A man bitten by a venomous spider in Wales was left with swollen hands and a painful itch for months.
Joe Hildebrandt, of Kinmel Bay in Conwy, found a false widow spider near his home, and trapped it in a container. He posted a picture and a video of the spider to Facebook and asked other locals whether they knew what it was.
Other social media users unanimously agreed that it appeared to be a false widow—the most venomous spider in the U.K.
Dave Morgan, also of Kinmel Bay in Conwy, commented on the post and recounted a time where he was bitten badly by a spider of the same species, warning Hildebrandt to keep well away from it.
Morgan told Newsweek he had been doing some wildlife photography while hiding in a bush when he was bitten.
“I felt a bite on my hand, brushed the spider off and within a couple of hours my hand swelled massively,” he said. “This was followed by weeks of intense itching and some pain.”
A picture of the bite shows Morgan’s hand massively swollen around a large red mark. The bite mark scarred for almost six months.
Three types of false widow spiders can be found in the U.K. These include the Steatoda bipunctata or the “rabbit hutch spider,” Steatoda grossa or the “cupboard spider” and Steatoda nobilis, which is more commonly known as the noble false widow.
Noble false widows are the largest of all of them and are an invasive species to the U.K. Scientists believe the species arrived to the U.K. from the Canary Islands in banana boxes in the 1800s. Since then, the populations have spread across the nation. According to the Wildlife Trust, it is likely that climate change assisted them in rapidly expanding.
The rabbit hutch spider and the cupboard spider are both native to the U.K. It is not clear which of the three Hildebrandt caught, but commentators agreed that it was huge.
Although they are venomous, the bites are not usually dangerous. They can be painful though, as Morgan described. Only a handful of bites have been confirmed in the U.K.
Hildebrandt told Newsweek he came across the spider in the picture and video while working in his garden in Kinmel Bay in Conwy when he “felt something on [his] neck.”
“I was putting some rubbish into a skip when it fell off me I seen it land on the floor so I ran got an empty container to put it in,” he said.
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