There’s over 600 species of spiders in Britain, with around 100 in most gardens alone. While most are harmless to humans, some have a bit of a sting in their bite, as a Bournemouth woman recently discovered when she was bitten by a venomous False Widow spider - a close relative of the deadly black widow.
Read our guide to the UK’s most common eight-legged creatures in time for September’s spider season.
Name: False widow spider (Steatoda nobilis)
Body size: Female up to 15 mm; male up to 10 mm.
Appearance: These spiders have a dark round abdomen, with pale markings. Males’ abdomens are generally a little less rotund than their lady friends.
Where you’ll find them: They mainly set up home in buildings and in fences. For years this spider was contained within a small area around Devon but has now spread its webs all along Southern and Eastern England.
Bite: Only the female will bite, and even then usually only if it's been attacked (or squeezed) first. Emma Craven from Bournemouth was trying to throw one outside when it bit her on the thumb.
Emma suffered an allergic reaction and collapsed after her thumb went red and swelled up. She was taken to hospital and given drugs to control a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. She recovered but still suffers pins and needles as a result of the bite.