‘We’re prepared for false widow spiders if they hit Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar’, say health chiefs

PUBLISHED: 16:38 18 October 2013 | UPDATED: 16:38 18 October 2013

False widow (from the Flickr account of David Short)

False widow (from the Flickr account of David Short)


The dreaded false widow spider invasion has not yet hit Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar.

False widow (from the Flickr account of David Short)False widow (from the Flickr account of David Short)

But health chiefs say they are ready if the black widow-related arachnids make inroads in the area.

The web-spinning terrors, Britain’s most poisonous spider, have been hitting headlines of late with attacks and near misses being reported across the south of England.

The eight-legged creatures are believed to have made landfall in the UK from the warmer climes of Madeira and the Canary Islands towards the end of the 19th century.

Bites can cause chest pains and swelling, but are not thought to be lethal.

Warmer winters have helped them flourish in the UK.

A spokesman for the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust told the WHT: “Speaking with our emergency department colleagues, there appear to have been no cases where a patient has presented with suspected spider bites.

“Should this happen, however, it is standard practice for the team treating such a case to take advice from the National Poisons Information Service.”

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