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UK's most dangerous spider spied in Thamesmead
A FATHER who found the UK’s most venomous spider in his Thamesmead garage was too scared to park his car for fear of the bug’s bite.
Dave Crouchman found the false widow spider - named because of its resemblance to the deadly black widow - swinging above his head at his home off Bryon Close last week.
The Steatoda noblis is also known as the biting spider and unleashes venom if provoked which can cause death for those allergic.
Mr Crouchman says he spied the leggy minibeast - measuring around two inches when unfurled - at night but was too frightened to tackle it in the dark.
The 33-year-old said: "I wasn’t parking my car in the garage because he was so scary.
"In the morning, he was sitting there, bold as brass, waiting to be caught.
"I looked at him closely. He looked quite mean. I just knocked him from the top to the floor.
"He started to run away and he ran straight into the pot."
The science technician, who used to be petrified of spiders, braved capturing the creature in a pot. He says he worried about having his five-year-old son, Kai, around it too.
He said: "I am scared of spiders in general, until I held a tarantula at a wildlife park - I still don’t like them but am more tolerant now.
"It is a bit worrying [having children around]. They all go in the garage to get in the car.
"I told Kai to steer clear of that one. They are nasty spiders."
Expert opinion Lewis Curran, a contributor to the National History Museum’s online Nature Plus Bug Forum, says the false widow spider is becoming more prolific in UK.
He added that the arachnid's bite could cause fatalities but the likelihood of someone being allergic is similar to those reacting very strongly to a wasp or bee sting.
Identifying Mr Crouchman’s find, he said: "This is a rather well marked Steatoda noblis (the heraldic looking shield on the abdomen is a giveaway) and it is the spider that all the rather scary stories are about.
"Although able to give a bite that is certainly painful they, like almost all spiders, are not aggressive (unless you are a fly) and are only known for biting when handled very roughly or squashed under layers of clothing/sheets etc."
Symptoms of a bite People who have been bitten by the false widow have been admitted to hospital with symptoms including pain, chest pains, nausea and vomiting.