Lavant family get spider shock

False widow spider in Lavant
False widow spider in Lavant

Even if you don’t have a fear of spiders, the idea that one could bite you while you were in your own home is more than enough to put the bravest on edge.

One particular family from Lavant have experienced exactly that.

Mel Belderson is still seeing a nurse five weeks after being bitten by Britain’s most poisonous spider at her family home in Churchmead Close, Lavant. Her husband, Nat, has had two bites, and her two-year-old son has had one.

The black spider, known as the false widow spider, is a close relative of the deadly black widow spider, and can be found in most parts of the UK.

Mrs Belderson said: “My husband noticed two deep bites on his hip and in the same week I noticed one on my arm. At this point we didn’t know what was biting us and didn’t think much of it.

“I then received another on my arm which became horribly infected resulting in a trip to hospital for antibiotics.

“The bite left a small hole in my arm but otherwise responded to antibiotics though I seem to be left with a slight weakness in the muscle under the bite.

“My two-year-old then also received a bite which started to get us really worried and at this point we suspected a spider bite after consulting the internet.

“Every spider we found in the house was examined and identified but we never found anything other than common house spiders. I then received my next bite on my stomach.

“It quickly became infected and resulted in a trip to the GP for yet more antibiotics. That evening upon dressing the wound a large amount of dead skin came away leaving a void about the size of a golf ball.”

The family then discovered that there were around six spiders living in their garage.

A spokesman for Chichester District Council, said: “We have seen a slight increase in the number of people noticing the false widow spider inside their homes this year, mainly because of favourable weather conditions.”

“Only the female false widow spiders bite and the effects can be similar to a bee or wasp sting.

“The best advice is to avoid direct contact with the spider.

“Insect spray can kill the spiders with a direct hit of spray, but it doesn’t provide a residual effect so will not prevent other spiders but our Pest Control Team can remove false widow spiders from your home or business.”