A Swanley army veteran, who handled snakes and scorpions in the Australian outback, was left housebound for two weeks after allegedly being bitten by a false widow spider.

Thomas Bowles, 78, of South View Close, was letting his dog out through his conservatory when he claims to have been bitten by the spider.

News Shopper:
Mr Bowles caught the spider after spraying him with pesticide

Mr Bowles, who was born in east London, said: "I was worried about it.

"I had a bruise above my ankle.

"It came up as a large blood blister."

Emergency doctors and nurses were called to Mr Bowles' home after the bite left him struggling to move when inflammation spread up his leg and to his knee.

Throughout his time in national service in Benghazi and Cyprus and during a long spell in Australia, Mr Bowles claims he has never been stung or bitten before - and says he dealt with eight-foot dugite snakes, black widows and scorpions.

News Shopper:
Mr Bowles was out of work for more than two weeks after the infection

He told News Shopper: "I would like to warn residents, especially children, that these spiders are around and they are getting into homes.


"I have been through pain and I can handle it.

"I have done my time in the army and lived with a lot of things, but a child doesn’t know that sort of pain."

Mr Bowles hadn’t realised that he had been bitten by the spider until a couple of weeks later, towards the end of August, when his son spotted the spider in the corner of the conservatory.

News Shopper:
The false widow spider was spotted hiding in a corner weeks later and disposed off

The pair were able to flush it out and terminated the eight-legged terror.

If you have any similar stories about creepy crawlies tweet to @Jame5Parsons