What Spiders Can Bite In The Uk?
Spiders: How to identify spiders in YOUR home? The 10 common spiders in the UK
- 1 Spiders: How to identify spiders in YOUR home? The 10 common spiders in the UK
- 2 House spiders
- 3 Missing sector orb web spider
- 4 Zebra jumping spider
- 5 Cellar spiders/Daddy long legs spiders
- 6 Cardinal spider
- 7 Money spiders
- 8 Lace web spider
- 9 False widow spider
- 10 Tube web spider
- 11 Cupboard spiders
- 12 Is there an app to help you identify spiders?
SPIDERS starting to feel the chill and are beginning to leave their outdoor homes and invading yours. But how can you identify the spiders in your home?
Spider season has arrived and creepy crawlies big and small will be invading your home as mating season begins. The eight-legged creatures migrate inside each year as the autumnal season arrives and the weather cools down. One in five Britons suffer from arachnophobia but for those that do not, spotting and identifying the spiders can become a fun family activity. So how can you identify the spiders in your home and what are the most common spiders you are likely to see?
There are more than 650 species of spiders in the UK, all of which can bite, but only 12 of these are actually harmful to humans.
Express.co.uk has compiled a list of the most common spiders you are likely to find in your home.
Spiders: What are the most common species of spider to find in your home? (Image: GETTY)
The Giant house spider can reach up to 12cm wide and is most commonly found in sheds and gardens and cavity walls where they are less likely to be disturbed.
However, as mating season begins they move inside to find a dry place to mate.
Often the Giant house spider is one that you will find in your bath.
They can run very quickly, but only for a short amount of time before they need a break to recover from their exhaustion.
This breed of spider is renowned for making large webs which can last for years.
Giant house spiders do possess potent venom and can bite, but they do not usually pose a threat to humans.
Spiders: The Giant House Spider (Image: GETTY)
Missing sector orb web spider
The missing sector orb weaver, is named because it spins an orb web with one full sector missing.
These creatures have a dark, broad median longitudinal band of the prosoma, wider anteriorly, on a lighter yellow-brown background.
The abdomen is covered in a broad band with indented edges, white-edged with a darker interior and a lighter median line.
The lighter areas of the abdomen often have a silvery sheen and the legs have rings..
They grow up to 1.5cm meaning this arachnid is relatively small and they are common around Britain’s houses and gardens.
This spider feeds on almost any flying insect captured within its web.
As the outside temperature becomes colder in late autumn, they frequently come indoors through open windows, and build their webs on the insides of windows instead.
Spiders: The Missing Sector Orb Web Spider (Image: GETTY)
Zebra jumping spider
The zebra jumping spider is a small spider with white and black markings and a characteristic jerky ‘start and stop’ movement.
Typically they are found hunting on external walls and surfaces, but they are also often spotted venturing indoors through open doors and windows.
This group of spiders do not use webs to catch their prey but actively hunt by day, instead, they have large eyes and ambush small insects by pouncing on them.
The zebra jumping spider typically grows to around 0.8cm.
Spiders: The Zebra Jumping Spider (Image: GETTY)
Cellar spiders/Daddy long legs spiders
Cellar spiders, or Daddy Long Legs spiders, are large spiders with a greyish body and long thin legs.
They can grow up to 4.5cm and prefer the warmth of your home, garage and sheds.
They are rarely found outdoors as they are not adapted to survive winter temperatures.
Their webs are untidy without great design and are often made in ceiling corners.
If disturbed they vibrate in their webs, which is believed to be in an attempt to frighten predators.
They feed on insects found in homes and will also take other spiders, including surprisingly large house spiders.
Urban myths exist which suggest the daddy longlegs spider contains the most potent venom, but that their fangs are not strong enough to pierce human skin.
Reports suggest that cellar spiders can bite, but the venom only delivers a very brief and mild, burning sensation.
Spiders: Cellar or Daddy long legs spider (Image: GETTY)
The cardinal spider grows up to 14cm which can prove extremely daunting.
These spiders however are not aggressive or dangerous.
