Home News Community A Cork mother told of how a False Widow bit her 15-week...

A Cork mother told of how a False Widow bit her 15-week old son.

Mother Sarah-Jane Dennehy said her baby Charlie was bitten last Monday at home in Shanagarry.

230 times more poisonous than native spiders, the False Widow spider


“Charlie was playing on his mat and then he was the colour purple as he screamed hysterically like I’d never heard him before,” Ms Dennehy said.

“I took off his trousers and saw that his left leg, from his knee to his ankle, was bright red and he had three big welts. Then I stripped off his top and as I did so a big Noble False Widow crawled out from behind his ear.”

She captured the spider and brought it to the GP.

Charlie was taken to the emergency department and given more painkillers and the effects of the venom wore off after about 11 hours.

“It was really harrowing experience for Charlie and myself. I hope nobody else goes through this. Although Charlie received great medical care from his GP and the hospital, the guidelines just aren’t there to deal with False Widow bites at the moment,” she said.

Originally from Madeira and the Canary Islands, the Noble False Widow spider Steatoda nobilis has the potential to become one of the world’s most invasive species of spider.

It was first reported in southern England in 1879 and in recent decades has increased its range and population density, spreading northwards towards Scotland and westward through Wales and Ireland.

In that time the species has also spread globally across Europe, East Asia, North America, and South America.

Related: False widow spiders 230 times more poisonous than native Irish spiders (opens in a new tab)


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