Fears toddler could be bitten as spiders multiply

This Is Wiltshire: Nicole Whelan, from Swindon, who has an infestation of poisonous false widow spiders in her garden Nicole Whelan, from Swindon, who has an infestation of poisonous false widow spiders in her garden

AN INFESTATION of false widow spiders is a cause for concern for the mother of a two-year-old girl who said she cannot afford the bill to get rid of the problem arachnids.

Nicole Whelan, of Farriers Close, returned home after a spell in hospital to discover the potentially dangerous spiders, latin name steatoda nobilis, had established a nest in her garden.

She had her suspicions confirmed after inspecting the markings on the spiders’ backs, and on one count found 23 of the invaders in her back garden.

But the council and her landlord cannot rid her of the problem, and the single mum said she could not afford pest control as she claims benefits.

“About three weeks ago I found a strange looking spider in my garden which had some spots on its back,” she said. “I did not really think much of it at first so I left it. “Later I did some research into it and discovered it could have been a false widow. When I found another one I looked closer and could see the markings on it, so I killed it quickly.”

When Nicole returned from a spell in hospital numbers had spiralled out of control.

“When I came back there were lots of little spiders which had the very same markings,” she said.

“I have been asking around other people and doing more research, and bites can be either very dangerous or completely harmless. Some people have said it is like having a bee sting, but I would not let my child play near a bees’ nest either.”

Nicole says she suffered a bite last week, and does not want to take any chances with her daughter.

“As it is getting colder they are going to want to come inside. They could be getting anywhere, and I am worried they could be infesting the shed or the toys.

“I have rung my landlord and they said they won’t cover it because it is not their problem. They gave me a quote from a contractor, but I would have to pay for the call out and all the spray, and I can’t afford that.”

A Swindon Council spokesman said: “The council has no statutory obligation to provide a pest control service and many authorities have been forced to abandon the service on financial grounds.

“However, we have maintained the service and employ one pest control officer providing a range of pest treatments for domestic and commercial premises.”

The British Arachnological Society says an allergic reaction is the most likely result of a bite from a false widow, and the risk of being bitten was relatively small.

Comments (25)

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1:15pm Thu 17 Oct 13

ManWithCar says...

Oh dear. Well, like the rest of us have to - pay for someone to sort it out.
Oh dear. Well, like the rest of us have to - pay for someone to sort it out. ManWithCar
  • Score: 24

1:29pm Thu 17 Oct 13

Davey Gravey says...

Creep crawlies in someones garden shocker!!!!!!
Creep crawlies in someones garden shocker!!!!!! Davey Gravey
  • Score: 33

3:52pm Thu 17 Oct 13

EmmBee says...

"could be bitten" - so, not ACTUALLY bitten then?
"potentially dangerous" - so, not ACTUALLY dangerous?
"could be getting anywhere" - but they're not, are they?
"could be infesting " - or, on the other hand, they may not be...
"could be bitten" - so, not ACTUALLY bitten then? "potentially dangerous" - so, not ACTUALLY dangerous? "could be getting anywhere" - but they're not, are they? "could be infesting " - or, on the other hand, they may not be... EmmBee
  • Score: 17

5:02pm Thu 17 Oct 13

Dee157 says...

I lived in farriers close top floor and huge spiders were a major issue for myself and neighbours - so glad I moved away never seen anything like it. You will also notice the cobwebs covering the hedgerows when its frosty, best advice to keep windows closed, get a cat and eventually move! good luck!
Dee
I lived in farriers close top floor and huge spiders were a major issue for myself and neighbours - so glad I moved away never seen anything like it. You will also notice the cobwebs covering the hedgerows when its frosty, best advice to keep windows closed, get a cat and eventually move! good luck! Dee Dee157
  • Score: -4

6:21pm Thu 17 Oct 13

whaddahey?! says...

What a pathetic story in every sense. Is the Adver trying to turn itself into a local Daily Mail? What about a brief comment from anyone who knows anything about insects and arachnids, who'd clearly point out that statistically you'd have more chance of being struck by lightning than be bitten by one of these COMMON, NATIVE, little spiders... and that even if you were, 99.9% of the population would suffer no more than if they'd been bitten by a gnat.

