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Venomous spider discovered on Canvey
8:00am Wednesday 28th November 2012 in Castle Point
THE most dangerous species of spider in the UK is weaving its web on Canvey.
Mum-of-one Tori Cass-Heales, 30, has so far found about six False Widow spiders both inside and outside her home in Third Avenue.
When she first caught site of one in her bathroom she said it stopped her in her tracks and because it was so big she decided to investigate further.
“I was a little bit shocked and concerned,” she said.
“I’m not scared of spiders or anything like that, I’m a bit of a boff and if I don’t know what something is I like to know so I got in touch with a spider identification website.”
Mrs Cass-Heales posted her discovery on social networking sites such as Facebook and said it generated “a lot of interest”, although it did worry some of her friends.
She has a two-year-old daughter and her partner also reacts badly to insect bites so she is now humanely getting rid of the spiders when she sees them as she said she cannot risk any member of her family getting hurt.
The venomous arachnid, which is a close relative of the deadly black widow spider, has the most poisonous bite of any spider in the UK.
However, it only tends to attack when it is provoked and it is the female that delivers the potentially fatal bite.
Mrs Cass-Heales added: “The lady I e-mailed said they have been here for a long time, but it’s not common knowledge so I’d like to raise about the threat they can pose.
“All this time I have taught my daughter she does not need to be scared of creepy crawlies, but you do. Things like that look like a warning, we all know bees can kill people and we know not to touch them and the same applies to these spiders.”
Steve Falk is an entomoloist at Buglife, the invetebrate conservation trust.
He said: “We’ve had a lot of enquiries about them at Buglife. They have started to colonise in the south of Britain and are spreading north.
“Most spiders in the house are not that dangerous, but if you see one and know it’s definitely a False Widow then you can just suck it up the hoover to get rid of them.
“I personally wouldn’t want them in my house, particularly if I had children.”
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