A guide to spiders: which can really harm us?

Which spiders are deadly?

The world's deadliest spiders tend to live abroad, but can rarely reach UK shores in fruit deliveries. The world's deadliest spider is the Brazilian Wandering spider, so called due to its habit of wandering the forest floor. A fat fluffy brown carapace is met with deadly fangs. Their potent venom is incredibly neurotoxic and can kill. If bitten, waste no time in seeking expert medical help where an anti-venom may be needed. In rare cases these angry arachnids may be found in banana bunches.

The Lactrodectus species is a dangerous family of spiders are which includes the Australian Redback, Red Widow, Black Widow and Brown Widow. These species have a characteristic hourglass or triangle shaped patch of colour on their backs and must be avoided. Bites are toxic and cause pain, cramping, nausea and can cause death. Once again finding medical help quickly is paramount.

Undoubtedly the most feared of all is the Funnel Web. A sneaky predator, this hairy long legged ambush hunter hides in the depth of its funnel shaped web, its razor sharps claws ready to ensnare unlucky insects into its gaping and venemous jaws. Poison is deadly, with several deaths recorded in Australia. The only cure is antivenom.

Overall spiders earn their fearsome reputation. Even the small can be deadly, and aggravating them is not advised.

British species are not dangerous, and bites are more of a bother than anything else. In the rare case of complications, it is worth seeking medical help as described above. If you're in other countries, it is a different story because spiders are generally more dangerous.

Now what's that on your neck?

Any opinions above are the author's alone. All data is based on either peer reviewed or externally validated studies unless expressed otherwise. Opportunistic data presented is representative of those participating alone and may not represent associated regulatory bodies. Guidance is based the best available evidence at the time of writing. Online recommendation is no substitute for seeing your own doctor and should not be taken as medical advice. See your own doctor before starting any new exercise regime.


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