TOTAL NON STORY.
What a pathetic story in every sense. Is the Adver trying to turn itself into a local Daily Mail? What about a brief comment from anyone who knows anything about insects and arachnids, who'd clearly point out that statistically you'd have more chance of being struck by lightning than be bitten by one of these COMMON, NATIVE, little spiders... and that even if you were, 99.9% of the population would suffer no more than if they'd been bitten by a gnat. TOTAL NON STORY. whaddahey?!
  • Score: 14

6:46pm Thu 17 Oct 13

Davethered says...

A kettle of boiling water will get rid of them , same as the Ants
A kettle of boiling water will get rid of them , same as the Ants Davethered
  • Score: 13

9:01pm Thu 17 Oct 13

MrAngry says...

"can be either very dangerous or completely harmless"

About as risky as peanuts then.
"can be either very dangerous or completely harmless" About as risky as peanuts then. MrAngry
  • Score: 14

10:53pm Thu 17 Oct 13

twasadawf says...

A picture of said spider would have been more interesting
A picture of said spider would have been more interesting twasadawf
  • Score: 9

11:06pm Thu 17 Oct 13

timt1964 says...

here we go again!! another helpless swindon resident in the grip of a crisis that everyone but them should sort out.the adver had to get the words "toddler" "single mum" in the story to heighten the danger faced by humanity as we know it.the pound shop probably sells a perfectly good spray so the "i cant afford it" angle is complete bol****s.
here we go again!! another helpless swindon resident in the grip of a crisis that everyone but them should sort out.the adver had to get the words "toddler" "single mum" in the story to heighten the danger faced by humanity as we know it.the pound shop probably sells a perfectly good spray so the "i cant afford it" angle is complete bol****s. timt1964
  • Score: 18

1:04am Fri 18 Oct 13

Gelatine wizardry says...

"i can't afford to have the spiders professionaly trodden on, but £30 side-partings are essential.", screamed the bespectacled lady as she languished on her floral cushions. It would be interesting to find out what the hospital stay was for. Stomach full of spiders was it?
"i can't afford to have the spiders professionaly trodden on, but £30 side-partings are essential.", screamed the bespectacled lady as she languished on her floral cushions. It would be interesting to find out what the hospital stay was for. Stomach full of spiders was it? Gelatine wizardry
  • Score: 7

3:57am Fri 18 Oct 13

deepimpact says...

Yet another state scrounger expecting everything to be paid for.
Yet another state scrounger expecting everything to be paid for. deepimpact
  • Score: 11

7:12am Fri 18 Oct 13

leafy1 says...

These spiders didn't turn up overnight ...............They have been in the England for years and most of us have probably built up an imunity to them without even knowing it (A little nip here and there while out in the garden or countryside)

A dozen people out of 63 million have an allergic reaction and all hell breaks loose.
These spiders didn't turn up overnight ...............They have been in the England for years and most of us have probably built up an imunity to them without even knowing it (A little nip here and there while out in the garden or countryside) A dozen people out of 63 million have an allergic reaction and all hell breaks loose. leafy1
  • Score: 8

8:11am Fri 18 Oct 13

southside7 says...

timt1964 wrote:
here we go again!! another helpless swindon resident in the grip of a crisis that everyone but them should sort out.the adver had to get the words "toddler" "single mum" in the story to heighten the danger faced by humanity as we know it.the pound shop probably sells a perfectly good spray so the "i cant afford it" angle is complete bol****s.
I agree, It is beyond lame. I'm sick to death of the NIMBY culture that seems to be becoming stronger and stronger in society. Both of my grandfathers fought abroad in WW2 at 20 years old or so. Swimming through water at night to get to the beach at night in Dunkirk and then we are faced with the likes of this, I feel utterly depressed reading this.
[quote][p][bold]timt1964[/bold] wrote: here we go again!! another helpless swindon resident in the grip of a crisis that everyone but them should sort out.the adver had to get the words "toddler" "single mum" in the story to heighten the danger faced by humanity as we know it.the pound shop probably sells a perfectly good spray so the "i cant afford it" angle is complete bol****s.[/p][/quote]I agree, It is beyond lame. I'm sick to death of the NIMBY culture that seems to be becoming stronger and stronger in society. Both of my grandfathers fought abroad in WW2 at 20 years old or so. Swimming through water at night to get to the beach at night in Dunkirk and then we are faced with the likes of this, I feel utterly depressed reading this. southside7
  • Score: 6

