Spider Bites

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1 Posts

Reb_boris  ·  30 Apr 2014

I know this is an old thread but thought I should add my pennies worth.  God I must have caught about 6 of these big guys in the last couple of weeks.  

I keep a few chickens in Raheny (Dublin 5) too and although I have seen the girls eating the odd spider, they don't seem interested in the big False widows.  Saw a couple of them in the coop living with them.  Was concerned as I don't know if they would bother the chickens but I didn't want to take the risk.  One of them was as big as the palm of my hand with a bulbous body as big as a ten cent piece.  Is there and easy way to kill them?  Hate having to catch them and then squish them but I do feel as an invasive species, we should not be accommodating these little blighters.  Plus I do not want to accidentally disturb one and get bitten (on the off chance it doesn't bode well for me).  It's a tight space to clean out the coop and I have to stick my head in to do it.  Yikes!


2 Posts

Tygrr  ·  05 Jan 2014

I live on the south coast of England, and the false widow spider is everywhere. They were in this house when I bought it 20 years ago and have been here all the time I've lived here.   The office where I work is in the middle of the countryside, and there are false widows there too.  They're obviously here to stay.  I put them outside when I find them, but there are undoubtedly millions of them over here and nobody's died yet.  Nor have they destroyed the British wildlife.  Like most spiders they can cause a nasty bite, and like most insects there will be some people who have major allergic reactions if bitten, but the false widow is pretty anti-social and will only bite if you threaten it.  There's one on top of my wardrobe in my bedroom at the moment and I've been trying to catch him for weeks.  Every time he sticks his head out and I advance towards him he disappears back out of sight again.  I'll get him eventually.


1 Posts

mikeh1  ·  05 Aug 2013

Just found one in the garden of an empty house next door in D3, while retrieving our dog.

The thing was devouring a large bumble  bee, which is how I came across it from the noise.

It's very distinctive. I'm no spider expert, but thought "Oh, that's different!"

Quite a large one too. I rehoused it, not that it will make a difference. Bound to be many of them....


4 Posts

D6Lib  ·  05 Aug 2012

I've just spotted one of these on my kitchen window [I live in D6] it was bundling up a fly; I fetched my camera but the spider scurried into the plants I keep on the windowsill then down the back of the sash and into the side crack [old house, still has the Victorian windows] it gave me quite a fright!I'm not normally bothered by spiders, but having seen the infamous 'Black widow' on TV, the shape was familar. A quick search for 'widow spider Ireland' brought me here - thankyou TKR for setting my mind at rest!Re the photo posting - it might be necessary to upload first to a photo-hosting site such as www.photobucket.com which will then provide you with an image which will look similar to [img]picturename[/img] - copy & pasting this tends to work on forums. 


3 Posts

BK  ·  29 Jun 2012

I've grown somewhat used to them so I agree, don't worry. Hoover does the job and they don't like humans.

Haven't seen one in a while (in my attic) but I'm sure they are there in a far flung corner. This photo http://atshq.org/boards/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=21004 (brave guy) matches exactly the spiders I see in my attic eaves, mostly smaller than this, some as big as this and I think I saw one bigger than this guy ages ago (found it dead on the floor of the attic - I think it was a really old one, they live max 2 years)

Nice to see this thread active and creeping people out :)


6 Posts

TKR  ·  28 Jun 2012

Please don't worry yourself about this spider.

I've come to the conclusion that this species is not a threat to humans and even if it makes its home near you it will not become a problem. It only seeks out other insects as prey and essentially remains in its web somewhere away from human contact. That's not to say it will not settle cosily in some isolated part of your home or out-buildings but, even here, it will go about it's business building its tangled web and waiting quietly for a passing fly or other insect. 

I use my outdoor shed for storing tools, paint etc. and I have seen one or two such spiders in webs located in recesses in the timber-work. However, I have never had a problem with these and they will retreat at the least touch of their web. Anyway, if you find a web you can easily remove it with your vacuum cleaner. Remove the vacuum head and place the metal tube or hose next to the web. This will get rid of the problem. A neighbour found a web in the process of being assembled in the roof-light window of her extension and she could see the female spider in the midst of this web. She quickly removed both web and spider with her vacuum cleaner and a steady ladder! 

Hope this helps.



