A PEST control consultant is warning that local homes could be crawling with Britain’s nastiest spiders over the next few months.
Clive Boase said this year’s mild weather, which is expected to continue through September and beyond, could help spark a bumper season for the ‘false widow’.
“The population of false widows in the UK is growing. In fact, people don’t realise just how common they have become,” he said.
The spiders can grow up to 3cm across, including the legs, and are distinguished by their shiny, black bodies and markings which look like a skull on their abdomens.
They can be found in conservatories, toilet blocks, window frames, porches, lofts and garages and like to live beneath kitchen appliances and cupboards.
But, Mr Boase, said bites by false widow spiders were extremely rare.
“They certainly can give a painful bite, but there have been very few reports of that happening as they will only do so as a last resort.
“Bites usually result from handling the spider roughly or having it trapped between clothing and skin.”
Rob Simpson, manager of pest controllers register Basis Prompt, said simple precautions could be taken to reduce the likelihood of false widows.
“Spiders will have fewer places to hide if you keep clutter to a minimum, so I would say keep your house tidy and vacuum regularly,” he added.