Venomous false widow spiders set to invade homes in Doncaster this winter

The false widow spiders are set to return.
The false widow spiders are set to return.

Venomous spiders which can inflict painful bites on humans are set to invade homes in Sheffield this winter.

The invasion of false widow spiders will see thousands of the arachnids searching for warmth as temperatures drop.

With temperatures diving as low as -7C across the UK this weekend, some Britons have already started spotting the eight-legged critters in their homes, taking to social media to tweet photos of the arachnids.

The venomous insect, which has been in Britain for the last 130 years, is a cousin of the deadly black widow spider, but unlike its close relative, its bites are not fatal to humans.

There have been isolated cases of people needing hospital treatment after being bitten, but generally, symptoms are typically limited to pain around the bite and swelling. Most serious cases are often due to an allergic reaction to the spider’s venom.

The false widow, or steatoda nobilis, is native to Madiera and the Canary Islands. It is believed it may have arrived in England in the late 1800s as a stowaway critter on cargo ships.

It is one of roughly 670 different species of spider present in Britain, according to the British Arachnological Society (BAS).

To prevent the insects from making your home their own this winter, pest control company Rentokil recommends ensuring your home is not a haven for woodlice, millipedes or centipedes to avoid spiders following their prey indoors, as well as filling in gaps around pipework and entryways and vacuuming regularly to avoid a buildup of cobwebs around and outside the house.