1 Posts

smurfmurdiff  ·  27 Jun 2012

Im seriously freaked out here reading all this!! has there been any sitings in the city centre??


6 Posts

TKR  ·  30 Mar 2012

Hi Fellow False-Widow Hunters,

I would love to show you a photograph I took last night in a garden shed near Stillorgan (yes, I'm that guy who started this discussion way back in 2007 - how time flies!); however, IrishHealth.com does not appear to be configured to enable such an action! Any advice appreciated.

Incidentally, the shot I took is of a nasty female Steadoda species (false Widow) devouring an unfortunate Queen Wasp that had been searching for somewhere to build her paper nest and start off a new generation of waspies. She had unwittingly got trpped in this spider's newly constructed spider silk, which you will see as fine gossamer strands attached to the timber laths of the garden shed. Her fate was sealed once she hit those filaments as they are extremely efficient at trapping even the strongest insect. It sure is a cruel old world! Anyway, I'll await at the PC for some solitary browser to come and alert me to how I can share this scary photo.

Cheers, TKR


1 Posts

scubadoc  ·  17 Jan 2012

Hi All,

i found one or theese spiders while cleaning my drains in Bettystown Co.Meath, it scared the bjasus out of me as ive never seen anything like it in Ireland before, so just to let you all know they are in the Bettystown area of Meath.


3 Posts

BK  ·  15 Jun 2009

I'm not an expert but from what I read the false widow is a very reclusive spider, so unless you are reaching into dark crevaces you are very unlikely to get bitten. I spotted some more of these guys in my attic early in the spring, hoovered  them up and have not seen any since. They do tend to be in the darkest hardest to reach corners so unlikely to be a nuisance. Guess we just have to learn to live with them like most of Europe and the North America does, not to mention most of the rest of the world!

It is probably the celtic tiger that has brought them here in sufficient numbers. All those containers flowing back and forth probably. Not sure how they got into my hold house though. Probably via some large trees (gone now) that were overhanging onto the tiles.


1 Posts

Phyl  ·  12 Jun 2009


I thought I had been stung, as I brushed a spider off my foot. I bent down to pick it up to put it out the window and it jabbed me in the finger. I dropped it in the bath and placed a glass tumbler over it so I could look at it more closely in the morning. At 3 am I got up feeling stressed and took my blood-pressure, it was over 160. The next morning I logged on the internet and asked the question 'do spiders in Ireland bite' and found your discussion. Ask to see a picture of the spider, and bingo it was the same as underneath the glass in the bath.

My husband is a carpenter so we always have lots of different wood around so perhaps it came in with the wood. Having said that I will never be picking up spiders again and anyone who finds them should destoy them as I dread to think of what effect a bite might have on a child.

I have medication to control blood-pressure, someone else might not be so lucky.

This happened in Cork so they are becoming more common.




1 Posts

Sukie  ·  16 Jan 2009

Pepe, That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. These spiders leave painful bites that resemble wasp stings and in some cases have caused nausea for up to 2 days and even severe heart / chest pain. Yet you are perfectly happy to watch hundreds of these multiply. Oh - but now you would like to "move" them elsewhere so they are someone else's problem. You should have just killed them when you first found them. This whole "live and let live" thing is getting way out of hand. The fact they they dont like cold weather and yet have already evolved enough to survive the cold winter we just had is frightening enough. People should just kill them on sight and be done with it not watch them multiply in their back garden in huge numbers!!!

Also, that woman in England had the allergic reaction to one that had her on a life support machine for 26 hours. Who knows how many other people might be allergic.


1 Posts

rossik  ·  15 Mar 2008
I've seen at least 6 widow like spiders in my shed and I'm wondering what I can do to verify if the species is actually from the black widow family. Does anyone know how this is done?

