Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Steatoda nobilis

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Question
Hi I'm from UK and have been worried stiff since finding out about these spiders I have 4young kids aged 13,10,7and 4 my 13 year old has mild case of cerebral palsey I'm worried if one of my kids got bit would they be at health risk the papers say they are deadly I know I'm in UK but please help me I feel I am on verge of a breakdown

Answer
Hello Marc,

Please do not worry so much about these spiders. There are not many spiders than can really harm you or your kids, but there are some that can inflict a painful bite.

It is true that steatoda nobilis, commonly known as the false widow, can bite humans. The bite can be painful and is similar to, but much less common than, a bee or wasp sting.The news reports that have blamed these spiders for a number of serious incidents, however, are not based on evidence. Because of fear, spiders often get blamed for serious conditions if no other explanations are obvious. The venom of these spiders, though, is NOT deadly to humans.

If you experience a bite/cut/wound/bee sting of any kind, please make sure to disinfect the area with some alcohol or hydrogen peroxide because infections of any kind can be very dangerous. If you experience intense pain, itching, or a fever following a wound, you should disinfect the area and contact a doctor.

Best,
Jessica

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jessica Mellinger

Expertise

I can answer questions about invertebrates native to California, including insects commonly found in homes. If you have an identification request, please attach a photo to your question.

Experience

I was involved in collection and identification of invertebrates for the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division for six years. Also, I provided these same services intermittently for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment for many years. I have been a member of AllExperts.com since 2009.

Organizations
Department of the Interior: United States Geological Survey, Davis Field Station; University of California, Davis Aggie Alumni Association; UC Davis Center for Neuroscience; U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs

Education/Credentials
I have two B.A.'s from the University of California, Davis and two Associate's degrees from Sacramento City College.

Awards and Honors
Special Thanks for Achieving Results award from the Department of the Interior

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