How would you react if you found one of the country’s most venomous spiders in your bed?
Creepy crawly cowards would probably run a mile – but this cool customer scooped up a notorious false widow spider he found crawling across his bed sheets.
Joe Whitehouse spotted the eight-legged arachnid as he made his bed at home in Lansdowne Street, Brighton. Instead of running a mile he swiftly put it in an aired jar.
The 27-year-old, who works as a chef at Jamie’s Italian in Black Lion Street, said: “As I was making the bed I saw it running pretty fast across it. I was slightly scared at first but it’s not huge, it’s about half an inch. I think I might keep it as a pet now – but I live with my girlfriend and she isn’t too keen on the idea.
“I wasn’t sure what they ate so I gave it some woodlice from the garden.
“But it didn’t seem interested.”
The false widow is believed to have arrived in Britain in crates of fruit from the Canary Islands in the 1870s and prefers warm and dark places.
It is deemed to be one of the most venomous spiders in the country and its bite can cause severe allergic reactions.
But experts say false widows are not usually aggressive towards humans.
Jess Price, of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, has previously blogged on false widow spiders in Sussex.
She said there are six species of false widow spider that occur in the UK, but only three are commonly seen, including the S. nobilis.
She said: “These species are synanthropic, which means they live near humans, benefiting from the artificial habitats we create such as sheds, garages, porches and conservatories. She added:
“False widow bites are reported as usually being no worse than a bee or wasp sting. However some people can have a more severe reaction to S. nobilis including swelling and numbness.
“They are smaller than a 1p piece and have a distinctive globular shaped body and a glossy brown or black finish.”