8:32am Fri 18 Oct 13

I_know_nothing says...

twasadawf wrote:
A picture of said spider would have been more interesting
Maybe a picture of the spider with its arms folded?
[quote][p][bold]twasadawf[/bold] wrote: A picture of said spider would have been more interesting[/p][/quote]Maybe a picture of the spider with its arms folded? I_know_nothing
  • Score: 24

9:16am Fri 18 Oct 13

benzss says...

Must've been a slow news day
Must've been a slow news day benzss
  • Score: 2

9:34am Fri 18 Oct 13

gambon says...

the advers new pose for nimbys must be hold 1 hand by the side of the face and pout liking the clever idea but a picture of a spider with crossed arms saying look at what i have to live next to would of been better and do we know if the spider is a single parent as well
the advers new pose for nimbys must be hold 1 hand by the side of the face and pout liking the clever idea but a picture of a spider with crossed arms saying look at what i have to live next to would of been better and do we know if the spider is a single parent as well gambon
  • Score: 6

10:04am Fri 18 Oct 13

Amberflame says...

I_know_nothing wrote:
twasadawf wrote:
A picture of said spider would have been more interesting
Maybe a picture of the spider with its arms folded?
Laughed out loud at this one. Do think some of the comments are quite harsh though.
[quote][p][bold]I_know_nothing[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]twasadawf[/bold] wrote: A picture of said spider would have been more interesting[/p][/quote]Maybe a picture of the spider with its arms folded?[/p][/quote]Laughed out loud at this one. Do think some of the comments are quite harsh though. Amberflame
  • Score: 1

10:27am Fri 18 Oct 13

Swindonite69 says...

No one has died yet from one so maybe she needs to get a flamethrower or something ? Put enough weedol down and not even cockroaches will survive so stop expecting the council to sort out things and get off your ****, their money should be spent on more vital services. We really do live in society where people's issues are never their own, someone else is always expected to pay or deal with it.
No one has died yet from one so maybe she needs to get a flamethrower or something ? Put enough weedol down and not even cockroaches will survive so stop expecting the council to sort out things and get off your ****, their money should be spent on more vital services. We really do live in society where people's issues are never their own, someone else is always expected to pay or deal with it. Swindonite69
  • Score: 10

12:41pm Fri 18 Oct 13

Another view says...

Ant powder should do the trick.
Ant powder should do the trick. Another view
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Fri 18 Oct 13

JakobK says...

Has she tried reasoning with the spiders?

Or perhaps get one of her kids toy cars and put a post-it note on it with the message 'Go home or face prosecution' and a number to text left outside the nest to give them the hint.
Has she tried reasoning with the spiders? Or perhaps get one of her kids toy cars and put a post-it note on it with the message 'Go home or face prosecution' and a number to text left outside the nest to give them the hint. JakobK
  • Score: 5

1:32pm Fri 18 Oct 13

EmmBee says...

It sounds like newspapers generally are trying to whip up hysteria about these spiders. Here's a comment from a spider expert who was basically ignored by the Star:

Quote:-
So after logging in under my own name this morning you quickly deleted the comment! Obviously the Daily Star are scared of the truth!

So here is some of the content again as far as I can remember.

I will take a screen shot and put it on face book as I have no doubt you will delete it again.

During yesterdays "interview" with a Daily Star Reporter I gave accurate and factually concise information relating to spiders and was assured that the idea was to try and play down the current hysteria which is plaguing the press (and to which you at the Daily Star are complicit)

This included information on false widow spiders, black widow spiders and the many common garden and house spiders we have in the UK.

I also suggested that you (Daily Star) contact a world leading expert on envenomating bites before whipping up further idiotic hysteria.

Clearly your reporter had no interest in the truth and this is born out by the fact that you deleted my earlier post.

