March man convinced he saw false widow spider in his kitchen

Gary Tustin.

Gary Tustin. - Credit: Archant

A man claims he saw Britain’s most poisonous spider in his kitchen.

The spider Gary Tustin discovered .

The spider Gary Tustin discovered . - Credit: Archant

Gary Tustin, of Elwyn Court, March, came across what he is convinced was a false widow spider when he picked up his son’s blazer off the kitchen floor in his bungalow on Monday night.

The false widow spider is Britain’s most venomous spider, with symptoms of a bite ranging from feelings of numbness, severe swelling and discomfort, to various levels of burning or chest pains.

Sightings of the false widow spider are on the rise - a school in the Forest of Dean was forced to close yesterday because of an outbreak of false widow spiders, while an amateur footballer from Devon who was bitten in his sleep had to undergo an emergency operation.

But there are no reported deaths from its bite in the UK.


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Mr Tustin said: “My lad Jack came home from Neale-Wade Academy on Monday night and threw his blazer on the kitchen floor.

“When I picked it up you could see the spider crawling across the shoulder of his school uniform.

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“I’m convinced it was a false widow spider. When I saw it I instantly thought it looked unusual. It has red legs with white markings on its body.

“I caught it using the famed method of a cup and card and trapped it in a glass but thought nothing more of it so let it go.

“But a couple of days later I saw a report on the news about the false widow spider and it looked the same.

“I was very surprised. I’m just glad I did not pick it up with my bare hands.”

False widow spiders have distinctive cream markings on its body and is brown with reddish-orangey legs

They arrived in south-west England in the 1870s and eat insects, invertebrates and other spiders.

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