Home Tech ‘Britain’s most dangerous spider’ strikes in Hampshire: Girl, 5, is left unable to walk and covered in rashes after a bite from a noble false widow

‘Britain’s most dangerous spider’ strikes in Hampshire: Girl, 5, is left unable to walk and covered in rashes after a bite from a noble false widow

by Elijah
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A bite from “Britain’s most dangerous spider” left a five-year-old boy covered “literally from head to toe” in rashes and unable to walk.

Lily Hodgson, 5, didn’t know she had been bitten when she told her mother her ankle hurt and it hurt to walk.

At bedtime, his face was also itchy, so his parents, thinking it was a reaction to food, prescribed antihistamines.

But later that night, mother Genna Hunt woke up shocked to find her daughter covered in rashes.

She said: ‘I woke up at 3am to Lily feeling warm next to me. I turned on the light and almost screamed at her poor face.

A bite from “Britain’s most dangerous spider” left a five-year-old boy covered “literally from head to toe” in rashes and unable to walk

At bedtime, his face was also itchy, so his parents, thinking it was a reaction to food, prescribed antihistamines.

But later that night, mother Genna Hunt woke up shocked to find her daughter covered in rashes.

Lily Hodgson, 5, didn’t know she had been bitten when she told her mother her ankle hurt and it hurt to walk.

“I woke her up and she was covered in this strange rash, literally from head to toe.

“The worst was when the rash itched through his hair and even to his toes, which happened 24 hours later.

“His ankle hurt the next day and he refused to walk on it.”

In the morning, Genna, 34, took Lily to her local pharmacy in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

Miss Hunt said: “I just assumed it was a food allergy and would go away shortly.”

‘The pharmacist took us into a small side room, took a look around and asked us a few questions.

‘I mentioned his ankle hurt; At that point she was no longer walking on it, but it was not swollen.

“She said she suspected it was a reaction to a bite and not a food allergy and would like to see a GP urgently.”

Genna continued: ‘We were taken to a room with a paramedic on duty covering the consultation.

“He took out a magnifying glass and said, ‘yes, it’s a false widow spider bite.'” She said that she hadn’t seen many cases before where they had a reaction like Lily’s.

The noble false widow is “widely considered the most dangerous spider in Britain,” according to a 2020 paper by Clive Hambler, a zoologist at the University of Oxford.

“I woke her up and she was covered in a strange rash, literally from head to toe,” said her mother, Gemma.

The noble false widow is

The noble false widow is “widely considered the most dangerous spider in Britain,” according to a 2020 paper by Clive Hambler, a zoologist at the University of Oxford.

How to Spot a Noble False Widow Spider

Noble false widows are the largest of the three species of false widows that are likely to be found near homes.

The front section of its body is dark brown, as are the legs.

The abdomen (the large, oval-shaped back of the body) can be variable, with patterns of cream and dark brown markings (sometimes described as skull-shaped), although often with very few markings.

Source: Wildlife Trusts

Known as Steatoda nobilis, they are not native to Britain and are thought to have arrived from the Canary Islands in banana boxes in the late 19th century before slowly spreading northwards.

“We have no idea when she was bitten or what she was doing at the time,” Genna said.

“That day she had been at my parents’ house playing inside, she walked the three minutes to our house and then played inside our house.”

He continued: ‘Lily was already taking antibiotics and antihistamines for tonsillitis and ear infections so we were told to stick with that as that’s what he would have prescribed us anyway.

‘I wonder what the reaction would have been like if Lily hadn’t been taking antibiotics and antihistamines. Would it have been much worse?

Despite the itching and some discomfort when walking, brave Lily has coped well.

Her rashes disappeared after four days and she is very disappointed that her bite didn’t give her superpowers “like Spider-Man.”

But experience has made Miss Hunt wary of false widows and she is speaking out to warn others.

Despite the itching and some discomfort when walking, brave Lily has coped well.

Her rashes disappeared after four days and she is very disappointed that her bite did not give her superpowers 'like Spider-Man'.

Miss Hunt said: “I assumed it was a food allergy and would go away shortly.”

She said: “I’m very paranoid about spiders in the house now.” Lily has been told to come get us if she sees any spiders in her room and not to pick any of them up.

She added: “Honestly, if you have any kind of rash, especially one like Lily’s, get it checked out.”

“Pharmacists are trained in skin rashes and are available to see by simply visiting a pharmacy and asking to see them.”

Despite their bad reputation, false widows are unlikely to attack unless provoked or trapped between clothing and skin.

THE NOBLE FALSE WIDOW SPIDER

In the photo: a noble false widow spider

In the photo: a noble false widow spider

Species name: Steatoda nobilis

Origin: the Canary Islands and Madeira

Range: Europe, Africa, America

Color: Brown body, red/orange legs.

Notable Feature: bulbous abdomen

Size (female): 9.5 to 14 mm (0.37 to 0.55 in)

Size (male): 0.28–0.43″ (7–11mm)

Habitat: Indoor and outdoor

Life expectancy: Five-year average

Poison: Latrodectus-like toxins

(Not to be confused with the black widow spider, for whose similarity the false widow was given its common name.)

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