The false widow spider (Steatoda grossa) is often mistaken for the black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans). The latter possesses bright red abdominal markings, and it's unlikely these spiders could become established in the UK because of the frosts in the winter. The false widow spider is native to Europe; it possesses some white abdominal markings and is roughly 1cm fully grown. Like the noble false widow, this spider has received a lot of bad press and his often implicated in spider-bite claims. Many of these claims usually cannot correctly validate the species of spider, with news articles being worded in a way to scare its readers. To conclude, the British arachnological society states that being bitten is possible, however unlikely. In the case of a bite, you should only be alarmed if there is any associated swelling or ulceration. A spider bite is often compared with a wasp sting, they both cause the same symptoms and are seldom serious.
Spiders help to control flies, wasps, beetles and other pest species.
Female spiders are often bigger than males, reaching as large as 1cm. Females often possess an enlarged, shiny brown-black abdomen. The males are smaller, displaying some variable cream abdominal markings. The webs look like a messy, tangled web and tend to be focused in corners. It's non-sticky but incredibly strong. Sometimes they incorporate a web-constructed tube which they use for coverage. Their webs can be very alike to house spiders.
These spiders have a steady distribution throughout Europe and the USA.
If you have spiders pitching up webs in the garden or home, it's best to leave them to their business. A spiders web acts just like an insect trap. Spiders provide some of the best pest control, and it's all free of cost!
If you feel uncomfortable with spiders, it's believed they dislike the peppermint essential oil. The oil can be diluted with water and sprayed near doors and windows. Spiders don't like the smell and will try to avoid it.