Debunking Common Myths About Spider Bites in the UK

 

Spiders are a common sight in the UK, and many people become unsettled at the thought of a bite from one of these eight-legged creatures. Despite the fear that spiders provoke, it is important to dispel some of the myths that have arisen about spider bites in the UK.

 

Spider Bite Risk in the UK

 

Most spiders found in the UK are harmless, and many species are simply too small to penetrate human skin. It is highly unlikely that you will be bitten by a spider in the UK, as the risk is minimal. There are very few species of spider in the UK that are capable of biting humans, and even the bite from these species is usually harmless.

Spider Bites UK
Spider Bites UK

Common False Beliefs About Spider Bites

 

One of the most commonly held beliefs about spider bites is that they will cause a severe reaction or even death. This is completely untrue, as the vast majority of spider bites in the UK are harmless. The bite may cause pain or itching, but these symptoms will usually subside after a few hours.

 

Treatment of Spider Bites

 

In the rare instances where a spider bite has occurred, it is best to keep the area clean and apply an antiseptic cream or lotion to the site. If the area becomes red and inflamed, then it is advisable to visit your doctor or healthcare provider.

 

Recognizing a Spider Bite

 

It can be difficult to know if you have been bitten by a spider, as the bite can be very small and may not be visible. It is important to be aware of the symptoms that can appear after a spider bite, such as redness, swelling, and itching. If you experience any of these symptoms, then it is important to seek medical help.

 

Prevention of Spider Bites

In order to avoid being bitten by a spider, it is important to reduce the risk by removing potential hiding places and keeping the house clean. Spiders like to hide in dark, damp places, so it is important to keep these areas clean. It is also advisable to wear gloves when gardening and to keep windows and doors shut when possible.

 

Unique Species of Spiders Found in the UK

 

The UK is home to a wide variety of spiders, with more than 650 species in existence. While most of these species are harmless, there are a few species that can potentially cause a bite. The most common spiders that can cause a bite are the woodlouse spider, the false widow spider, and the wolf spider.

 

In conclusion, it is important to understand the risk of spider bites in the UK and to be aware of the false beliefs that exist about them. Most spider bites in the UK are harmless, and the best way to prevent them is to keep the house clean and to wear gloves when gardening. It is also important to be aware of the unique species of spiders found in the UK and to recognize the symptoms of a spider bite.

 

Common Species of Spiders Found in the UK

 

There are over 650 species of spiders in the UK, some of the most common being the Garden Spider, Money Spider and House Spider. 

 

Most of these species are harmless to humans and do not pose a threat, however some can bite if provoked. 

 

The most common spiders that can bite are the False Widow, Woodlouse spider and the Tube Web spider.

 

1. Common House Spider (Tegenaria domestica)

 

Common House Spiders are small to medium sized spiders, typically measuring about 10 mm in length. They are usually brown to grey in colour, with a distinct pattern of markings on their abdomen. Common House Spiders are found in a variety of habitats, from homes and other human-made structures to woodlands and gardens. They build messy, tangled webs in which they catch their prey.

 

2. False Widow Spider (Steatoda nobilis)

 

The False Widow Spider measures about 814 mm in length and is mediumsized. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. False Widow Spiders are usually found in dark, sheltered areas such as corners of rooms, window frames and door frames. They build messy, tangled webs in which they catch their prey.

 

3. Giant House Spider (Eratigena atrica)

 

Giant House Spiders are large spiders, measuring up to 25 mm in length. They are usually brown to dark grey in colour, with distinctive black markings on their abdomen. Giant House Spiders are found in a variety of habitats, from homes and other human-made structures to woodlands and gardens. They build messy, tangled webs in which they catch their prey.

 

4. Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata)

 

Woodlouse Spiders are small spiders, measuring about 6-10 mm in length. They are usually dark brown to black in colour, with distinctive yellow-brown markings on their abdomen. Woodlouse Spiders are usually found in dark, sheltered areas such as corners of rooms, window frames and door frames. They build messy, tangled webs in which they catch their prey.

According to the National Health Service in the UK, the most common spider bites in the UK are caused by the woodlouse spider, which can cause a painful swelling that usually clears within a few hours.

