A man was left out of work with his leg swollen “like a balloon” after a “horrible” bite from “Britain’s most dangerous spider”.
Shane Parmenter, from Chelmsford, Essex, says a false widow noblewoman’s bite left him unable to work and struggling with his mental health.
The 36-year-old rapper, who raps as MC Napz, says the spider hit him after he tried (and failed) to crush it in his recording studio.
He said: ‘My mate was laughing out loud. He said “he’ll come back and hurt you” and I said “yeah, okay.”
‘We both ended up falling asleep in the studio and I felt like something in the night was biting me. It felt like a bee sting.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Shane Parmenter, from Chelmsford, Essex, says a false noble widow’s bite left him unable to work and struggling with his mental health.
The spider has a fast-acting neurotoxic venom with a composition very similar to that of true black widows.
‘When I woke up in the morning, I felt another big pinch, and then a false widow ran out of my trouser leg.
“Almost immediately everything turned red, it was a little uncomfortable.
“Everything got much worse. My leg swelled up like a balloon. I felt sick, I felt nauseous, I was dizzy, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat.’
Following advice from the NHS 111 helpline, Shane traced the bite with a pen to see if it was swollen, but his injury quickly surpassed the markings.
He said: “It went from being a small mark on my leg to being huge – it just kept getting bigger and bigger, more and more swollen.” “You could see it was getting infected.”
At Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital, doctors cleaned and dressed the wound and gave him antibiotics.
But the musician had to re-bandage the wound again and again as it continued to ooze through the bandages.
He said: “They put about four or five in me and literally within 24 hours of doing it it was filling up and I would take them off and it would explode.”
The noble false widow (Steatoda nobilis) is a species of invasive spider known to cause painful symptoms when it bites unfortunate humans.
Following advice from the NHS 111 helpline, Shane drew around the bite with a pen to see if it was swollen, but his injury quickly surpassed the markings.
Parmenter (pictured) said: ‘I felt something bite me in the night. It felt like a bee sting.
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.
“The worst thing was one night, I was sitting on the toilet and I felt like it just went ‘pop’ and I felt it seeping through the pad, dripping down my leg.
“I took the gauze off and it was literally horrible: blood and big chunks of pus coming out of my leg. “It was very painful”.
The bite also sparked a wave of anguish over Shane’s mental health and affected his work with his record label, D&B Politics.
“It was really difficult to deal with it,” he said.
‘Not being able to go to work and not being able to do my side job, or even sit in front of my laptop and do my promotions and release some music.
‘I have my own studio, so I like to be very creative in the studio, but I couldn’t think clearly. ‘He’s made me a little afraid of spiders.
I wasn’t scared of spiders before, but I definitely am now.
False noble widows are not native to the United Kingdom, but are believed to have arrived from the Canary Islands in banana boxes in the late 19th century.
The species gained a strong population in most southern counties of Britain and is now spreading northwards.
It can be found all year round, regardless of the weather, both indoors and outdoors, from roadside plants and ivies growing on walls to telegraph poles, fence posts and buildings.
At Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital, doctors cleaned and dressed the wound and gave him antibiotics. But the musician had to re-bandage the wound again and again as he continued to ooze through the bandages.
File photo of a noble false widow (Steatoda nobilis). The species is “widely considered the most dangerous spider breeding in Britain,” according to a 2020 paper by Clive Hambler, a zoologist at the University of Oxford.
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.
However, they are unlikely to attack unless provoked or trapped between clothing and skin.
Now Mr Parmenter is speaking out to warn others to leave them alone.
He said: “They’re the kind of spider that if you leave them alone, they won’t even bother you.”
‘My advice to other people would be: if you find a false widow in your house, leave her.’
THE 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.)