them: Males can reach 8mm, and females can be double that size.
7. The Black Lace-Weaver
Are they dangerous? Black Lace Weaver spiders are quite venomous.
A bite will cause pain, around three days of swelling and nausea.
How to spot them: They measure around 11 to 15mm, and are almost black.
8. The Wasp Spider
Are they dangerous? They can be quite angry, but their bite isn’t fatal.
But curiously, the pain from the bite can spread to your groin.
How to spot them: The Wasp spider is black, yellow and white with a stripe pattern.
Females can reach 15mm, and males grow to 5mm. 9.
9. The Cross Spider
Are they dangerous? They only bite when threatened, but their bites will cause pain and inflammation for around two to three days.
How to spot them: Males can range from 5-12mm, and the females can be a bit bigger, at 6-20mm.
10. The Cupboard Spider
Are they dangerous? The cupboard spider can bite, but without long-lasting effects.
Symptoms may last for a couple of days, and include blistering, muscle spasms, pain or fever.
How to spot them: The cupboard spider is often mistaken for a false widow due to its shape and colour.
They generally grow to approximately 10mm, and very in colour from brown, to black and purple.
11. The Giant House Spider
Are they dangerous? They do possess a potent venom, but aren’t usually a threat to humans.
How to spot them: Its massive body can reach 1.9cm, and has a 4.5cm leg span. It’s one of the fastest spiders in the UK, and can run up to half a metre per second.
The Giant House spider is brown, and usually measures 120mm.
12. Daddy Long Legs Spider / Cellar Spider
Are they dangerous? Urban legend says that Daddy Long Legs are deadly, and that their venom could kill a human if their fangs could pierce skin.
But research has found it is highly toxic to insects, not humans.
Daddy Long Legs venom might deliver a brief burning sensation, if anything at all.
How to spot them: They can be spotted by its tiny grey body and long, thin-legged appearance.
Its body usually measures less than 10mm, but the legs can reach 7cm.
13. The Lace-Webbed Spider
Are they dangerous? Bites can be relatively painful, and symptoms include localised swelling.
This may last for some hours.
How to spot them: The lace webbed spider is brown with yellow marks, and grows to around 20mm.
14. The Zebra Back Spider / Zebra jumping spider
Are they dangerous? They do bite, but their venom isn’t considered medically threatening.
How to spot them: They can easily be spotted by their black and white marks over its back and legs.
It also has eight eyes and is known for its jerky “stop, start” motion.
Britain’s most poisonous spider revealed
Arachnophobes look away! Here is a countdown of the 10 most poisonous spiders which have been found in the UK.
Firstly, don’t panic! You always thought there were no killer spiders in Britain — and you’re right. But there are some that do have strong enough venom to deliver a pretty painful bite — especially if your body reacts badly.
Below are 10 particularly nasty little biters, ranked in order of the discomfort they can deliver. Some are British natives, while others are regularly coming across in boxes of fruit and the like.
There’s also a description of bite symptoms, thanks to the Natural History Museum in London. In each case the offending spider was delivered to the museum with a note explaining the effects of the bite.
10. Money spider
Location: Widespread through UK, preferring damp vegetation.
Workers at a sewage treatment plant complained of being bitten by large numbers of this tiny spider, resulting in localised redness and swelling.
9. Woodlouse spider
Location: Originally from southern Europe, but has managed to get just about everywhere.
«Held on to top of finger, had to be knocked off; the bite was like that of a bee sting, leaving a white spot on finger.»
8. Walnut orb-weaver spider
Location: Europe, north Africa and south Asia. Hides behind bark and in cracks in woodwork during the day.
«Pain like an electric shock from finger to elbow with the arm going numb; recovered after a few hours.»
7. Black lace-weaver spider
Location: Europe and North America, all year.
«The bite, on the palm of the hand, was very painful. There was a white patch on the bite area, and a fairly large area of reddening around it.»
«Swelling for three days, nausea.»
6. Tube web spider
Location: Originally from southern Europe, with adults out from June to November.
«A sharp and painful bite; felt like a deep injection and caused quite a shock. However, after six hours the pain subsided.»
5. Wasp spider
Location: England (June to September)
Relatively new to the UK, and pretty rare. But the bite causes immediate pain that can spread to the groin.
4. Cross (or garden) spider
Location: All over Europe from June to November.
«On the arm while in bed. Felt nausea, the arm swelled badly for 3 days.»
3. Mouse spider
Location: All over Europe and North America
«Bitten on left hand. Looked like large pimple with pus-head surrounded by red inflammation. Wound burst and entire hand became septic. Wife also bitten: same painful wound for 7 days.»
2. Huntsman spider
Location: South-east Asia and the Caribbean. Turns up with fruit fairly regularly because it lives on plantations.
Usually mild symptoms in humans. However, one woman was bitten in the armpit and suffered a painful swelling that lasted many days, while leaving her in a state of shock.
1. False widow spider
Location: Originally the Canary Islands, but can now be found on the southern and eastern coast and in Surrey.
One particularly bad reaction to a false widow bite went a bit like this: «Burning sensation on the right side of ribs. Increased in intensity, like being scalded, stabbing pains spread first to armpit then down right arm. Also flu-like symptoms, aches, sweats, fatigue, perspiring, cold and shaky, sick and giddy (all in first 10 minutes). Face and right arm went purplish and slightly puffy. Bite mark raised with red area c. 5 or 6cm. After 1 hour, responded to Piriton but felt unwell for 3 days.»