False widow spider is not here to play

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A WARNING has been issued after the nest of a potentially harmful spider, closely related to the Black Widow spider, was found in Bletchley.

The alert comes from Milton Keynes Council’s pest control team who found the spider’s nest on a playhouse in a resident’s garden.

Despite the steatoda nobilis or “false widow” spider being closely related to its venomous counterpart, their bite is not considered to be as dangerous.

However, some people who have suffered bites have been admitted to hospital with various symptoms including localised pain, chest pains, nausea and vomiting.

The spiders have been notorious residents of the south-west of the country for decades but are now spreading north and east as a result of the recent warm weather experienced across the country.

Karen Ford, head of trading standards in Milton Keynes said: “Whilst extremely unlikely to be fatal, if you are bitten by one of these spiders you will certainly know about it and you should seek medical treatment as a precaution.

“Older people, children and pets are particularly vulnerable to such bites and extra care should be taken accordingly.”

People are also urged to stay alert while they are out and about and report any sightings of the spiders.

They can nest anywhere so should not be confused with the common house spider.

> Anyone who thinks they may have seen a nest or even have one on their property should call the trading standards team on 01908 252551.

The nests should not be approached under any circumstances and should be reported as quickly as possible.