False Widow Spider

Bath and North East Somerset Council Does Not provide a pest control service for the treatment or identification of spiders/false widow spider but please read the following information for further guidance.


  1. What do they look like?

  2. Where are they found?

  3. How do they behave?

  4. Are they poisonous?

  5. Do they bite?

  6. What should I do if I have been bitten?

  7. What to do if you see one?

  8. Where can I get further advice?


  1. Their body size ranges from 7mm-14mm. With legs outstretched 21-30mm. (7/8" - 1"). Males are smaller than females. Colour: Legs are a reddy-orange; body is brown with cream markings that can look like a skull.
  2. Spiders like dark cool spaces, so chances are they'll be in sheds, garages, trees and the like. It is a species of spider that was accidentally imported into the UK back in the 1800's.
  3. They are not aggressive – the spider sits and waits for its prey, sensing vibrations on its web
  4. No.
  5. Yes, as do all spiders in the UK. The bite can be painful, and can be likened to a bee or wasp sting.There have been instances of people being bitten by these spiders, and some unfortunately have had an allergic reaction to the bite. These cases are rare and it should be noted that there has never been a reported instance of a death by a spider bite. Any spider/insect bite has the potential to become infected and that may lead to secondary tissue necrosis.
  6. If you are bitten, and the bite becomes severely swollen or ulcerous, seek medical help from your GP or A&E department. Ice packs can alleviate the pain and in the majority of cases the pain does not last. Antihistamines can also help to reduce the swelling.
  7. If you see one, leave it alone. If it is in a place where access is required, treat as any other unwanted spider or insect and collect in a jar, and put it outside. Please note Bath and North East Somerset Council does not operate a treatment service for spiders.
  8. For further advice about the false widow spider, please click on the following link: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/community/identification/blog/2014/12/23/fact-sheet-false-widow-spiders--steatoda-spp.html

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