Pest Control experts are receiving an increasing number of calls about tropical spiders being discovered in London and other English cities and towns. International trade has combined with a changing climate to boost the population of potentially dangerous arachnids in suburbia.
We’ve all heard the stories about venomous spiders being discovered in the local supermarket, or the domestic fruit bowl. Every now again a Black Widow or similar beastie slips into the country, usually riding unnoticed on a bunch of bananas.
Just this summer, one of the world’s most dangerous spiders, the Brazilian Wandering, lived up to its name by exploring a Coventry warehouse. A couple of months earlier, a Merseyside family abandoned their home for a week while another Brazilian spider, which they unsuspectingly brought home from the supermarket, was hunted down. A painstakingly slow search finally discovered it inside the dishwasher.
Australian spiders migrate to the UK
The distinctively marked Red Back spider has begun turning up in homes and commercial premises across Britain. The tiny, but extremely poisonous, creature is often an unexpected stowaway in travellers’ luggage.
Before an antidote to their bite was developed, the pea-sized arachnids were thought to have killed around 14 people in Australia with their poison. Today, 250 bite victims require anti-venom treatment each year.
Most of the exotic species of spider which find their way into this country are unable to survive outdoors. But warm modern homes and offices can prove ideal habitats for them to live in and, potentially, to breed. A dozen Red Backs were recently discovered in packaging in a Preston factory.
What to do if you discover an unusual spider
Should you come across an unfamiliar spider in your property, don’t panic.
It may simply be a Common House spider, which can grow to around 10cm across. Their size can scare people, and, like all spiders, they do bite. If you’re concerned about the number of spiders in your home or place of work, take advice on how to deal with them from a pest controller.
If you suspect a spider is more unusual, try to trap it inside a transparent container. That will allow you, or a local expert, to identify the species and take the appropriate action.
However, if you have any concerns about dealing with the spider, contact a pest control specialist. They will have the necessary equipment to capture it, and to lay traps in case others are lurking, unnoticed, in the floor, walls or ceilings.
Exotic spiders are just one form of creepy-crawly we’re seeing more of in Britain. Disease-carrying Ants, Cockroaches and mosquitoes are becoming more frequent visitors to these shores. International travel and trade brings with it both pleasures and pests.