Can You Get Black Widow Spiders in the UK?

Black widow spiders are a venomous species. The venom is 15 times more powerful than that of the rattlesnake. Typically imported, black widows are not native to the UK. They are usually brought in through trade.

In addition to the black widow spider, there are also three other species of spiders which can bite humans. The two most common are the false widow and the walnut orb-weaver.

False widow spiders are related to the deadly black widow, but they have a much smaller body. In fact, they are often mistaken for black widows. Although they are not considered as dangerous as black widows, they are still very venomous and can cause pain and infection.

This spider is not native to the UK and they are commonly found in porches, sheds, and conservatories. Their venom is not particularly potent, but it can cause swelling, numbness, pain, and nausea.

Another venomous species that is also not native to the UK is the noble false widow. It arrived in the UK in the late 1800s, most likely from the Canary Islands. Since then, it has spread northwards. There are now populations in parts of South Lanarkshire, Orkney, and Aberdeen.

A female false widow can grow up to 14 mm in length. She usually lives in kitchens and conservatories.

Noble false widows are mainly found on the eastern and southern coasts of the UK, but they are expected to spread north. They are also spreading in parts of Europe and parts of South Africa.