Residents of Devon County, located in southwest England, have been sharing their home with scary, green-fanged spiders — the tube web spider — and they’re not of normal size. Experts say this invasion was caused by a mild summer which allowed them to breed, then grow far larger than normal. Some residents even claim that they’ve almost doubled in size! The species, segestria florentina, is not native to the United Kingdom and likely arrived via ships about 150 years ago.
The tube web spider:
They spin a tubular web, often in the cracks of buildings, with six or more silk lines protruding from the entrance. The spider then waits for prey to touch these lines, and will leap out to ambush, kill and eat it. Its bite causes a great deal of pain — described by some as being stabbed with a nail — and can last for several hours! Two neurotoxins and one insecticide is found in their venom, which reduces the rate and amount of sodium inactivation leading to temporary paralysis and erratic cardiac activity. It’s important to note that humans cannot die from the tube web spider’s bite.
While they mostly stay outdoors to feed on cockroaches, moths, bees and wasps, the main concern is whether these large spiders will head indoors for the winter. Our thoughts are with our friends in England.
Be Prepared. Know Before™.
The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team