They are usually reddish brown in colour and live mostly in buildings or walls.
They are known for their huge size, incredible speed and their nocturnal habits.
It is believed their name comes from the rumour that Cardinal Thomas Woolsey was terrified by this species of spider at Hampton Court in the 16th century.
Spiders: Cardinal spider (Image: GETTY)
Money spiders are Britain’s smallest spider, growing no more than 0.5cm long with their leg span recorded as 0.2cm.
Their name comes from an old superstition that if one got stuck in your hair, it would bring you good luck and increased wealth.
The money spider is frequently spotted hanging upside down under a sheet web.
Their webs are usually spotted in bushes or shrubs.
During mating season, they are often seen in the corners of homes.
The money spider weaves hammock shaped webs and bites its prey to paralyse it — before wrapping it in silk and eating it.
Money spiders are harmless to humans as their fangs are not anywhere near big enough to break human skin.
Spiders: Money spider (Image: GETTY)
Lace web spider
Lace web spiders are usually found on outdoor walls, fencing and clutter around the garden.
However, these spiders will retreat inside in the autumn months to find a mate.
It is also common to find they have been flooded out of their homes when the rain is heavy.
Generally, they grow to a size of around 5 to 15mm and are brown with yellowish markings of the abdomen.
In recent years, these spiders have been known to bite people and the reports have said the bites are painful, but the symptoms usually consist of localised swelling for around 12 hours.
Spiders: Lace web spider (Image: GETTY)
False widow spider
The false widow spider, which grows up 1.4cm for females and 1cm for males, is nocturnal and therefore generally spends the daytime sleeping.
They like dry and warm environments and do not like being disturbed which is often what attracts them to people’s homes.
Even though they are more likely to be spotted outside, they also like to perch themselves under toilets, fridges and washing machines.
All species have distinctive sets of markings on their abdomens such as a narrow white or lighter band around the front of the abdomen towards their head, and also other markings that vary by species.
However, all of these marks can be variable, faded, or missing, especially in adult females.
Their webs are a tangle of criss-cross threads which may become quite dense in the centre if left undisturbed.
Adult female false widow spiders are known to have bitten humans, although they are not usually aggressive and attacks on people are rare and there are no reported UK deaths.
If bitten, symptoms include a numb sensation to severe swelling and discomfort.
In more serious cases, there can be various levels of burning or chest pains, which will depend on the amount of venom injected.
Spiders: False widow spider (Image: GETTY)
Tube web spider
The tube web spider is named because of the tube-shaped web it uses to catch its prey.
These spiders, which can grow up to 2.2cm, are often found in cracks in buildings which they will cover with silk lines while they wait in the entrance.
These creatures originated from the Mediterranea regions but can now be found in many British towns.
This spider does bite and the pain has been compared to a deep injection with the sensation lasting for several hours.
Despite this, the bites do not appear to have any lasting effects.
Spiders: Lace web spider (Image: GETTY)
A cupboard spider closely resembles the false black widow spider.
The body length of a cupboard spiders usually reaches between 0.4cm and 1cm.
This species is often mistaken because of its dark colour and similarly bulbous abdomen and its appearance can vary slightly from purple to brown to black.
The female can lay egg sacs at least three times a year which typically contain between 40 and 100 eggs.
They have been known to bite humans, but are not usually aggressive.
Although injuries are minor, symptoms can include blistering and generally feeling unwell, which can last a couple of days.
Spiders: Cupboard spider (Image: GETTY)
Is there an app to help you identify spiders?
The Society of Biology and the University of Gloucestershire launched a new app five years ago to help the public learn more about the spiders that will be in their homes in the coming months.
The app ‘Spider in da House’ is available in the Android and Apple app stores.
It uses photos, identification tools, and further facts, to enable people to identify and learn more about 12 of the most common spiders found inside houses.
Professor Adam Hart from the University of Gloucestershire said: “By eating flies and other insects, spiders are not only providing us with a pest control service, but are important in ecosystems.
“They often feed on the most common species, preventing a few species from becoming dominant.
“We want to encourage people to respect and learn more about their little house guests.”
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