A MUM is appealing for help after her home was invaded by false widow spiders.
Jade Hodges, 27, of Feeches Road, Southend, is terrified after the venomous spiders began to appear in her conservatory.
The creatures gained a fearful reputation last year after several instances of people being hospitalised by bites, made the national news.
Miss Hodges is worried about the safety of her children Charlie, three, and Chloe, five months, and wants the spiders removed, but claims she can’t afford to pay for pest controllers to get rid of them.
She said: “We don’t knowwhat to do. We’ve spent hours looking online about how to get rid of them and not found anything.
“It’s worrying, because you hear conflicting stories about bites. Some say it’s the same as a bee sting, but I’ve had people saying on Facebook theywere bitten and ended up in hospital.
“We contacted exterminators and they quoted £88, which we can’t afford.
“We keep the kids out of the conservatory, but it’s old, the wood might be a bit rotten and spiders find a way of getting into places.”
Miss Hodges has also sought expert opinion from Roger Payne, entomologist and curator of natural history at Southend Museums.
He said: “It depends how much venom they inject.
“The worst I’ve seen is a reaction like a bee sting.
“They are fairly common in the area and are spreading further north.
“They are not aggressive, but will bite in self defence if they’re picked up or trapped.”
A spokesman for Southend Council said it can’t help. The spokesman said: “We did offer pest control services for longer than many other local authorities, but stopped the service last year.
“We now offer advice to residents and can provide them with details of pest control contractors.”
FALSE WIDOW - WATCH OUT FOR FEMALES
- Latin name: Steatoda nobilis ! Essex decorator Ricky Whitmore nearly lost a leg after being bitten last year.
- Alison Blackburn, from Kent, was admitted to intensive care with severe fever after one bit her foot in January.
- Builder Steve Davis, from London, nearly lost his thumb in November after two bites.
- Member of the widow family, of which the black widow is particularly harmful to humans.
- Most bites result in symptoms similar to a wasp or bee sting.
- They spin an untidy web, commonly in corners of rooms, particularly conservatories, sheds and window frames.
- They generally hide away in a crack or crevice and dart out if something is caught in their net.
- Only the females bite.