 

5. Cardinal Spider (Tegenaria parietina)

 

Cardinal Spiders are medium sized spiders, measuring about 8-14 mm in length. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. Cardinal Spiders are usually found in dark, sheltered areas such as corners of rooms, window frames and door frames. They build messy, tangled webs in which they catch their prey.

 

6. Money Spider (Linyphiidae)

 

Money Spiders are very small spiders, measuring about 2-3 mm in length. They are usually brown to yellowish in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. Money Spiders are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They build small, tangled webs in which they catch their prey.

7. Tube Web Spider (Segestria florentina)

Tube Web Spiders are large spiders, measuring up to 20 mm in length. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive yellow-brown markings on their abdomen. Tube Web Spiders are usually found in dark, sheltered areas such as corners of rooms, window frames and door frames. They build large, tangled webs in which they catch their prey.

 

8. Araneus diadematus (Cross Spider)

 

Cross Spiders are medium sized spiders, measuring about 8-14 mm in length. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive yellow-brown markings on their abdomen. Cross Spiders are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They build large, tangled webs in which they catch their prey.

 

9. Garden Spider (Araneus quadratus)

 

Garden Spiders are medium sized spiders, measuring about 8-14 mm in length. They are usually yellow to orange in colour, with distinctive black markings on their abdomen. Garden Spiders are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They build large, tangled webs in which they catch their prey.

 

10. Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Nursery Web Spiders are medium sized spiders, measuring about 10-15 mm in length. They are usually brown to grey in colour, with distinctive yellow-brown markings on their abdomen. Nursery Web Spiders are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They build large, tangled webs in which they catch their prey.

 

11. Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) 

Wolf Spiders are medium to large spiders, measuring up to 20 mm in length. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. Wolf Spiders are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They hunt their prey actively and do not build webs.

 

12. Zebra Spider (Salticus scenicus)

Zebra Spiders are small spiders, measuring about 6-10 mm in length. They are usually dark brown to black in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. Zebra Spiders are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They hunt their prey actively and do not build webs.

 

13. Lace Web Spider (Amaurobius similis): 

Lace Web Spiders are small spiders, measuring about 3-5 mm in length. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. Lace Web Spiders are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They build webs in dark places such as under bark, logs and stones.

 

14. Orb Web Spider (Araneus species): 

Orb Web Spiders are medium to large spiders, measuring up to 20 mm in length. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. Orb Web Spiders are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They build webs in open areas and hunt their prey actively.

 

15. Crab Spider (Misumena vatia): 

Crab Spiders are small spiders, measuring about 3-5 mm in length. They are usually white or pale yellow in colour, with distinctive dark markings on their abdomen. Crab Spiders are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They hunt their prey actively and do not build webs.

 

16. Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda species): 

Huntsman Spiders are medium to large spiders, measuring up to 20 mm in length. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. Huntsman Spiders are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They hunt their prey actively and do not build webs.

 

17. Daddy Long Legs Spider (Pholcus phalangioides): 

Daddy Long Legs Spiders are small spiders, measuring about 3-5 mm in length. They are usually grey to brown in colour, with distinctive yellow markings on their abdomen. Daddy Long Legs Spiders usually inhabit woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They build webs in dark places such as under bark, logs and stones.

 

18. Raft Spider (Dolomedes species): 

Raft Spiders are medium to large spiders, measuring up to 20 mm in length. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. Raft Spiders are usually found in wetlands, streams and rivers. They hunt their prey actively and do not build webs.

 

19. Long-jawed Orb Weaver (Tetragnatha species): 

Long-jawed Orb Weavers are small spiders, measuring about 3-5 mm in length. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. Long-jawed Orb Weavers are usually found in woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They build webs in open areas and hunt their prey actively.

 

20. Jumping Spider (Salticidae species): 

Jumping Spiders are small spiders, measuring about 3-5 mm in length. They are usually brown to black in colour, with distinctive white markings on their abdomen. Jumping Spiders usually inhabit woodlands, hedgerows and gardens. They hunt their prey actively and do not build webs.

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