Dad Claims He Was Bitten By False Widow Spiders And Has Been Unable To Walk
WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES THAT INCLUDE A LOT OF OOZING AND MIGHT PUT YOU OFF YOUR AFTERNOON BREW AND BISCUIT
A dad from Southampton has claimed he is unable to walk after being bitten five times by false widow spiders - which are known for having a venomous, but thankfully not deadly, bite.
Lewis Pearce, 26, has several red bite marks on his body - some of which have become oozing sores filled with pus.
He says he's been in so much pain he's been unable to work or even shower, and has since asked the council to get rid of the spiders from the block of flats where he lives - only to apparently be told the council 'doesn't deal with spiders'.
The dad of three has also claimed his three-year-old son Freddie was bitten as well, and now fears his other kids - five-year-old Lacey and seven-month-old Bethany - could suffer the same problem.
Lewis' wife, 26-year-old Nadine Pearce, said: "It petrifies me. If my children are bitten like he has been, they won't stand a chance.
"When people are being bitten alive, how are we meant to pay rent?
"I'm meant to be here looking after my children and Lewis can't work.
"It feels like we are stuck in a dark tunnel."
Removals worker Lewis said his doctor told him he had suffered an allergic reaction to the spider's venom, and that he has been unable to work since he was bitten in July.
He said: "I can't walk as it's very difficult and I haven't been able to shower properly for over a month as I can't get the dressing wet.
"The bites are painful and now I'm scared for my children, especially for my seven-month-old baby who sleeps in the same room as me, and during the night is when I'm usually bitten."
A spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: "We take all complaints of this nature seriously.
"While we haven't been notified of any other households having this issue, we will investigate and advise tenants accordingly."
False widows are often mistaken for the deadly black widow.
However, according to the British Wildlife team at the Natural History Museum, the symptoms of a false widow bite are 'often no worse than the pain of a wasp sting'.
The website says: "Although false widows do have a venomous bite, the venom is not particularly potent. Usually the only symptom is pain at the site which may radiate away from the bite.
"It ordinarily lasts between one and 12 hours, and rarely for more than 24 hours."
Dave Rumble, from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: "False widow spiders are here to stay since they were first noticed 10 to 20 years ago."
Featured Image Credit: Solent News