I was bitten by a false widow spider while gardening – my hand blew up like a BALLOON
A GARDENER has revealed his shock after being bitten by a false widow – Britain's most VENEMOUS spider.
Joe Hildebrandt, from Kimnel Bay, Conwy, said he was horrified to watch as his hand started swelling up after he felt a sting from the creepy-crawly as he worked on his garden.
But he isn't the first to be recently bitten by the UK's most feared spider on the Welsh coast.
Joe said: "They don’t scare me but this one did.
“When I saw it on the floor it spooked me a bit as it has been on my arm – and I know they will only bite when provoked.”
After his terrifying meeting with the spider, Joe feared it was a false widow and shared pictures of his nasty bite online.
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The gardener had his suspicions confirmed when another local Kimnel resident, Dave Morgan, said he too has encountered one of the spiders.
"My hand swelled up for weeks,” revealed Dave.
"It was very painful too. The pain eventually turned into a constant itch for about eight weeks and it scarred for almost six months.
"I keep a safe distance from spiders now.”
Joe’s post caught the attention of others on the North Wales coast who have also seen false widows.
Other locals were glad never to have encountered one, with one commenting: “Omg that’s terrifying!!! It’s freakin huge!”
Not So-False Widow Facts
There are SIX different types of false widow spiders in the UK – but only two are big enough to bite through human skin.
They get their name from their similarity to the lethal BLACK WIDOW spider, although their bites are around 1000 times less poisonous.
The false widow is believed to have made its way to Britain in 1879 on a shipment of bananas, and can have a leg span of up to 35mm, or about the size of a 50p coin – according to falsewidowspider.org.
The spiders usually move around at night, and prefer to live indoors in sheds, kitchens and bathrooms.
They are more common in the south of England, but have been spreading north as temperatures rise.
Britain's most dangerous spider usually only bites when provoked – but they have a history.
Nine schools were forced to shut in London after infestations of the awful arachnids in 2018, and Britain was hit with another TERRIFYING wave of False Widow attacks in 2019.
Former Wrexham AFC striker James Gray was rushed to hospital after a false widow bite in 2016, father Andy Perry lost his leg – and nearly his life – after a bite from one of the spiders in 2018, and last year this unlucky family found a massive one in their home with a SKULL on its back – to name just a few!
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