This species of spider are not "invading homes" and in reality pose little threat to the vast majority of the population.

Your poor quality reporting will without doubt lead to unnecessary fear of all spiders regardless of species and result in the persecution of an animal which is a vital part of our ecosystem and natural world.

Grow some and leave the post on or do the right thing and allow free speech and accurate information.

Graeme Skinner
It sounds like newspapers generally are trying to whip up hysteria about these spiders. Here's a comment from a spider expert who was basically ignored by the Star: Quote:- So after logging in under my own name this morning you quickly deleted the comment! Obviously the Daily Star are scared of the truth! So here is some of the content again as far as I can remember. I will take a screen shot and put it on face book as I have no doubt you will delete it again. During yesterdays "interview" with a Daily Star Reporter I gave accurate and factually concise information relating to spiders and was assured that the idea was to try and play down the current hysteria which is plaguing the press (and to which you at the Daily Star are complicit) This included information on false widow spiders, black widow spiders and the many common garden and house spiders we have in the UK. I also suggested that you (Daily Star) contact a world leading expert on envenomating bites before whipping up further idiotic hysteria. Clearly your reporter had no interest in the truth and this is born out by the fact that you deleted my earlier post. This species of spider are not "invading homes" and in reality pose little threat to the vast majority of the population. Your poor quality reporting will without doubt lead to unnecessary fear of all spiders regardless of species and result in the persecution of an animal which is a vital part of our ecosystem and natural world. Grow some and leave the post on or do the right thing and allow free speech and accurate information. Graeme Skinner EmmBee
  • Score: 8

6:43pm Fri 18 Oct 13

Fubar2150 says...

southside7 wrote:
timt1964 wrote:
here we go again!! another helpless swindon resident in the grip of a crisis that everyone but them should sort out.the adver had to get the words "toddler" "single mum" in the story to heighten the danger faced by humanity as we know it.the pound shop probably sells a perfectly good spray so the "i cant afford it" angle is complete bol****s.
I agree, It is beyond lame. I'm sick to death of the NIMBY culture that seems to be becoming stronger and stronger in society. Both of my grandfathers fought abroad in WW2 at 20 years old or so. Swimming through water at night to get to the beach at night in Dunkirk and then we are faced with the likes of this, I feel utterly depressed reading this.
Swimming to the beach, really? The other 330000+ were all trying to get away.
[quote][p][bold]southside7[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]timt1964[/bold] wrote: here we go again!! another helpless swindon resident in the grip of a crisis that everyone but them should sort out.the adver had to get the words "toddler" "single mum" in the story to heighten the danger faced by humanity as we know it.the pound shop probably sells a perfectly good spray so the "i cant afford it" angle is complete bol****s.[/p][/quote]I agree, It is beyond lame. I'm sick to death of the NIMBY culture that seems to be becoming stronger and stronger in society. Both of my grandfathers fought abroad in WW2 at 20 years old or so. Swimming through water at night to get to the beach at night in Dunkirk and then we are faced with the likes of this, I feel utterly depressed reading this.[/p][/quote]Swimming to the beach, really? The other 330000+ were all trying to get away. Fubar2150
  • Score: 0

8:50pm Fri 18 Oct 13

MattPrince says...

The spiders are actually harmless zygiella x-notata. (pics from the daily mail of her catch were clearly this species)

The irony being that the two species are in almost direct competition, remove ziggy and you make it easier for the real false widow to colonise.

Not that a mildly venemous, very docile, false widow is anything to worry about anyway.
The spiders are actually harmless zygiella x-notata. (pics from the daily mail of her catch were clearly this species) The irony being that the two species are in almost direct competition, remove ziggy and you make it easier for the real false widow to colonise. Not that a mildly venemous, very docile, false widow is anything to worry about anyway. MattPrince
  • Score: 5

9:59pm Fri 18 Oct 13

twasadawf says...

Get a blow torch and incinerate the blighters
Get a blow torch and incinerate the blighters twasadawf
  • Score: 1

6:01pm Sat 19 Oct 13

umpcah says...

Spiders do more good than some people i.m.o.
Spiders do more good than some people i.m.o. umpcah
  • Score: 1

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