214 Posts

Lemmy  ·  17 Jan 2008
seeing as they are an alien species to our enviroment, surely they should be treated as pests and exterminated, not taking the tree hugger steps of re-locating them. you might think you're being kinder to mother nature by moving them eslewhere, but you could well be harming our native flora and fauna by allowing these spiders to live

2 Posts

pepe  ·  17 Jan 2008
Yes, this spider has taken up residence in an old outhouse in the back garden. I spotted her last november 07 and have been observing her since. Back then there was about 50 spiderlings surrounding her. That number has increased, there is at least 200 now. She stays in a litlle crack right in a corner close to the ceiling. All her babies are spread across the ceiling the furthest being about two feet away, The spiderlings on the edge are bigger so i guess they must be the first born. Now this outhouse is only six feet away from the main house, and i dont like the thought of some of them making there way into the house to set up home. When i first seen this spider i knew it was different, with the help of the internet i was able to identify it and learn a little more about the species, well i reckon it's here to stay now. When i read up on this spider one article said that they came from the canary islands in the 1850s and more recently came in on shipments of timber from africa. They are surviving here now because we dont have winters anymore, well not like we used to. I'd like to relocate MyWidow, not miles away, just further up the garden. Does anyone have a spider kennel, hutch, cage, tank, stable, den that i could put Mom and her brats in and maybe breed them in captivity. If there going to live with me, it'd be nice to know where they are. Hey, would i b able to make a living from them,does this peptide neurotoxin that they possess have any value, i could find a way of extracting it. Any buyers out there????

1 Posts

tony (OJQ65977)  ·  26 Oct 2007
Just to report a sighting and capture of the notorious false widow spider here in Co Clare.
I have been working in my garage and have come across a couple of extraordinary spiders lurking within, I have now identified them as false widow spiders, Steatoda nobilis. They have a shiney large abdomen with a distinct cream coloured marking on the top. They look just like its cousin the black widow, but without the orange markings. I have read varying accounts of how dangerous these creatures are but have left actually handling them alone. I have merely relocated them to a ruin of a house nearby, hoping that they do not return. It seems that they are not affected by the cold spell we are currently having and they are probably here to stay. Will keep you posted of any more sightings.

3 Posts

BK  ·  23 Oct 2007
I live in Whitehall on the northside of Dublin and found one of these in the eaves of my attic earlier this year.
House is an old red-brick 1930s which tiles + mortar.
Anyway, was just back from San Francisco so assumed
this guy had stowed away in my luggage so I squashed
him. Now I have just spotted two smaller versions of the
same spider in the same eaves (October)

Definitely matches the steatoda description, but I don't
like the idea of having them in my attic. Think i'll fast track
the roof replacement I was planning!

- Posts

Anonymous  ·  17 May 2007
I live in soth County Dublin and like to play golf whenever I can. I do not like spiders but respect the garden variety for their efforts at making attractive outdoor webs. However, last autumn, while trying to retrieve my golf clubs from the cluttered-up garden shed, I noticed a strange-looking dark-brown spider dangling from its web in the roof just over my head. I later identified it as an exotic species, Steatoda paykulliana, known as the 'false widow' spider because it has often been mistaken for its close relative the 'black widow' Latrodectus sp. They belong to the same family, the Theridiidae and are known for their poisonous bites. The false-widow's natural territory is southern Europe/north Africa across to Asia.
Until now, its migration was limited to the southern-most counties of England and it is generally believed that our cold winters restricted its migration northwards. The spider may have entered these southern English counties - and now Ireland - via fruit imports and possibly timber imports.
The female of the 'false-widow' spider, like the black widow female, is much larger than the male and can measure up to 15mm.
The bite contains a peptide neurotoxin that causes a good deal of pain in the hapless victims. However, a quick search of the medical literature indicates that the majority of victims report effects similar to wasp stings but some people can experience more adverse systemic effects that can last up to two days. These include nausea, flu-like symptoms and lethargy.
What is of interest and possibly of some concern is that the spider has successfully over-wintered in Ireland and I have recently found the critter in a number of homes and gardens in the Kilmacud-Stillorgan area of County Dublin. I am now quite keen to find out how far this invader has spread in Ireland. Any reports of sightings would be greatly appreciated.
If you observe a shiny brown or black spider (although the colouring can vary) with an orb-like abdomen featuring a characteristic cream or orange crescent-shaped band on the anterior abdomenal aspect, then you may also have been visited by S. paykulliana.
It seems that the chances of one biting you are slim, unless you are inclined to poke your finger into cobwebs or under timber waste. Most cases appear to be the result of accidental contact and readers should not be overly concerned. From my limited research and site observations it appears that the 'false widow' likes to set up home in voids or cracks in timber fencing, timber garden sheds, under eaves of sheds and even under old logs and timber offcuts that we let pile up in our gardens.
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